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The Elusive Maximum Social Security Benefit - Motley Fool

Yes, there is a maximum Social Security retirement benefit, but don’t interpret that to mean that you can actually earn a higher benefit than you will be paid – you can’t. The so-called maximum Social Security benefit, which for 2022 is $4,194, is a largely theoretical number achievable only by someone who earns more than the payroll FICA (or self-employment) tax cap every year for at least 35 years, and then waits until age 70 to claim Social Security. That’s a pretty tall order for most Americans who, on average, see a monthly Social Security payment of about $1,537 this year. Why the discrepancy? Largely because of how Social Security benefits are computed – based on your average earnings over 35 years, and the age at which you claim benefits relative to your full retirement age (FRA). Claim before your FRA your benefit amount is reduced; claim after your FRA (up to age 70) and your monthly payment is higher. This Motley Fool article by Christy Bieber tells everything you need to know about the “maximum Social Security benefit” and how your payment amount will be different depending on how old you are when you claim. Click here to read more.

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