Many people would like to just live off of their Social Security benefits when it’s time to retire. Before doing that, it’s a good idea to know what to expect.
What you get each month is based on what you made during your working years. It also depends on how old you are when you finally decide to retire.
For 2022, the COLA increase has made the maximum benefit worth $4,194 and the average benefit $1,657.
Related: Everything you need to know about the COLA increase in Social Security coming in just over a month
How to know what you may collect in Social Security benefits
To estimate what you’ll collect, you need to know that the 35 years with the highest income is what’s counted for your social security.
If you did not work for at least 35 years, then the remaining number of years will count as $0. This means if you worked for 25 years, when taking the average the Social Security Administration will average in 10 years worth $0 each.
You can claim early, but the longer you wait, the bigger your payments will be.
If you were born in or after 1960 you can collect at your full retirement age to get full benefits at 67. For everyone else it’s age 66 and a number of months.
Every year past that that you delay filing, you’ll see your benefits grow by 8% until you hit age 70.
If you claim early at the age of 62, your payment will be reduced for the rest of your life that you collect.
If you average yearly salary was $25,000, and you claim at the earliest age of 62, you’ll collect $774 per month. If you claim at 67 you’ll collect $1,099 per month. Waiting until 70 will get you $1,363 per month.
On the other end of things, if you made up to $150,000 per year, you’d collect $2,148 per month at the earliest age of 62. At full retirement at age 67 you’ll collect $3,050 per month. Age 70 will bring in $3,782 per month.
To see for yourself, you can use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calculator.