Social Security 2023: What’s the Average Benefit at Every Age?

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According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average monthly retirement benefit for Security Security recipients is $1,781.63 as of February. Several factors can drag that average up or down, but you have the most control over the biggest variable of all — the age that you decide to cash in.

You become eligible for Social Security at 62, but you’ll receive a reduced monthly payment by claiming benefits before your full retirement age, which varies by your date of birth.

Here’s a breakdown of how the average benefit could change depending on when you decide to collect.

The Payments Grow With Every Month You Wait

Someone turning 62 and becoming eligible for Social Security today was born in 1961. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. Rounding up the current average benefit to $1,782 for the sake of even numbers and presuming that as the full benefit, here’s how a hypothetical recipient’s payment would change between the start of eligibility and full retirement age.

62 Years Old

If people born after 1960 claim their benefits the month they turn 62, they’ll get only 70% of what they would have received had they waited until the full retirement age of 67. The average monthly payment of $1,782 drops by 30% during the first month of eligibility to $1,247.40. Here’s the dollar amount, and the percentage of the full benefit it represents, for every month they wait after that.

Are You Retirement Ready?

63 Years Old

If you wait until you’re 63, you’ll get 75% of your full benefits, which is $1,336.50 of the average $1,782 monthly payment.

64 Years Old

If you wait until you’re 64, you’ll get 80% of the full average monthly payment of $1782, which is $1,425.60.

65 Years Old

Those who claim at 65 will receive 86.7% of the full monthly benefit, which drops the average from $1,782 to $1,544.99.

66 Years Old

At 66, the reduced benefit jumps to 93.3% of the full average monthly payment of $1,782, which is $1,662.61.

If You Can Wait Even Longer, You’ll Get Even More

If you wait until you’re 67, you’ll receive 100% of the full benefit, which in this hypothetical scenario is $1,782. But if you wait even longer, you’ll receive an extra 0.7% for every month you delay up to 124% of the full benefit until you turn 70, when the delayed retirement credits stop.

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