It was $1,628.17 per month in September 2022, according to the most recent data available from the SSA. If you are working, there is a limit on the amount of your earnings that is taxed by Social Security. This amount is known as the “maximum taxable earnings” and changes each year.

The number of retired workers is projected to double in about 50 years. As a result, the Trustees project that the ratio of 2.8 workers paying Social Security taxes to each person collecting benefits in 2021 will fall to 2.3 to 1 in 2038. However, the Trustees also project that redemption of trust fund assets will be sufficient to allow for full payment of scheduled benefits until 2035. The average age of disabled-worker beneficiaries in current-payment status declined between 1960, when DI benefits first became available to persons younger than age 50, and 2021.

Spouses, children, and parents receive a smaller proportion of the worker’s PIA than do widow(er)s. The annualized rate of increase over the period from 1980 to 2020 is 1.9% for retired workers and 1.1% for disabled workers. The annual number of awards to retired workers rose from 1.6 million in 1980 to 3.4 million in 2020, while for disabled workers it increased from 397,000 in 1980 to 620,000 in 2020. Social Security benefits are based upon how many years you work, the amount of money subject to payroll taxes you earned over your career, and when you first start receiving benefits. A recent survey conducted by asset management company Schroders found that only 10% of Americans who haven’t retired yet plan to wait until age 70 to collect Social Security benefits. This number is similar to the percentage of retirees last year who waited until age 70 or later to receive retirement benefits.

Recipients, by Sex and Age, December 2020

If you want to claim Social Security at 62 instead, which is the earliest allowable age, the maximum Social Security benefit drops to $2,324. If you retire any time between age 62 and age 70, your benefit amount will be adjusted accordingly between these two extremes. Of this total, 4.6 million were between the ages of 18 and 64, 2.3 million were aged 65 or older, and 1.1 million were under age 18. Social Security is designed to replace a portion of your pre-retirement income.

More than four-fifths of all OASDI beneficiaries in current-payment status were aged 62 or older, including 25% aged 75–84 and 9% aged 85 or older. About 11% were persons aged 18–61 receiving benefits as disabled workers, survivors, or dependents. Social Security taxes phase out once you reach the maximum wage base for a given year.

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A total of 7.7 million persons received federally administered SSI payments. States have the option of supplementing the federal benefit rate and are required to do so if that rate is less than the income the recipient would have had under the former state program. Of all adults receiving monthly Social Security benefits, 45% were men and 55% were women. Eighty-four percent of the men and 71% of the women received retired-worker benefits. Most workers can’t earn at those levels for 35 years, so you may have to temper your expectations a bit when it comes to your Social Security payout.

Social Security earnings test

In addition to near-record inflation, Americans are also struggling with major debt. Household debt rose to $16.15 trillion in the second quarter of 2022, according to The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Credit card balances alone increased by $46 billion to a total of nearly $1 trillion, marking the largest spike in more than 20 years. Nevertheless, there are strategies you can use to make sure you get the biggest benefit possible even if you don’t qualify for the maximum Social Security amount.

Should you use home equity to delay collecting Social Security?

Keep in mind that the benefits you’ve withheld for exceeding the earnings test limits aren’t lost on a permanent basis. Rather, they’ll be added back into your monthly benefit once you reach FRA. The hit in benefits you’ll face for filing for Social Security before FRA will remain in effect on a permanent basis since that reduction applies regardless of whether you work.

Awards to retired workers increased considerably over the past four decades, at a higher rate than that by which awards to disabled workers increased. The annualized rate of increase over the period from 1981 to 2021 is 1.8% for retired workers and 1.1% for disabled workers. The annual number of awards to retired workers rose from 1.6 million in 1981 to 3.2 million in 2021, while for disabled workers it increased from 352,000 in 1981 to 540,000 in 2021.

Here are five important ways Social Security will be different in 2024. The spouse of someone earning the maximum monthly benefit would also be
eligible to earn a spousal benefit on the same record of as much as half of
the primary earner’s benefit. The social security calculator will allow you to see the benefit
at any starting age, for any earnings record. About 70 million people received a payment from one or more programs administered by SSA. Most (62.3 million) received OASDI benefits only, 5.1 million received SSI only, and 2.6 million received payments from both programs. Although the computation of your Social Security benefit can be complicated, the basic principles underlying it are simple.

If your spouse qualifies for their own Social Security benefit, you can add your two payouts together and jointly earn more than the maximum for a single person. But even non-working spouses qualify for a spousal benefit of up to half of the higher-earning spouse’s payout if their own benefit is less. For example, if you qualify for the maximum Social Security payout of $3,895 and your spouse’s benefit based on their own work record is just $1,200, they’ll earn more claiming the 50% spousal benefit. If you pass away, that spousal benefit will convert into a survivor’s benefit equal to 100% of your own payout, or $3,895 (indexed for inflation).