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How Much Does a Social Security Check Typically Pay?

Triston Martin

Dec 31, 2023

The average Social Security check by the recipient, the potential growth of your statement over time, and the maximum benefit are shown here.

The Typical Social Security Benefit By Kind

While most people believe that Social Security is only for seniors, it benefits a wide range of people, including the disabled, the spouses and minor children of retirees, and the spouses and little children of workers who have passed away. Each group receives a significantly different amount.

The average retired worker gets $1,669.44 per month, nearly 8% more than Social Security pays all its beneficiaries. As of June 2022, the data are broken down by recipient.

June 2022, Social Security Administration

The three main beneficiary groups are retirement, survivor, and disability benefits. These categories' sums equal one hundred per cent. Each sub-category below identifies the top beneficiary of Social Security assistance.

As you can see, retirement payments account for most Social Security (77.2%) and are mostly paid to retired workers. Spouses and young children of retired workers receive the balance in this group; they typically receive a cheque for roughly $800 per month.

8.9% of Social Security benefits are survivor benefits. Non-disabled widows or widowers are the most significant subgroups, with average monthly payments of $1,562.09.

Disability insurance accounts for roughly 13.8 per cent of total Social Security benefits, with disabled workers receiving the highest average payout of $1,361.88.

Additionally, those advantages might not be taxable. On their benefit check, some Social Security recipients can legitimately dodge taxes.

Benefits increase as the cost of living changes.

Although the Social Security income is a significant sum, inflation would reduce its purchasing value if it remained the same for the following 30 years. Because of this, Social Security gradually raises benefit payments through a cost of living adjustment or COLA.

The Consumer Price Index, which gauges how much inflation has impacted consumer prices for goods and services, is the basis for this increase.

Typically, the COLA is only slightly increased, but due to more significant inflation in 2022, the increase will be 5.9%. The degree of adjustments that grantees have gotten during the last ten years is shown below.

National Insurance Administration

So, what would your overall check be if you started with a $1,000 benefit in 2012? In 2022, you would receive $1,203.38.

How much in monthly Social Security benefits is the maximum?

The total amount of Social Security benefits you could receive varies depending on your earnings throughout your working years. When you start receiving benefits, your COLA increase; naturally, your benefits will eventually rise if the COLA shows an increase.

These numbers presuppose that a worker has been continuously earning at the highest tax bracket since turning 22. The maximum taxable income for 2022 is $147,000, which typically increases yearly. Here is a guide to estimating your benefit payment.

Your check will be smaller if you take advantage of early retirement benefits than it would otherwise be at full retirement or even later. You can receive even more monthly money if you wait until 70 to file for benefits.

In reality, the most contentious aspect of the Social Security system is arguably when to start claiming benefits.

To be eligible for these benefits, you must pay Social Security taxes of 6.2 per cent of your salary, up to the maximum taxable income. If you work for yourself, you are responsible for paying the additional 6.2 per cent of your earnings that your employer contributes to the fund.

Justification for why you should supplement your Social Security benefits

First, Social Security was created to add to people's retirement savings. The National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) refers to retirement income as a "three-legged stool," which includes State Pensions, a government pension, and personal retirement investments through funds .

However, since the 1980s, a decreasing number of businesses have provided pension plans to their workers. The employee is now responsible for making retirement plans.

Most people also don't do well when saving money for the future; according to a 2020 NIRS study, 40% of Americans rely solely on Social Security for retirement income. A worker's average yearly Social Security income is close to $20,000, which is not enough for most retirees to live on.

Bottom Line

Social Security must be a part of your entire retirement plan rather than your sole source of income because the average Social Security payment was never intended to replace a retired worker's total revenue. It's critical to start saving and investing now, while time is still on your side if you have years before retirement.

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