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Social Security benefits calculator: how much will I get in 2022 if I am 62, 63, 65, 70...

Choosing when to retire is a difficult decision for many Americans, the difference in what you could receive may make the difference down the road.

Choosing when to retire is a difficult decision for many Americans, the difference in what you could receive may make the difference down the road.
Warren LittleGetty Images

Americans who have earned 40 credits toward claiming Social Security retirement benefits can choose to start receiving their hard-earned entitlement before reaching full retirement age. Those who are 62 can choose to file for retirement benefits.

However, doing so could permanently reduce their future monthly payments by almost 30 percent. So how much can you expect to get depending on your age when you retire?

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How is your retirement benefits calculated?

The Social Security Administration calculates how much you will receive looking at various factors. But the two main inputs that will determine your future benefits are your average income over your career and your age when you retire.

In order to be eligible to receive retirement benefits you must earn up to 40 credits, the maximum number that you can receive each year is 4, so you will need to work at least 10 years. However, some people take longer to earn those credits and that doesn’t take into account the second factor.

The Social Security Administration will also calculate the average of the 35 highest-earning years of your career. If you work for less than 35 years the number put into the equation for years without earnings would be zero, thus bringing down your average. Note that you don’t get more than 40 credits even if you earn them in 10 years and keep on working.

What are the maximum amounts that you can get?

The average Social Security retirement benefit in 2021 is $1,565 a month but will be quite a bit higher in 2022 due to the cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) 2022 announced on Wednesday. Beneficiaries will see a 5.9 percent increase in the monthly payments kicking the average up to $1,657, or an increase of $92.

If you turn 62 next year, you can start to claim benefits after you have been 62 for a full month. The maximum you could expect to earn is $2,461 after the increase in 2022. However, starting retirement early may limit the amount that you can get since you will be receiving them for a longer period of time.

If you wait until you reach full retirement age (FRA), the maximum that you could receive is $3,334 after the correction for the COLA 2022. Full retirement age for those born in 1955 is 66 years and 2 months. For those born in each subsequent year you need to add two months per year until those born in 1960 and after reach full retirement age when they turn 70.

Currently, those who turn 70 in 2022 could see their maximum potential benefit go up to $4,220. You can check your own estimated monthly benefits using the Social Security Administration online calculator tool. You will need to know your annual income for the past 35 years or use an estimate.

The Social Security Administration provides a calculation of how much of your benefits you would lose out on should you decide to retire before full retirement age compared to waiting until you reach 70 based on numbers from 2021. If a person at full retirement age received $1,000 in benefits per month, a person who retired at 62 would only receive $708 per month in comparison. While those that wait until the turn 70 would get $1,253 per month.

Comparison of retirement ages and monthly benefits.

Age you choose to start receiving benefits
66 + 10 months (FRA)$1,000

Source: Social Security Administration based on a person born in 1959