Sunday, 10 December 2023

Want the Max $4,873 Social Security Monthly Benefit in 2024? 3 Things to Do ASAP.

by Earn Media

A very small number of retirees will begin taking home $4,873 each month from Social Security in 2024. Those retirees will be getting the largest checks that the program offers, after or near the end of their long and fruitful careers.

If you want the max $4,873 Social Security benefit in 2024, it’s virtually impossible unless you’ve spent the last few decades striving to reach that target. There are three things you need to do to make it a reality, and none of them are easy. You must:

  • Have at least 35 years of earnings covered by the Social Security system.
  • Earn at least the covered maximum for each of those 35 years.
  • Turn 70 in 2024, and start collecting your benefit at that age.

Unless all three of those things are true, you simply won’t get that maximum benefit in 2024.

Want the Max ,873 Social Security Monthly Benefit in 2024? 3 Things to Do ASAP.

Image source: Getty Images

If that’s not happening, why even bother?

While it may seem crazy to talk about that maximum if you’re nowhere near meeting those three objectives, you can still benefit from understanding how they impact your benefit. As long as you are under age 70 and have not yet started collecting, you can probably put at least one of them to work to help boost your benefit.

From the 35-years perspective, Social Security uses your highest 35 years of Average Indexed Monthly Earnings to determine your benefit amount.In essence, the program looks at how much you earned from a covered job, compares that to the maximum covered earnings for the year, and scales that amount to account for wage changes over time.

If you have less than 35 years of earnings, you’ll get $0 records for those missing years. If you have more than 35 years of earnings, your higher earning years will override your lower earning ones, adjusted for that indexing calculation.

From a covered maximum perspective, each year only a certain amount of your earnings from work actually get covered by Social Security. For 2024, that limit will be $168,600.If you earn more than that from your job, only the first $168,600 will face Social Security taxes and count toward your indexed earnings. If you earn less than that, don’t fret — every dollar up to the limit will go into your ultimate Social Security benefit calculation.

From an age perspective, you can start claiming your retirement benefit at any time starting at age 62. Between age 62 and age 70, the longer you wait to begin collecting, the larger your monthly benefit check will be. If you wait past 70, you no longer get a bigger benefit by waiting, so once you reach that age, it certainly makes sense to collect, even if you’re still working.

Get started now

Unless you’re turning 70 in 2024 and have already maxed out your Social Security earnings for 35 years, you won’t be getting that maximum $4,873 benefit. Still, it’s important to recognize that the adjustments you can make to get closer to that limit require years of activity to make a real difference.

The sooner you get started making plans and taking actions to get closer to those limits, the more of those years you can count toward your own personal Social Security benefit. With enough time and effort on your side, even if you don’t quite ever reach that maximum benefit level, you can at least retire knowing that you did what you could to get close.

So get started now, and get as much time as you can toward reaching that goal.

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Chuck Saletta has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.