What Is The Average Social Security Check? | Bankrate (2024)

Social Security offers a monthly benefit check to many kinds of recipients. As of December 2023, the average check is $1,767.03, according to the Social Security Administration – but that amount can differ drastically depending on the type of recipient. In fact, retirees typically make more than the overall average.

Here’s the average Social Security check by recipient, how much your check could grow over time as well as the maximum benefit.

Average Social Security check by type

While most people think of Social Security as a program just for retirees, it serves many other groups, including the disabled, spouses and minor children of retirees as well as the spouses and minor children of deceased workers.

The amount that each group receives differs substantially.

In fact, the average retired worker receives $1,905.31 each month – about 8 percent more than Social Security recipients as a whole. Here’s how the figures break down by recipient, as of December 2023.

Type of beneficiaryPercent of total payoutsAverage monthly benefit
Source: Social Security Administration, December 2023
All recipients100%$1,767.03
Retirement benefits78.6%$1,856.38
Retired workers74.8%$1,905.31
Survivor benefits8.7%$1,501.60
Nondisabled widow(er)s5.2%$1,774.33
Disability insurance12.7%$1,395.49
Disabled workers11.0%$1,537.13

The table shows the three major recipient categories: retirement benefits, survivor benefits and disability benefits. The totals from these categories approximate 100 percent. The sub-category below each shows the top recipient of Social Security aid for that category.

As you can see, retirement benefits make up the vast bulk of Social Security – 78.6 percent – with most of that going to retired workers. The remainder in this category goes to spouses and minor children of retired workers, who receive a check of about $890 – 912 a month on average.

Survivor benefits comprise 8.7 percent of Social Security benefits. The top sub-category is non-disabled widows or widowers, who receive an average of $1,774.33 each month.

Disability insurance comprises about 12.7 percent of all Social Security payments, and the top recipient is disabled workers, who receive an average $1,537.13.

Those benefits may not be entirely taxable, either. Some Social Security recipients can also avoid taxes – legally – on their benefit check.

Benefits rise with cost of living adjustments

While the Social Security benefit is a nice chunk of change, if it stayed the same over the next 30 years, its purchasing power would decline due to inflation. That’s why Social Security increases its benefit checks over time with a cost of living adjustment, or COLA.

This increase is based on one version of the Consumer Price Index, which measures how much inflation has affected the prices that consumers pay for goods and services.

Usually, the COLA is relatively small, and the increase for 20243 was 3.2 percent due to higher inflation. That follows up an 8.7 percent increase in 2023.

Here’s the level of adjustments that recipients have enjoyed over the past decade.

YearCOLA increase
Source: Social Security Administration

So what would your total check be if you started with a $1,000 benefit in 2014? You’d be receiving $1,307.75 in 2024.

What is the maximum monthly Social Security benefit?

The most you could receive from Social Security depends on a few factors: how much you’ve earned over your working life, when you begin to take your benefits, and your COLA increase. Over time your benefits will increase if the COLA indicates an increase, of course.

The maximum initial monthly benefit for 2024 by retirement age:

  • At age 62: $2,710
  • At full retirement age: $3,822
  • At age 70: $4,873

These figures assume a worker had steady earnings at the maximum taxable level since age 22. For 2024, maximum taxable income is $168,600, a number that usually rises each year. Here’s how to estimate your benefit check.

Your benefit depends on how much you’ve earned, up to some maximum each year. And taking your benefit later in your life can also increase it substantially. Workers are able to claim a benefit early, at age 62, if they’ve contributed 10 years of work, before they reach what’s called full retirement age, which can range from 65 to 67, depending on when you were born.

If you claim early benefits, your check will be less than it otherwise could be at full retirement or even later. If you wait until age 70 to claim benefits, you’ll receive still more each month.

In fact, the right age to claim Social Security is probably the single most debated topic about the program.

To receive these benefits, you pay Social Security taxes of 6.2 percent on your income, up to the maximum tax income. Your employer pays another 6.2 percent of your salary into the fund, but if you’re self-employed you foot that portion of the tax bill, too.

Bottom line

The average Social Security check was never meant to replace a retired worker’s full income, and so it’s important that Social Security be part of your overall retirement plan, not your single source of income. If you have years to go before retirement, it’s vital that you get started on saving and investing while you still have time working in your favor.

What Is The Average Social Security Check? | Bankrate (2024)


What Is The Average Social Security Check? | Bankrate? ›

The best age to file for benefits is a hotly debated topic, and the answer depends so heavily on your goals and circ*mstances. For context, the average Social Security benefit for retired workers came to about $1,905 per month in December 2023.

How much does the average person get from Social Security? ›

Social Security offers a monthly benefit check to many kinds of recipients. As of December 2023, the average check is $1,767.03, according to the Social Security Administration – but that amount can differ drastically depending on the type of recipient. In fact, retirees typically make more than the overall average.

What is the highest Social Security check per month? ›

The maximum Social Security benefit you can receive in 2024 ranges from $2,710 to $4,873 per month, depending on the age you retire. "Maximum benefits can be received by delaying the start of benefits until age 70 since benefits increase by about 8% for each year you delay beyond full retirement age.

What is a good monthly retirement income? ›

Many retirees fall far short of that amount, but their savings may be supplemented with other forms of income. According to data from the BLS, average 2022 incomes after taxes were as follows for older households: 65-74 years: $63,187 per year or $5,266 per month. 75 and older: $47,928 per year or $3,994 per month.

How much Social Security will I get if I make $120000 a year? ›

The point is that if you earned $120,000 per year for the past 35 years, thanks to the annual maximum taxable wage limits, the maximum Social Security benefit you could get at full retirement age is $2,687.

Is it better to take Social Security at 62 or 67? ›

If you delay taking your benefits from your full retirement age up to age 70, your benefit amount will increase. If you start receiving benefits early, your benefits are reduced a small percent for each month before your full retirement age.

How much Social Security will I get if I make $100,000 a year? ›

If your pay at retirement will be $100,000, your benefits will start at $2,026 each month, which equals $24,315 per year. And if your pay at retirement will be $125,000, your monthly benefits at the outset will be $2,407 for $28,889 yearly.

At what age is Social Security no longer taxed? ›

Social Security income can be taxable no matter how old you are. It all depends on whether your total combined income exceeds a certain level set for your filing status. You may have heard that Social Security income is not taxed after age 70; this is false.

What is the lowest Social Security payment? ›

  • Social Security's special minimum benefit pays at least $49.40 per month in 2023 and $50.90 in 2024.
  • Social Security's special minimum benefit tops out at $1,033.50 per month in 2023 and $1,066.50 in 2024.
  • You'll receive 100% of the benefit if you file at full retirement age or later.
Mar 22, 2023

How much does the average retired person live on per month? ›

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average income of someone 65 and older in 2021 was $55,335, and the average expenses were $52,141, or $4,345 per month.

Is $2,000 a month enough to retire on? ›

Retiring on a fixed income can seem daunting, but with some planning and commitment to a frugal lifestyle, it's possible to retire comfortably on $2,000 a month. This takes discipline but ultimately will allow you to have more freedom and happiness in your golden years without money worries.

Can you live on 3000 a month in retirement? ›

Top the amount with 401(k) savings, living on $3,000 a month after taxes is possible for a retiree. For those who only have social security benefits to rely on, there are many places where they can retire on their checks both in the USA and around the world.

Is $1500 a month enough to retire on? ›

While $1,500 might not be enough for non-housing retirement expenses for many people, it doesn't mean it's impossible to stick to this or other amounts, such as if you're already retired and don't have the ability to increase your budget.

How do I get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

Have you heard about the Social Security $16,728 yearly bonus? There's really no “bonus” that retirees can collect. The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a specific formula based on your lifetime earnings to determine your benefit amount.

Can I draw Social Security at 62 and still work full time? ›

You can get Social Security retirement benefits and work at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefits. Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, we will not reduce your benefits no matter how much you earn.

How much will I get from Social Security if I make $30,000? ›

The general rule is that Social Security benefits replace about 40% of pre-retirement income. With $30,000 in annual income, that means you could receive an estimated $12,000 per year in Social Security payments, without adjusting for inflation.

How much Social Security will I get if I make $75,000 a year? ›

If you earn $75,000 per year, you can expect to receive $2,358 per month -- or about $28,300 annually -- from Social Security.

What is the average Social Security check for a 62 year old? ›

According to recently released data from the SSA's Office of the Actuary, just over 590,000 retired-worker beneficiaries were receiving $1,298.26 per month at age 62, as of December 2023. That compares to about 2.11 million aged 66 retired-worker beneficiaries who were taking home $1,739.92 per month.

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