Every citizen of the United States wants to get the biggest check that Social Security will allow. Having a good retirement with a few golden years of rest is the goal of most American citizens. To do this, understanding the Social Security system is key, as it will allow us to increase the amount we collect each month.
In order to fully understand how the retirement check works, we must look at the parameters that could increase it. If we know how the checks increase, we will be able to increase them in order to get a good monthly amount.
Even though the maximum Social Security check is $4,555 in the year 2023, reaching that figure is a tall order. But there is nothing to worry about, because in order to live our retirement well, it is not mandatory to get such a big check. An average check of around $1,600 should be enough.
How does the retirement check work?
The amount we receive in our Social Security check at retirement depends on three main factors. These three factors are as follows:
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- Retirement age.
- Years worked.
- Salary as a worker.
Regarding retirement age, a check for a person who retires at age 62 will be 30% less than a person who retires at age 67. This is because Early Retirement Age takes that percentage off the final Social Security payment. However, retiring at age 67 means having a Full Retirement Age, which means that we have 100% of the money we have contributed as a worker.
Regarding the years worked and the salary as a worker, we must understand that it is necessary to work for 35 years to get a good check in retirement. This is because Social Security calculates our benefit from the 35 years worked with the highest salary. The higher the salary, the better the benefit in the future.
At the end of the day, the Social Security check depends on the taxes we have paid while working. For that reason, the higher our paycheck, the more taxes we pay, which leads to a bigger check as a pensioner.
What can I do to increase my Social Security?
As you can see, there are three fundamental elements that influence the Social Security check. In order to increase it to the maximum, we need to work for 35 years with a good salary, in addition to applying for retirement at age 67.
Even then, this would not allow us to get the $4,555 check. In order to max out to that amount, it is mandatory to reach age 70 before starting to collect the Social Security retirement benefit.
In short, working as long as possible with a good salary is the key to having a good retirement with a sufficient check. Remember that working less than 35 years means that the check will see too big a reduction, so try to reach that number of years worked.