How Much Will the Average Social Security Check Be in 2023?

Social Security provides an essential source of income for millions of retired and disabled Americans. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), over 66 million people currently receive monthly Social Security benefits.

As living costs and inflation rise, Social Security recipients depend on annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to maintain their standard of living. So how much can you expect your Social Security check to be in 2023?

Key Takeaways

  • The average monthly Social Security benefit will be around $1,827 in 2023, an increase of $146 from 2022. This is due to an 8.7% COLA increase for 2023.

  • Retirees receive the highest average monthly benefits at $1,827, compared to $1,483 for disabled workers and $1,477 for survivors.

  • Maximum Social Security benefits in 2023 will be $3,627 per month for someone retiring at full retirement age of 66 years and 2 months.

  • Even with the COLA increase, most seniors still need additional income from retirement savings, pensions, or part-time work.

  • Taxes, Medicare premiums, and other deductions can reduce your net Social Security benefit.

Average Social Security Check in 2023

The average Social Security check for all beneficiaries in 2023 is estimated to be about $1,827 per month. This represents an increase of $146 per month compared to the 2022 average of $1,681 per month.

The 8.7% COLA for 2023 is the largest increase in over 40 years, aimed at helping Social Security beneficiaries keep up with inflation. However, experts warn that even with the boost, Social Security alone may not be enough for comfortable living expenses.

Here is a breakdown of the average 2023 Social Security payment based on beneficiary type:

  • All retired workers: $1,827 per month
  • Disabled workers: $1,483 per month
  • Survivors of deceased workers: $1,477 per month

Retirees typically receive the highest monthly benefit amount since they paid Social Security payroll taxes for more years than shorter-term disability beneficiaries.

Why Social Security Checks Increased in 2023

Social Security benefits are increased automatically each year through a COLA calculated by measuring growth in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners (CPI-W).

The CPI-W tracks inflation in the prices of common goods and services like food, housing, apparel, transportation, and medical care. If the CPI-W goes up due to inflation, Social Security benefits go up through a COLA.

Some key inflation trends leading to the 8.7% COLA in 2023 include:

  • Grocery prices up 13%: Costs for meat, eggs, milk and fruits/vegetables saw double-digit price hikes.

  • Housing costs up 8%: Rental and home prices surged, pressuring household budgets.

  • Gasoline up 18%: High oil and gas prices, while recently cooling, still pinch at the pump.

  • Healthcare up 6%: Hospital services, prescription drugs and health insurance continue seeing above-average inflation.

The 2023 COLA is meant to help seniors, disabled individuals, survivors and dependents cover the basics, as costs rose significantly across all categories in 2022.

Maximum Social Security Benefit in 2023

While the average Social Security payment will be around $1,827 in 2023, the maximum benefit allowed depends on your age when you file for benefits:

  • Age 62 – $2,572 per month
  • Full retirement age (66 and 2 months) – $3,627 per month
  • Age 70 – $4,194 per month

To get the maximum benefit, you need to have had maximum taxable Social Security earnings throughout your working career. For 2023, this means earning at least $160,200, which is the maximum income cap subject to Social Security taxes.

Few people actually get the maximum benefit. But you can increase your benefit by working longer, earning more, and delaying when you claim benefits.

How COLA Increases Benefits Over Time

While even the 2023 COLA may not seem enough to combat inflation, Social Security checks still retain buying power over time thanks to annual COLAs.

For example, say you started receiving the average $1,500 monthly retirement benefit back in 2000. With average COLAs of about 2.4% per year, today your check would have increased to about $2,730 in 2023 dollars.

That’s nearly double the inflation-adjusted value from over 20 years ago. So while COLAs may not keep pace with sharply rising prices year-to-year, they do retain spending power over the long run.

Supplementing Social Security Income in Retirement

For most retirees, Social Security provides only a portion of retirement income. The average monthly Social Security check covers about 40% of pre-retirement income.

With the average American life expectancy around 80 years old, retirees need to supplement Social Security to cover the 20+ year retirement period. Some ways to boost retirement income include:

  • 401(k) or IRA savings – Make regular contributions and take advantage of employer matches and tax-deferred growth.

  • Pensions – If offered by your employer, traditional pensions provide guaranteed lifetime income.

  • Annuities – These insurance products can provide guaranteed lifetime payouts when you retire.

  • Part-time work – Working even part-time in retirement can add flexible income.

  • Downsizing – Relocating to a smaller home or more affordable area stretches savings.

  • Delaying Social Security – You can boost your benefit by up to 8% per year if you delay past full retirement age up to age 70.

How Taxes Affect Your Social Security Benefit

While you don’t pay taxes on Social Security benefits during your working years, in retirement up to 85% of your benefit can be federally taxable if your total income exceeds certain thresholds.

For 2023, here are the federal tax thresholds to determine if your Social Security gets taxed:

  • Individuals: No tax on Social Security if combined income is under $25,000. Up to 50% is taxable between $25,000 and $34,000. Up to 85% is taxable above $34,000.

  • Married couples: No tax if combined income is under $32,000. Up to 50% taxable between $32,000 and $44,000. Up to 85% taxable above $44,000.

In addition to federal tax, 13 states currently tax Social Security benefits to some degree. Make sure to understand your state’s rules.

Impact of Medicare Premiums

Most Social Security recipients age 65+ are also enrolled in Medicare Parts B and D for medical and prescription coverage. This means Medicare premiums get automatically deducted from Social Security payments.

Medicare Part B standard premiums will decrease in 2023 to $164.90 per month. Part D premiums vary by plan but average around $32 per month in 2023. Beneficiaries also pay deductibles and coinsurance costs out of pocket.

So Medicare premiums and healthcare costs can take a further bite out of Social Security benefits. Understanding these costs is important when budgeting benefit income.

The Takeaway

An average Social Security check in 2023 will be around $1,827 per month following an 8.7% COLA increase. This should provide some relief given inflationary pressures. However, most seniors still need substantial retirement savings and other income to make ends meet.

Taxes, Medicare premiums, healthcare costs and deductions further reduce Social Security income. Planning ahead for retirement expenses beyond Social Security is key, so consider all your available resources.

While Social Security alone may not be enough, used strategically in conjunction with other income streams it can provide a foundation for meeting retirement expenses. Talk to a financial advisor to maximize Social Security as part of your overall retirement plan.

What’s the Average Social Security Benefit in 2023?


What is the average monthly Social Security check in 2023?

The SSA determines benefit increases annually based on cost-of-living and inflation fluctuations. In 2023, the average Social Security check increased by 8.7% to $1,688.35.

What will be the maximum Social Security benefit in 2023?

What’s the highest possible Social Security retirement benefit? The Social Security Administration (SSA) has an answer to that question. For 2023, it’s $4,555 per month.

How much is typical Social Security check?

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.

What is the highest monthly Social Security payment?

The maximum Social Security benefit at full retirement age is $3,822 per month in 2024.It’s $4,873 per month in 2024 if retiring at age 70 and $2,710 if retiring at age 62. A person’s Social Security benefit amount depends on earnings, full retirement age and when they take benefits.

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