Here’s how to get your $4,873 Social Security check in July

Amelia Ross
6 Min Read

Receiving a monthly Social Security check after years of hard work can bring peace of mind for many seniors. However, it’s not just about how much money you get; it’s also about ensuring that amount covers your living expenses and keeps up with rising inflation. Planning for retirement and understanding Social Security’s requirements are crucial steps to maximizing your benefits. Here, we’ll guide you on how to secure the maximum Social Security payment of up to $4,873 per month in 2024.

Understanding Social Security and Retirement Planning

Having organized finances is essential for a stress-free retirement. A solid financial plan helps ensure you can live the retirement you want. Social Security plays a significant role in this plan. The maximum monthly Social Security benefit in 2024 is around $4,873, but most people won’t receive the full benefit.

Social Security determines your monthly payment by taking a percentage of your average earnings over the 35 years you had your highest earnings. However, not all earnings are included. Each year, only income up to a certain amount—known as the earnings base limit—is taxable and included in the computation. For 2023, this wage base limit was $160,200.

Steps to Maximize Your Social Security Benefit

To receive the maximum Social Security check of $4,873 in 2024, your average income over the highest-earning 35 years must meet or exceed the wage base limit for each of those years. For instance, if 2023 is one of these 35 years, you must have earned at least $160,200. This limit adjusts annually for inflation, so your earnings must meet the inflation-adjusted equivalent for at least 35 years to qualify.

Full Retirement Age (FRA) and Claiming Strategies

Your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is pivotal in determining your monthly benefit. You can claim benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Early claiming results in reduced benefits. For example, if your FRA is 67 and you start benefits at 62, your benefits will be reduced by 30%.

Conversely, if you delay benefits past your FRA, they will increase by 8% annually until you reach 70. After 70, benefits stop growing. Therefore, to get the maximum Social Security check, you must wait until age 70 and meet the income requirements. The highest payout would be $3,627 if you begin receiving benefits at your FRA and meet the income criteria. If you start at 62, the maximum payout drops to $2,572.

Calculating Your Social Security Check

To determine your expected Social Security benefits, review your earnings history. You can do this by logging on to the Social Security website, where you will find a record of your yearly earnings and estimated monthly benefits based on different claiming ages (early, at FRA, or late).

Keep in mind, the estimated benefit for most people is significantly less than the maximum of $4,873, as only 6% of people earn more than the wage base each year, and only 20% earn more than the wage base limit in at least one year. If you’re not eligible for the full benefit, use this as an opportunity to highlight the importance of saving and investing wisely, as Social Security should be a supplement to your retirement income.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the maximum Social Security benefit in 2024?

The maximum monthly Social Security benefit in 2024 is approximately $4,873.

2. How is my Social Security benefit calculated?

Social Security calculates your benefit based on a percentage of your average earnings over the 35 years you earned the most, considering only income up to the annual wage base limit.

3. What is the wage base limit for Social Security in 2023?

In 2023, the wage base limit for Social Security was $160,200.

4. At what age can I start claiming Social Security benefits?

You can start claiming Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or delay until age 70 for higher benefits.

5. How can I check my expected Social Security benefits?

You can check your expected Social Security benefits by logging into the Social Security website and reviewing your earnings history and benefit estimates.

Planning for retirement involves understanding how Social Security will impact your finances. By maximizing your taxable earnings, strategically planning when to claim benefits, and maintaining a comprehensive financial plan, you can work towards receiving the highest possible Social Security check. Remember, Social Security is meant to supplement your retirement savings, so continue to prioritize saving and investing for a secure future.

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