In school, you were taught that 1+1=2, and that that worked out no matter what kind of calculator you used.
But the same doesn’t hold true for Social Security calculators, tools that have been developed to help you determine the best time for you to claim your retirement benefits.
Both companies and individuals have stepped in to develop their own software and tools to help consumers answer the complicated question: When is the best time for me to claim benefits?
The answers to that question are not so simple.
That is because there are thousands of different rules for calculating benefits, according to Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University and president of Economic Security Planning, a provider of financial planning tools.
The ideal age for you to claim benefits will vary based on age, health, work history and marital status, among other factors.
And the answers you get from a Social Security calculator may also vary based on how much of that information a given tool takes into account.