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If you're wondering how much your Social Security payments will be after you retire, there's a handy tool available. The Social Security Administration's retirement estimator calculates your benefits based on all potential retirement ages.

And if you are among the growing number of individuals receiving Medicare before your retirement, you're also in luck: The calculator, which previously was unavailable to Medicare recipients, is now accessible to you, as well.

To use the calculator, head to www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/ and follow the prompts. Fill in all necessary information, and the estimator will generate your projected payment amounts.

Published February 1, 2010

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