One of the most common misconceptions about Social Security is that all retirees receive the same monthly benefit. When it comes to benefits, there is a wide range of income that you may be eligible for.
A $4,194-a-month benefit will be available in 2022. However, one thing needs to be clarified: the average monthly Social Security check for seniors isn’t that large. In fact, the average monthly benefit is thousands of dollars less than previously thought.
The $4,194 benefit isn’t out of reach, but it isn’t the only way to get there. Here’s how to get your hands on it.
1. Put in 35 years in the workforce — or more
For your Social Security benefit in retirement, your 35 most profitable years of work will be taken into account. Furthermore, the maximum benefit can be written off if you do not work for 35 years or more. The reason for this is that if you don’t have any income for 35 of those years, you’ll have a $0 factored into your personal benefits calculation.
2. Earn a lot of money
Those with higher incomes are exempt from paying Social Security taxes on a portion of their earnings. As an alternative, the amount of taxable income that can be used to fund the program is limited by a yearly wage cap.
The wage ceiling for 2018 is $147,000, which means that income earned above this amount is not subject to taxation. However, because of this, earnings above $147,000 are also excluded from calculating Social Security benefits. For the maximum monthly benefit, you’ll need 35 years of earnings during which your wages meet or exceed the wage ceiling.
3. Wait until age 70 to claim Social Security
In order to receive the full monthly benefit that is based on the amount of money you’ve earned over the years, you must reach full retirement age (FRA), which is defined by the year in which you were born. Delayed retirement credits increase your benefit by 8% for every year you delay filing past FRA, up to age 70.
Wait until you’re 70 if you want the maximum benefit from Social Security. While that may not be a problem if you intend to work until then or have a substantial amount of savings to draw on, this option isn’t available to everyone and isn’t always feasible.
What if you can’t snag the maximum benefit?
As previously stated, claiming the maximum amount of Social Security benefits is extremely difficult for the average elderly person to accomplish. But instead of worrying about it, focus on getting the most out of your Social Security benefits.
Working hard to improve your job skills could be one way of ensuring that you are eligible for a promotion and the accompanying raises. The more money you make, the more benefits you’ll receive later on.
Check your Social Security earnings statement every year for mistakes. Your monthly benefit may be reduced if your earnings aren’t properly reported for a year, but staying on top of your paperwork can help you avoid this.
Allow yourself plenty of extra time to prepare your paperwork before filing your case. It’s possible you won’t be able to sign up until 70, but if your FRA is 67, waiting until 68 will give you a nice bump in benefits.
Having a monthly Social Security benefit of $4,194 is clearly a wonderful thing. If your benefit is lower, don’t assume that your retirement is doomed. If you work hard to build a substantial nest egg to supplement your Social Security Income, you may be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlook
When it comes to saving for your retirement, most Americans are a few years (or more) behind the curve. A handful of “Social Security secrets” can help ensure a higher retirement income. For instance, a simple trick could pay you an additional $16,728 per year! Retirement can be a worry-free experience if you know how to get the most out of your Social Security benefits. Learn more about these strategies by clicking here.