Here's how much your Social Security benefits will be if you make anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 per year. The average Social Security benefit is around $1,544. With inflation on the rise, retirees are expected to get as much as a 6% cost-of-living increase in their 2022 checks to shore up their budgets.
If you make $120,000, here's your calculated monthly benefit
According to the Social Security benefit formula in the previous section, this would produce an initial monthly benefit of $2,920 at full retirement age.
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.
If you earn $75,000 per year, you can expect to receive $2,358 per month -- or about $28,300 annually -- from Social Security.
But, generally speaking, most experts agree that you will need 70-80% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living in retirement. This means that if you earned $50,000 per year ($4,167 a month) before retiring, you would need approximately $35,000-$40,000 per year in retirement.
But reality is as described above - the highest earning 35 years of your lifetime earnings record are used to determine your average monthly career earnings (adjusted for inflation), and that 35-year lifetime average becomes the basis for your Social Security benefit.
The first full special minimum PIA in 1973 was $170 per month. Beginning in 1979, its value has increased with price growth and is $886 per month in 2020. The number of beneficiaries receiving the special minimum PIA has declined from about 200,000 in the early 1990s to about 32,100 in 2019.
Although to some degree it might seem as if billionaires and millionaires in the U.S. shouldn't be collecting Social Security, the truth is there is no law against it, and mathematically it makes sense. Social Security isn't simply a welfare program, with money handed out to anyone who asks.
As we stated earlier, research by the Federal Reserve found that the median retirement account balance in the U.S. – looking only at those who have retirement accounts – was just $65,000 in 2019 (the survey is conducted every three years). The conditional mean balance was $255,200.
Retirement experts have offered various rules of thumb about how much you need to save: somewhere near $1 million, 80% to 90% of your annual pre-retirement income, 12 times your pre-retirement salary.
Can you retire on $500K plus Social Security? It's possible. But it'll require you to optimize your budget, investment returns, Social Security retirement benefits, and also coordinate a retirement income spending plan that minimizes taxes.
The short answer is yes. Retirees who begin collecting Social Security at 62 instead of at the full retirement age (67 for those born in 1960 or later) can expect their monthly benefits to be 30% lower. So, delaying claiming until 67 will result in a larger monthly check.
At age 65: $2,993. At age 66: $3,240. At age 70: $4,194.
Social Security benefits are based on the earnings on which people pay Social Security payroll taxes. The higher their earnings (up to a maximum taxable amount, $147,000 in 2022), the higher their benefit.
If you're receiving Social Security retirement benefits and you're the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, the payout would be considered unearned income; therefore, it wouldn't impact your retirement benefit at all. You would continue to receive your Social Security benefit in the same amount.
According to the 2022 annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees, the surplus in the trust funds that disburse retirement, disability and other Social Security benefits will be depleted by 2035. That's one year later than the trustees projected in their 2021 report.
The good news is that you can have a bank account and be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements. The Social Security Administration does not limit the number or value of resources or assets you may own.
The only people who can legally collect benefits without paying into Social Security are family members of workers who have done so. Nonworking spouses, ex-spouses, offspring or parents may be eligible for spousal, survivor or children's benefits based on the qualifying worker's earnings record.
If you do not have 35 years of earnings by the time you apply for retirement benefits, your benefit amount will be lower than it would be if you worked 35 years. Years without work count as zeroes in the benefit calculation. Learn more at www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/Benefits.html.
That adds up to $2,096.48 as a monthly benefit if you retire at full retirement age. Put another way, Social Security will replace about 42% of your past $60,000 salary. That's a lot better than the roughly 26% figure for those making $120,000 per year.
You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But, if you're younger than full retirement age, and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced.
For every year that you delay claiming past full retirement age, your monthly benefits will get an 8% “bonus.” That amounts to a whopping 24% if you wait to file until age 70.