How to Create Social Security Break Even Calculator in Excel

Social security is the benefit given to the citizen by the US government. In this article, we will discuss this social security scheme and the break-even calculator in Excel with proper illustrations.

What Is a Social Security Scheme?

The US govt. has different schemes for social security based on the birth year of the citizens. For the different birth years, Full Retirement Age (FRA) is different.

The Full Retirement Age(FRA) defines the age at which one gets his 100% social security benefit. In the USA, the FRA varies concerning birth year. An image is attached in the last section, that explains different FRA with birth year. It ranges from age 66 to 67.

Have a look at the below image for a clear idea.

Full retirement age for social security

  • One major component of social security is the full retirement age. This ranges from age 66 to 67. But people can take early or late retirement.
  • Usually, it ranges from 62 to 70.
  • If anyone takes retirement before full retirement, he will get a less amount of benefit. On the other hand, if anyone takes retirement after the full retirement age, he will get an incremented benefit.
  • The increase or decrease in the benefit will depend on when someone takes retirement. We can say that late retirement gives higher benefits, so everyone must take late retirement. But it is not obvious for all. Sometimes it is seen that due to bad health condition or some other family reason people takes early retirement.
  • Another thing that needs to focus that at early retirement, people get benefits for a longer period with a decrement amount. And in late retirement, it is totally the opposite. People get a higher benefit for a shorter period. So, if someone dies at an early age early retirement is much more suitable for him compared to late retirement.
  • But there is uncertainty, we don’t know or assume our lifetime. Comparing all the things, we calculate the cumulative benefit with different ages.
  • At a certain age, all the cumulative benefits meet all, this is the break-even point. For this social security, we can say this is the social security break-even point.

How to Create a Social Security Break Even Calculator in Excel: with Easy Steps

Here, we will make a social security break-even calculator in Excel. We will consider the birth year of an individual as on or after 1960. The FRA for people born on or after 1960 is at 67. Here, collected the benefit rates of these people with different retirement ages from

Benefits of social security at different age

After age 70, the benefit rate is similar. Also need to mention only at age 67, will get 100% benefit.

📌 Step 1: Insert Primary Information

  • In this section, we will insert basic information to compare two ages and 100% benefits in the dataset.

Insert basic data to make social security break-even calculator

📌 Step 2: Calculate the Total Months

  • In this section, we will insert two new rows to calculate the total months in the dataset.

  • Go to cell D5 and put in the following formula.

Find total months for break-even calculator in Excel

This will help to find out the benefit percentage based on the age at which retirement has taken. Also, expand this formula to the end.

  • Put another formula for cell I6 and I7.

📌 Step 3: Find out Benefit Percentage

In this section, we will use the VLOOKUP function to calculate the benefit percentage at different retirement ages.

  • Put the following formula on cells J6 and J7.

For cell J6:


For cell J7:


Find out benefit based on age in Social security break-even calculator

We successfully find out the percentage from the list at different retirement ages.

📌 Step 4: Calculate Cumulative Social Security Benefit

Here the 1st retirement age is at 63 years and 2 months. So, the person will get the benefit in the next month which is 63 years and 3 months. After that, this will continue for a lifetime.

  • Here, we will apply a formula on cell O6 to get the cumulative benefit for the 1st retirement age.

Find out cumulative benefit at social security calculator

Expand this formula to the last. We used the IF function in this formula.

  • Use another similar formula on cell P6 for the cumulative benefit at 2nd retirement age.

Similarly, expand this to the last cell.

📌 Step 5: Insert Data in a Chart to Find the Break-Even Point

Now, we will insert the following data to create a chart. From this chart, we will find out the break-even point.

  • Here, we add a new column named Level for year-defining value.

  • Select the whole data from the three columns Age 1, Age 2, and Level.
  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Choose the Line option from the Charts group.

Insert Chart in social security calculator

  • Look at the following chart. Here, we will change the data of the horizontal axis.
  • Choose the horizontal axis and press the right button of the mouse.
  • Click on the Select Data option from the menu.

  • Select Data Source window appears.
  • Choose the Level option from the Legend Entries section.
  • Choose the Edit option from the Horizontal Axis Labels section.

  • Choose the Level column as the Axis label range.
  • Finally, press the OK button.

  • Look at the chart now.

Chart based on social security calculator to get break-even calculator

We will have an idea of the break-even point from the chart. But we have to find out the break-even point manually from the chart or the dataset.

📌 Step 6: Find Out the Break-Even Point

In this section, we will find out the break-even point in Excel with formulas.

  • We add a new column in the dataset. Now, put a formula on cell R5.

Apply nested IF function in social security calculator

This formula is based on the nested IF function to find out the absolute values of the difference between the benefit of age 1 and age 2. We also added a condition that when Age 1 and Age 2 both are 0, then it will not apply the subtraction formula.

Formula Breakdown:

  • AND(O5<>0,P5<>0)

It follows two conditions. Checks if O5 and P5 are not equal to 0.
Result: False.

  • IF(AND(O5<>0,P5<>0),O5-P5,”N/A”)

IF function returns the difference between O5 and P5 when fulfilling the condition. Otherwise returns “N/A
Result: N/A.

  • IF(IF(AND(O5<>0,P5<>0),O5-P5,”N/A”)<>”N/A”,ABS(O5-P5),”N/A”)

IF function works based on the value of the previous section. If the value of the previous section is not equal to N/A, then give the absolute value of the difference between cell O5 and P5, Otherwise, return N/A.
Result: N/A.

  • Now, we add a section in the dataset to find out the break-even point.

  • We will use the following formula based on the MIN function to get the minimum difference at cell T6.

Get minimum difference in social security calculator

  • Now, apply a formula based on the combination of the INDEX and MATCH functions.

Apply INDEX-MATCH function in social security calculator

This returns the Year value. The INDEX-MATCH formula works based on the minimum difference between two ages.

  • Similarly, we find out the Month value.

Finally, we get the break-even point at age 80 years and 2 months.

Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article.


In this article, we described the steps in detail to make a social security break-even calculator in Excel. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please give your suggestions in the comment box.

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Alok Paul
Alok Paul

Alok Paul has completed his B.Sc. in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering from East West University. He has been working on the ExcelDemy project for more than 2 years. He has written 220+ articles and replied to numerous comments. He is experienced in Microsoft Office, especially in Excel. He also led some teams on Excel and VBA content development. He has a keen interest in Advanced Excel, Data analysis, Excel Pivot Table, Charts, and Dashboard. He loves to research... Read Full Bio

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