When it comes to Social Security for the year 2020, the full retirement age is 66 and 2 months. For most people reading this, your full retirement age will likely be closer to 67. That being said, the maximum Social Security benefit for someone at full retirement age in 2020 is $3,011 per month.
Consistently Earn a High Salary
In recent years, you need to earn a six-figure salary to get a top Social Security payment. The maximum wage taxable by Social Security is $147,000 in 2022. However, the exact amount changes each year and has increased over time. It was $137,700 in 2020 and $106,800 in 2010.
Consider the Average Social Security Payment
The average Social Security benefit is $1,657 per month in January 2022. The maximum possible Social Security benefit for someone who retires at full retirement age is $3,345 in 2022.
The maximum benefit — the most an individual retiree can get — is $3,345 a month for someone who files for Social Security in 2022 at full retirement age (FRA), the age at which you qualify for 100 percent of the benefit calculated from your earnings history.
Workers who earn $60,000 per year pay payroll taxes on all of their income because the wage base limit on Social Security taxes is almost twice that amount. Therefore, you'll pay 6.2% of your salary, or $3,720.
The increase is based on your date of birth and the number of months you delay the start of your retirement benefits. If you start receiving retirement benefits at age: 67, you'll get 106.7 percent of the monthly benefit because you delayed getting benefits for 10 months.
You can begin collecting your Social Security benefits as early as age 62, but you'll get smaller monthly payments for the rest of your life if you do. Even so, claiming benefits early can be a sensible choice for people in certain circumstances.
The first is that a Social Security benefit is an earned benefit. ... To even be eligible for retirement benefits, you generally need 10 years (40 quarters) of gainful employment. In 2017, you need to earn at least $1,300 in a quarter for it to count as a credit.
At 65 to 67, depending on the year of your birth, you are at full retirement age and can get full Social Security retirement benefits tax-free.
For 2022, the maximum possible Social Security payout for a recipient filing at full retirement age is $3,345, up from $3,148 in 2021.
Those who make $40,000 pay taxes on all of their income into the Social Security system. It takes more than three times that amount to max out your Social Security payroll taxes. The current tax rate is 6.2%, so you can expect to see $2,480 go directly from your paycheck toward Social Security.
If you start collecting your benefits at age 65 you could receive approximately $33,773 per year or $2,814 per month. This is 44.7% of your final year's income of $75,629. This is only an estimate. Actual benefits depend on work history and the complete compensation rules used by Social Security.
If you will reach full retirement age in 2021, you can earn up to $4,210 per month without losing any of your benefits, up until the month you turn 66. But for every $3 you earn over that amount in any month, you will lose $1 in Social Security benefits.
Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. Your actual earnings are adjusted or “indexed” to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then Social Security calculates your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most.
The maximum benefit depends on the age you retire. For example, if you retire at full retirement age in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345. However, if you retire at age 62 in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $2,364.
A surviving spouse can collect 100 percent of the late spouse's benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age, but the amount will be lower if the deceased spouse claimed benefits before he or she reached full retirement age.
Qualifying for Social Security in the first place requires 40 work credits or approximately 10 years of work. 2 To be eligible to receive the maximum benefit, you need to earn Social Security's maximum taxable income for 35 years.
Reason #1: Retire Early if You Want to Stay Healthier Longer
But not all work is good for you; sometimes it's detrimental to your health. Retiring at 62 from a backbreaking job or one with a disproportionately high level of stress can help you retain, or regain, your good health and keep it longer.
At age 62: $2,364. At age 65: $2,993. At age 66: $3,240. At age 70: $4,194.
You can collect Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 and still work. If you earn over a certain amount, however, your benefits will be temporarily reduced until you reach full retirement age.
As you undoubtedly already are well aware, most financial planners recommend that—so long as you can afford to do so—you should wait until age 70 to begin receiving your Social Security benefits. Your monthly payment in such an event will be 32% higher than if you begin receiving benefits at age 66.
When you reach your full retirement age, you can work and earn as much as you want and still get your full Social Security benefit payment. If you're younger than full retirement age and if your earnings exceed certain dollar amounts, some of your benefit payments during the year will be withheld.
You might assume that 65 is your full retirement age for Social Security purposes because that's when you're first eligible for healthcare coverage under Medicare. But for people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. For those born between 1955 and 1959, it's 66 and a certain number of months.