The Elusive Maximum Social Security Benefit - Investopedia

There is a defined “maximum Social Security benefit” which is established by the Social Security Administration every year, but for most applicants that maximum benefit is theoretical rather than practicable. That’s because in order to achieve the maximum possible Social Security benefit available you would need to have earned at least as much as the annual payroll tax cap each year for over at least 35 years of your lifetime, and you would need to wait until 70 years of age to claim your Social Security benefits. Precious few of us are able to meet those criteria. And although the maximum Social Security benefit for 2022 is $4,194, the average 2022 Social Security benefit is about $1,545, far short of the maximum possible and also short of the maximum available at full retirement age for most Americans. The reality is that your personal Social Security benefit amount will be based on your average lifetime earnings record and the age at which you claim benefits, as explained in this Investopedia article by Wendy Connett. The article offers even more detail, describing how benefits are calculated, how to determine your full retirement age, and how to get your personal maximum amount. Click here to read more.

Also, if you’re unsure about how these basics apply to you, or if you have any questions about your individual situation under Social Security, note that the AMAC Foundation provides a free-to-the-public service to help Americans navigate the complexities of this program. Learn more about it here…

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