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How can you receive a $4,900 Social Security check a month? This is how you can get the maximum benefit in 2024

The rules on the amount of the monthly benefit a retired worker can receive depend on previous earnings and age of retirement. Find out more.

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The maximum monthly benefit a retired worker can receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2024 is $4,873. However, this amount isn’t payable to every eligible Social Security beneficiary. Here’s what you need to be eligible for a $4,873 Social Security check every month. 

Hit the earning threshold 

To stand a chance of receiving $4,873 in Social Security benefits when you retire, you need to meet the maximum income requirement for Social Security benefits. This year that amount is $168,000.

However, this maximum threshold increases every year. According to the SSA’s retirement benefits requirement, you must make the maximum income every year for 35 years. 

This table shows the increase in maximum annual income since 1973. 

YearEarnings
1973$10,800
1974$13,200
1975$14,100
1976$15,300
1977$16,500
1978$17,700
1979$22,900
1980$25,900
1981$29,700
1982$32,400
1983$35,700
1984$37,800
1985$39,600
1986$42,000
1987$43,800
1988$45,000
1989$48,000
1990$51,300
1991$53,400
1992$55,500
1993$57,600
1994$60,600
1995$61,200
1996$62,700
1997$65,400
1998$68,400
YearEarnings
1999$72,600
2000$76,200
2001$80,400
2002$84,900
2003$87,000
2004$87,900
2005$90,000
2006$94,200
2007$97,500
2008$102,000
2009$106,800
2010$106,800
2011$106,800
2012$110,100
2013$113,700
2014$117,000
2015$118,500
2016$118,500
2017$127,200
2018$128,400
2019$132,900
2020$137,700
2021$142,800
2022$147,000
2023$160,200
2024$168,600
Source: Social Security Administration 

Hence, to get the maximum benefit in 2024 you would have had to have earned the maximum annual income since 1989. 

Hold off on applying for retirement benefits 

Hitting the annual earning threshold for Social Security benefits consistently is not enough; it does not guarantee that you will receive the highest Social Security benefit when you retire. 

The 2024 maximum monthly benefit is only paid to workers who retire at 70 (or who wait until 70 to apply for benefits). Retiring at the full retirement age of 67 will only get you a maximum monthly benefit of $3,822. Likewise, retiring at the early age of 62 will get you a maximum monthly benefit of $2,710. 

A strategic approach to Social Security benefits

Clearly receiving the highest payable amount in Social Security benefits requires satisfying some fairly strict requirements. Even where that may not be possible, you can still aim to increase your chances of receiving maximum benefits. For that you should aim to work for at least 35 years, earning as much income as you can and then delay your retirement (or applying for retirement benefits) until 70. 

Even if you wouldn’t be eligible for the maximum payable benefits on your situation in 2024, depending on your circumstances you might be able to over time.

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