Here's the Maximum Social Security Benefit at Ages 62, 67, and 70

The age at which you begin claiming is one of the most important factors in maximizing your Social Security and will affect your monthly benefit for the rest of your life. Age 62 is the earliest you can file for retirement benefits, or you can delay claiming to earn larger checks each month. To receive 100% of the benefit you qualify for based on your earnings history, you'll need to wait until your full retirement age (FRA) -- which is 67 years old for everyone born in 1960 or later.

The right time to file will depend on several factors, but it can sometimes be helpful to see how much you might receive in benefits at various ages. Here's the maximum you can collect at ages 62, 67, and 70 -- as well as a few tips to help increase your payments.

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How to achieve the maximum benefit

The amount you'll receive from Social Security will depend on your earnings history, the length of your career, and the age at which you begin claiming. The Social Security Administration uses the 35 highest-earning years of your career to calculate your benefit. Your earnings are averaged, run through a complex formula, and adjusted for changes in cost of living. The result is the amount you'll receive by filing at your FRA.

To receive the maximum possible benefit, you'll need to work for at least 35 years and consistently reach the maximum taxable-earnings limit. This is the highest income subject to Social Security taxes, and in 2024, that cap is $168,600 per year.

Your age is perhaps the biggest factor influencing your benefit amount. At age 70, the maximum possible benefit is a whopping $4,873 per month. At age 67, it's $3,911 per month. And the most you can collect at age 62 is $2,710 per month.

Simple ways to boost your payments

The average benefit among all retired workers is around $1,915 per month, as of April 2024, so if you're not on track to reach the maximum payments, you're not alone. However, there are a few simple strategies for increasing the size of your checks.

Delaying benefits is one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to boost your payments, and waiting even one or two years to file could earn you hundreds of dollars more per month. In fact, if you have an FRA of 67 years old, claiming at that age will give you a 30% boost, compared to what you'd receive at age 62.

Working a few more years can also help increase your benefits -- even if you've already worked 35 years. Chances are your income is higher now than it was 35 years ago. Because the Social Security Administration only counts your highest-earning years, working more now will result in higher incomes being included in your earnings average.

Also, the closer you can get to the maximum taxable-earnings limit, the higher your benefit will be. Most workers won't be able to reach the $168,600 annual limit, and that's OK. But if you can increase your income even slightly, that will earn you larger payments each month.

Achieving the maximum Social Security benefit isn't easy, but with the right strategy, you can get as close as possible. While everyone's situation is different, maximizing your monthly benefit can help set you up for a more comfortable retirement.

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