"I was just happy to be feeling healthy again at the end of last year," he said. "I was just happy to be playing another 10 events maybe."
Now, Federer is poised to win his 90th career title in the final, keeping him third behind Jimmy Connors (109) and Ivan Lendl (94) for the most titles in the Open era.
"It's not a goal of mine per se to play until I reach 100," he said. "Could be. It's a nice goal to have. But that stuff can change. Ask me again in three to six months how I'm feeling, if I won any more or not."
Federer is 4-2 in finals at Indian Wells with his last title coming in 2012. He owns a 19-3 edge over Wawrinka, including 14-0 on hard courts, and has won their last three meetings, including in the Australian Open semifinals in January.
Two-time major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova plays 14th-seeded Elena Vesnina in an all-Russian women's final Sunday.
Despite playing on home soil, Sock was the underdog against Federer, who received loud cheers throughout the match.
"Anywhere Roger plays he's going to be the favorite," Sock said. "I don't care who he's playing and in what country."
Federer raced through the first set in 21 minutes, firing five of his eight aces in the match and breaking Sock twice.
"First one got away from me pretty quick," Sock said. "He's been doing that to players pretty consistently this year, the Rafa match and some other ones he's played."
Federer hasn't lost a set or his serve in four matches, saving one break point along the way and beating rival Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.
Sock settled down in the second set and the 24-year-old American saved his only break point in the seventh game.
"The second set was more like what I expected the first set to be before the match," Federer said. "It was hard to break and return well off Jack's heavy serve."
Federer hit a ball that came off the net and struck Sock in the neck in the 10th game.
"Didn't expect it to come off that hot," Sock said. "Usually it kind of pops up. Just something you laugh at and go to the next point."