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  • James Veal

Can You Live Off of $1,437.55 Per Month?

You may not be aware of this but there are millions of Americans - possibly your aunt, cousin, that neighbor down the street, or even you who are barely getting by financially - living off of $1,437 every month.

That has to be excruciating challenging these days. As of August 2021, the average Social Security monthly benefit check is $1,437.55, according to the Social Security Administration.

That amount can differ drastically depending on the type of recipient. For example, retirees typically make more than the overall average.

It’s Just Not For Retirees

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

Let’s take a look at the breakdown by recipient as of August 2021:

Type of Beneficiary Percent of Total Payouts Average Monthly Benefit

All Recipients. 100% $1,437.55

Retirement Benefits 76.6% $1,513.26

Retired Workers 72.1% $1,558.54

Survivor Benefits 9.0% $1,249.53

Disability Insurance 14.4% $1,152.37

Disability Workers 12.3% $1,280.84

Source: Social Security Administration, August 2021

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.

The maximum monthly benefit for 2022 by retirement age is:

  • At age 62: $2,364

  • At age 65: $2,993

  • At age 66: $3,240

  • At age 70: $4,194

Don’t get too excited about those numbers though because these maximum benefits are based on a worker who’ve started since age 22 and their maximum taxable income is $147,000.

In fact, the maximum Social Security benefit at age 67 (FRA) in 2021 is $3,113.

Bottom Line

The average Social Security check was never meant to replace a retired worker’s full income. Social Security is a 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.

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