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Social Security: How much in benefits can I collect?

As the pandemic continues on, many people are financially struggling. This has seniors who may now be eligible for retirement wondering how much they can get in Social Security.

social security card with cash representing social security benefits during retirement

People have benefitted from stimulus checks, while struggling to make ends meet, and some states have even helped their residents with stimulus programs.

If you’re a senior and eligible to retire, is it worth it in the current economic climate?


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How much can I make in Social Security?

The maximum amount that you can get depends on many factors.

The age you start claiming benefits has a major influence.

In 2022 the most a person can collect if they retire at their full age of 66 is $3,240.

If a person waits until age 70 in 2022, the max they could make is $4,194.

The higher the amount, the more you earned during your 35 working years. Many who get the maximum were earning 6 figures during those years.


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How to qualify for Social Security benefits

If you want to get benefits, you need to have earned 40 credits total and worked for at least 10 years.

To get the maximum benefits, you must work the full 35 years earning the maximum taxable income.

For 2021 that number was $142,800.

In 2022, the amount you must earn for maximum benefits is $147,000.

Your figure is determined by averaging your highest 35 working years, with inflation over those years taken into account.

If you worked for less than 35 years, the amount of $0 is averaged into your potential benefit which will bring it down.

The age you retire will determine if you get partial, full, or extra benefits.


Social Security: Working past age 62

You can retire by the age of 62, but you run the risk of seeing up to 30% less per check permanently.

If you retire at your full retirement age, which is 66 or 67 depending on what year you were born, you’ll see 100% of your benefits.

By delaying your claim and waiting until age 70, the longest you can wait before it stops growing, you’ll see an 8% increase for each year you delayed.

Deciding on whether you want to collect benefits is a decision you can only make for yourself.

While you may get the most money by waiting until age 70, if you aren’t in good health it may make sense to retire earlier.

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