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Social Security: How to get the max $4,194 benefit

In 2022, the most a person can receive in Social Security benefits each month is $4,194.

social security cards with cash representing social security benefits

This is a little over $50,000 per year and is more than enough to keep a married couple over the poverty line.

This alone has people striving to make the most they can during their retirement years, but to do that action needs to be taken earlier in life.

What a person gets depends on themselves, their lives, and their own circumstances.

Factors like your wages throughout life, what age you retire, and when you made money all impact what you’ll end up with.

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Here are actions to take now for a maximum Social Security benefit later in life

Max out your taxable wages up to the limit

Your income is subject to Social Security tax up to a certain point.

In 2021 that amount was $142,800 and in 2022 it’s $147,000.

You will owe 12.4% of your salary up to the maximum taxed.

As an employee working for an employer, you only pay half of that.

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Make the most you can over a 35 year span

The higher your wage is for each year, the higher your benefit will be.

The average of your 35 highest working years is taken, and if there are any 0s it will dramatically drop your average when it’s taken into account.

If you can max out your wages each year then you can get the maximum benefit.

Very few recipients are eligible for the maximum, and were higher wage earners throughout their lives.

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Wait until you’re 70 to claim benefits if possible

The age you claim your benefits plays a large role in how much you’re going to take home.

If you retire as soon as possible at age 62, you risk losing as much as 30% of your benefit for the rest of your life.

Age 66-67 is full retirement age, and you’ll get the benefits you’re fully entitled to.

If you wait until 70 though, you will see an increase for each year you waited past your full retirement age.

While trying to get the maximum is a great goal to strive for, keep in mind that very few individuals will actually get that amount.

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