Social Security Maximum Benefit in the US, $3,345 monthly payment in 2022

Social Security Maximum Benefit in the US, $3,345 monthly payment in 2022. What Is the Maximum Possible Social Security Benefit in 2022? Here’s what you need to do to get Social Security payments for $3,500 per month or more.

The average monthly Social Security payment for retirees was $1,564 in November 2021. But many retirees receive over $3,000 per month from the Social Security Administration, and payments could be as much as $4,194 in 2022.

Once their work phase is over, the benefits a person will receive will be calculated based on their earnings throughout their productive years and the Social Security taxes paid. In other words, the higher the income, the higher the benefits.

Who is eligible for the maximum benefit? People whose earnings equaled or exceeded Social Security’s maximum taxable income — the number of your earnings on which you pay Social Security taxes — for at least 35 years of their working lives. The maximum taxable income in 2022 is $147,000.

The maximum possible Social Security benefit in 2022 depends on the age you begin to collect payments and is:

  • $2,364 at age 62.
  • $3,345 at age 66 and 4 months.
  • $4,194 at age 70.

How to qualify for the maximum possible Social Security payment

Qualifying for payments worth $3,000 or more requires some serious career planning throughout your life. Here’s what you need to do to qualify for the maximum possible Social Security payment.

Start Social Security Payments at Age 70

The maximum Social Security benefit changes based on the age you start your benefit. Those who postpone claiming Social Security between ages 62 and 70 become eligible for higher payments with each month of delay.

A person who claims payments at age 62 in 2022 has a smaller maximum possible benefit of $2,364 monthly. Only those who delay claiming past full retirement age are eligible for Social Security payments of significantly more than $3,500 per month. A high earner who enrolls at age 70 could get a maximum Social Security benefit of $4,194 each month.

Consistently Earn a High Salary

You will need to maintain a high income throughout your career to qualify for large Social Security payments in retirement. 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. Back in 2000, the taxable maximum was just $76,200. Only $39,600 was taxed by Social Security in 1985.

Workers pay 6.2% of their earnings into the Social Security system, and employers match this amount until their salary exceeds the taxable maximum amount of income for that year. Those who have salaries larger than the taxable maximum do not pay Social Security taxes on that income or have those earnings factored into their future Social Security payments.

Earn the Social Security Taxable Maximum for 35 Years

You need to earn at least the taxable maximum each year for 35 years to get the maximum possible Social Security payment. If you don’t work for 35 years, zeros are averaged into your calculation and will decrease your Social Security payments.

If you work for more than 35 years, a higher-earning year will replace a year when you earned less in the Social Security calculation. You can increase your Social Security payments even after you retire if you earn more now than you did earlier in your career.

The Maximum Social Security Family Benefit

Certain family members may be able to receive additional payments based on your work record. For example, a spouse qualifies for spousal payments worth up to 50% of the higher earner’s benefit at full retirement age, if that is worth more than the payment based on his or her own work record. So, if one spouse has a Social Security payment of $3,345 per month at full retirement age, the other spouse might qualify for a spousal payment of up to $1,672.50 monthly. And after you pass away, your spouse could receive a survivor’s payment of the full $3,345 per month, which would also be adjusted annually for inflation.

The key to receiving higher benefits

The most important factor that influences whether a person receives a higher amount of benefits is directly related to the age at which he or she applies for them.

This year, the average retirement benefit is $1,657 per month, but there are cases in which some people receive the highest benefit, $3,345 per month.

The key to receiving such support is to reach full retirement age, which is 66 years and 4 months for people born in 1956. Then, one will be able to receive 100% of the benefits calculated from the lifetime income.

However, the average age is gradually increasing and could reach 67 years for those born after 1960.

It is noteworthy that the exact amount to be received in retirement can only be known until the application for the benefit is initiated. However, there are ways to calculate an average amount.

Options for calculating benefits

The quickest and easiest way is to use AARP’s Social Security Benefits Calculator or check your “My Social Security account online”, which provides information from Social Security about a person’s earnings history.

With regard to the AARP calculator, you will have to provide information about your average annual income.

Both tools project the amount you will receive in retirement starting at age 62 since this is the earliest age at which you can apply for retirement.

The only certainty is that Social Security rewards people who reach full retirement age and those who wait until they reach 70 with higher benefits.

A third option for calculating retirement benefits, although less accurate, is to call the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

It should be noted that this year Social Security sets a limit of $147,000 on how much income it considers in calculating retirement benefits. If you exceed that income, it is not counted in the calculation of your benefits and you are not subject to Social Security taxes.

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