Social Security Tool

Jan 7, 2017

Over the holidays, I spent some time finishing up a website that I've been building which helps anyone to understand their United States Social Security benefits. I just launched it over at

Screenshot of

It's still a work in progress, but it's usable. It lets you see your own benefit information, shows you the calculations that take you from your earnings records to your benefit amount, and lets you run "What - If" scenarios with different inputs:

I've tried to not just show the result of the calculation, but show how the calculation is made, so that the user can get an intuitive feel. Charts that show you the answer to some of the above questions on a curve hopefully help to give a sense of what these calculations are doing.

I'd like to add some more features to the tool including:

The site is entirely static. I did not want any personal data someone enters to need to make a round trip to a server, to protect privacy. That means a lot of JavaScript. While relatively small for some folks, it's probably the largest amount of JavaScript I've put into a web page before, so it was a fun learning experince. It's ultimately hosted on Amazon's S3 and then delivered by Cloudflare, just like this blog.

If you spot any issues or have suggestions, please add them over at the issue tracker on GitHub.