The United States **Social Security system** works on a proportional basis. This means that the more money we contribute as workers, the higher our retirement benefit will be. Thus, knowing an estimate of our future **Social Security** benefit can be easy. But keep in mind that it is only an approximation. We won’t know the final result until we finally retire and start receiving monthly checks.

Thus, it is possible to get a **good credit score** while we are collecting the retirement benefit. We just need to know a few facts to see the approximation. In this case, we are talking about $20,000 a year, which means that our benefit may not be the highest, but **Social Security** can pay us enough to live on.

## Social Security collecting $20,000 a year

One very important element to consider is that **Social Security** does not calculate your benefit based on the money you are making now. The overall calculation is made on the money earned during the 35 highest paid years. This means that if you are working on a salary of $20,000 per year, averaging is fairly easy to do.

But it is always advisable to get a higher salary. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the 35 years at a high salary, but you should at least have a few years this way. Any increase in salary increases the final benefit considerably. Therefore, it is not advisable to always receive the same amount. However, it is mandatory to work at least 10 years with a salary that has been paid.

## The formula for calculating the SSA benefit

If we take into account the amount we have discussed, **$20,000 per month**, the average income (AIME) would be approximately $1,677 per month. For someone retiring in 2017, the SSA takes 90% of the first $885. Then the SSA adds 32% of earnings that are between $885 and $5,336.

In the case of having the AIME of $1,677, your benefit would be calculated with $770.40 (90% of the first $856) plus $259.52 (32% of the remaining). In this case, we only need to add both figures together to have the final result: **$770.40+$259.52=$1,029.92**. The benefit, therefore, would be $1030, although the appropriate taxes would have to be deducted from this.

To increase the monthly** Social Security**, it is recommended to work for at least 35 years with a good salary and apply for retirement at age 67. If we do it earlier, we run the risk of not having enough money for our monthly expenses.