We think of retirement as a time of freedom and relaxation, but it’s filled with just as many financial concerns as working life. Fortunately, retirees can usually count upon Social Security to help them out with their expenses, but not everyone gets the same amount.
A few lucky people could get $1 million or more from the program, but most people will have to settle for less. Below, we’ll look at what it takes to earn a seven-figure Social Security benefit and how to estimate what you’ll get.
Is it possible to get $1 million from Social Security?
Social Security doesn’t hand out $1 million checks, not even to the wealthiest Americans. But it’s possible to get $1 million or more over your lifetime from the program. However, very few will achieve this.
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The largest monthly Social Security benefit available in 2022 is $4,194. In order to get this, you must have earned at least $147,000 in 2022 dollars for at least 35 years. You must also delay Social Security until age 70, when you sign up for your largest possible benefit. Then, you’d have to live until at least 90 to get $1 million out of the program, not including any increases in future years. That’s a tall order for most people.
Those with benefits close to the maximum who live longer than 90 might also pass the million-dollar mark, but most people will have to content themselves with far less. If you qualify for the average $1,665 monthly Social Security benefit at 62 and claim until 85, you’d get $459,540 overall, not including any increases in future years. That’s still a large sum, but it’s probably not enough to cover all your retirement costs.
How much will I get from Social Security?
There’s no way to predict exactly how much you’ll get from Social Security because there are factors in play, like your life expectancy, that no one can know for certain. But you can get a good estimate.
First, create a my Social Security account if you don’t have one already. Here, you’ll find information on all the money you’ve paid Social Security taxes on over the years, as well as your estimated monthly benefit. If you anticipate an income change, like a raise, in the future, you can see how this will affect your benefit as well.
Note that the age you claim Social Security will also affect the size of your checks. You can claim as early as 62, but you must wait until your full retirement age (FRA) if you want the full …….