The future of Social Security remains one of the great unknowns in retirement planning. But at least it is easy to get a handle on how fat or thin your check would be under today's laws.
The Social Security Administration's Web site (www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators.htm) offers two interactive calculators. One asks for just two numbers - your current income and age - before spitting out ballpark monthly benefits estimates for early, regular or delayed retirement, as well as estimated disability and survivor's benefits. The other calculator offers a more exact estimate but requires typing in your complete earnings history.