How Much Social Security Will I Get In 2024?

Updated:

Most retirement calculators don’t factor in your Social Security benefits, which can make budgeting for retirement harder. According to the most recent data, the average monthly Social Security check in December 2023 was just over $1,767, but that amount will differ based on the type of recipient.

The program can be a nice cushion during retirement, but it’s worth calculating how much Social Security you will get—or at least, estimate your monthly payouts—so you can plan appropriately. By understanding the factors that influence your benefit amount, it’s easier to create, and stick to, a full retirement plan that meets your needs.

How Much Social Security Can I Get During Retirement?

Your Social Security benefit payment is based on a sliding scale that accounts for your income, how many years you worked, and what age you want to start receiving your benefits. To determine how much Social Security you can get, create an account on the Social Security website. With an account, you can estimate your benefits in one of two ways.

  1. Use the Social Security Quick Calculator, which will provide a rough benefits estimate in today’s dollars as well as inflation-adjusted dollars.
  2. Download your Social Security Statement, which details your career earnings and progress toward eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits and Medicare.

The Social Security Administration also offers several other planning tools, such as a calculator to find your full retirement age, an age-based benefit adjuster, and a formula to determine the impact on a spouse’s benefits if you retire early or later.

Social Security Benefits by the Numbers: 2024

The Social Security Administration hasn’t released the January 2024 numbers yet, but according to the most recent data, the average social security benefit for retired workers is $1,905.31. This number will vary based on the type of recipient, but averages like these can help you estimate your monthly checks and plan for the future.

Retired workers$1,905.31
Aged couple, both receiving benefits$2,817.34
Aged widow(er)$1,774.33
Widowed mother, two children$3,485.60
Disabled worker, spouse and one or more children$2,449.19
All disabled workers$1,537.13
Average Monthly Benefits: 2023 Final Numbers

Source: Social Security Administration, December 2023

The Administration, however, has released some 2024 data. The maximum Social Security benefit in 2024 is $3,822, which you can get if you wait until full retirement age. If you retire at age 62 in 2024, your maximum benefit decreases to $2,710. If you retire at age 70 in 2024, your maximum benefit increases to $4,873. However, most people will not meet or exceed Social Security’s annual maximum earnings ($168,600 in 2024 for at least 35 years of work) to qualify for this benefit. 

There is also a minimum Social Security benefit amount called the Special Minimum Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), but it only applies to a minimal number of retirees who worked at least 11 years with a small income each of those years.

The Social Security Benefits Formula

You may be wondering, “how is my Social Security calculated?” There are several calculations the SSA uses to determine your benefits—and they get a bit complicated. The government will assess factors like inflation-adjusted average earnings (AIME) and primary insurance amount (PIA) to compute your benefits down to the cent. If you’d like to get a more specific number than what’s noted on your statements, use this example to learn how to calculate your Social Security:

Your AIME considers your 35 highest-paid working years, adjusted for inflation, divided by 420 (12 months x 35 years).

Your PIA is broken down into bend points. For 2024, the bend points are:

  • 90% of the first $1,174 of your AIME, plus
  • 32% of your AIME between $1,115 and $7,708, plus
  • 15% of your AIME over $7,708

For example, if your AIME is $8,000, you would complete the following calculations:

  • 90% of $1,174 = $1,056.60, plus
  • 32% of $6,534 ( $7,708 – $1,174) = $2,090.88
  • 15% of $292 ($8,000 – $7,708) = $43.80

With these figures, your monthly Social Security benefit would be: $1,056.60 + $2,090.88 + $43.80 = $3,191.38

How Much More Will I Get if I Retire Later? Or Earlier?

Perhaps the most significant factor in determining your monthly Social Security benefits each month is the age you retire and start collecting benefits. What you receive when you start taking payments is what you’ll receive for the rest of your life, so it’s an important consideration.

You can start receiving benefits as early as 62, the current early retirement age, but you’ll receive a lower amount—about 75% less, give or take. If you wait until full retirement age, which depends on the year you were born, you’ll receive the whole monthly amount. You might also consider leveraging delayed retirement credits to boost your benefits by 30% or more. You can accrue these credits up to age 70.

The age at which you retire is an individualized decision. Consider your health and financial needs. You can also chat with a financial advisor to help formulate a plan.

Learn more: The Latest Social Security Statistics

Other Factors That Affect Social Security Benefit Amount

Cost of Living Increases (COLA): Each year, the SSA announces cost of living adjustments (COLA) to help offset inflation. The 2024 COLA is 3.2%. Your benefits will increase with the COLA starting at age 62, regardless of when you claim your benefits. 

Income history: The higher your income, the higher benefit you’ll get. The Administration uses 35 years of earnings to calculate your benefits. If you haven’t worked for 35 years, your non-earning years will count as zero.  

Available pensions: If you received a pension from a government job but did not pay Social Security taxes during employment, your benefit amount will be reduced. For example, this might pertain to public school employees or those employed by foreign companies.

“Nobody likes surprises at retirement time. If you worked for a city, state, or federal employer and are a candidate for a pension, make sure you understand how the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset provisions might decrease your benefit amount,” Christopher Hensley, retirement planning professional and founder of Houston First Financial Group advises.

Social Security taxes: Up to 50% of Social Security income is taxable if you have a total gross income, including Social Security, of at least $25,000 or $32,00 for couples filing jointly. Up to 85% of benefits are taxable if your combined gross is at least $34,000 or $44,000 for a couple filing jointly. The IRS has a handy worksheet you can use to calculate your total income taxes if you receive Social Security benefits.

Can I Still Get Social Security If I Work During Retirement?

If you’re earning income while also drawing Social Security, your benefits will be affected if you surpass the yearly earnings limit—but only if you take early Social Security payments.

  • For those under their full retirement year: $1 is deducted from your payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit. For 2024, that limit is $22,320. So, if you earn $25,000 a year ($2,680 over the limit), your benefits will be reduced by $1,340.
  • For those in their full retirement year: $1 is deducted from your payments for $3 earned above the annual limit. For 2024, that limit is $59,520. This only applies to earnings before the month you reach full retirement age.

Once you reach your full retirement age, your Social Security benefits are not affected by how much you earn. This cap does not apply to investments, pensions, annuities, or capital gains.

Read more: How Much You’ll Need to Save to Make Retirement Last in Every State

Bottom Line: Think of Social Security as Part of Your Overall Retirement

Regardless of your estimated Social Security check, the benefits should not be your only source of income in retirement. You can create a more comprehensive and secure retirement plan by incorporating a 401(k) or IRA investments along with your Social Security.

Advertising Disclosure

We may earn money from our partners when you click a link, complete a form or call a phone number.

We believe everyone deserves to make thoughtful, informed purchase decisions. As a result, we provide our buyers guides and local guides free for consumers. We may receive compensation from our partners. However, Retirement Living independently researches companies, and the compensation we receive does not affect the analysis of our staff. Retirement Living will not include companies on our guides that do not meet our quality standards. The compensation we receive from our partners may impact how and where companies appear on our site, including the order in which they appear. As an Amazon Associate Retirement Living earns from qualifying purchases.

Retirement Living independently researches companies, and we use editorial discretion to award companies with special recognition (i.e. Great Value) based on our staff’s judgment. We do this to help you identify companies that will meet your specific buying needs, and we do not receive compensation for these designations.

Get Insider Access

Get special offers, advice and tips from Retirement Living delivered to your inbox.

Get Insider Access

Get special offers, advice and tips from Retirement Living delivered to your inbox.