Retirement

How much you will - or won't - collect from Social Security

Jan. 27, 2011 at 11:00 AM ET

If you are among the optimists who believe that Social Security will still be around when you retire, you likely want to get a sense of how much money you’ll be able to count on in your golden years.

And if you’re among the more pessimistic types – and who wouldn’t be after new congressional projections showing the fund will be drained by about 2037 - you may still want to know how much you’re missing out on.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research has created a handy calculator to do just that.

The calculator actually has two elements.

The first part estimates the average family retirement income in your county, based on data from the U.S. Census department.

The second part allows you to enter in a few personal details, such as how much you make and how much you owe on your mortgage. Then, it calculates how much your monthly Social Security and other income could be upon retirement.

One nice touch: The calculator automatically converts into 2010 dollars, so you get a good sense of how much spending power that income will give you.

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