- Written by Christian Simmons
Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.Read More
- Edited ByLamia Chowdhury
Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.Read More
- Published: March 3, 2023
- Updated: August 27, 2023
- 4 min read time
- This page features 15 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
The Social Security Administration (SSA) provided Social Security benefits to over 66 million Americans with disabilities and retirement income in 2022. As inflation and cost of living increased throughout the year, the SSA increased benefits by 8.7%. This boosts the average Social Security check to $1,827 in 2023.
Social Security payments vary based on the beneficiary’s specific circumstances, like whether they receive survivor or retirement benefits and how many years they worked and paid into Social Security.
We’ve pulled Social Security payment averages, cost of living updates, and Medicare Part B details to help you manage your finances for the year.
- The average Social Security payment is $1,827
- Social Security benefits are increasing by 8.7% in 2023
- Social Security benefits max out at $3,627 for full retirement age beneficiaries
- Medicare Part B premiums are decreasing in 2023 to premiums at $164.90 and deductibles at $226
Average Social Security Payments Increase With Inflation
The SSA offers cost of living adjustments (COLA) based on inflation to ensure beneficiaries can maintain their living standards. Beneficiaries received an 8.7% increase in their Social Security payments beginning in 2023.
Consumer prices averaged 6.5% higher in 2022 across categories, while food costs increased 10.4% alone. As inflation tends to increase annually, it’s common to see Social Security checks grow to accommodate increasing costs.
|Year||Cost of Living Adjustment⁴||Average Payment* Estimate|
While all beneficiaries enjoy COLA increases, the average Social Security check varies between beneficiary groups. Retirees are estimated to receive $147 more a month in 2023, while disability beneficiaries will receive $119 more.
|Beneficiary||Total Payout⁶||Average Monthly Benefit|
Maximum Social Security Benefits
The amount of Social Security benefits you can receive depends on the age you retire. People who retire at the current retirement age (66) max out at $3,627 in 2023. Retirees can earn more for delaying retirement or less while enjoying early retirement.
|66 (Retirement Age)||$3,627|
Your lifetime earnings determine your Social Security payments, and the SSA calculates your average monthly earnings based on the 35 years you earned the most at work. Working longer and at a higher wage can help you reach the maximum Social Security payout.
Americas 18 and older can review their earnings record at SSA.gov.
Minimum Social Security Benefits
A person must have worked at least 1 1 years of coverage as defined by the SSA to receive special minimum benefits. Special minimum benefits are also known as a primary insurance amount (PIA), which provides payments for longtime low-earners.
PIA payments vary based on the years of coverage an individual worked. PIA is also the amount a worker earns at retirement age without early or late retirement considerations.
PIA benefits increase automatically with Social Security increases, and you can track them through the SSA.
|Years of Coverage⁸||Primary Insurance Amount||Maximum Family Benefit|
How To Supplement Your Social Security Pay
Social Security checks aren’t always enough to make ends meet — even with COLAs. There are several ways Americans can cover their expenses if their benefits don’t stretch as far as they need them.
Planning for retirement and investing in 401(k) accounts, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and annuities offer tax-advantaged savings opportunities to cover retirement costs. These are especially helpful if you want to retire early or guarantee you’ll have income for as long as you live.
Some workers choose to delay retirement until age 70 when they’ll earn retirement credits offering up to 8% more income in 12 months. This boosts your monthly earnings to help you get by but may result in fewer retirement earnings, depending on your life expectancy.
Workers who aren’t willing to delay retirement but also want to continue working may still receive their maximum Social Security benefits in addition to a regular paycheck. Americans in full retirement can earn up to $21,240 in 2023¹⁰ before losing Social Security benefits.
Medicare Part B Premiums and Social Security
In 2022, the SSA increased Medicare Part B expenses to fund new drugs and spent less than projected. The SSA uses those savings to decrease Medicare Part B costs in 2023. This includes decreased monthly premiums and lower annual deductibles for enrollees.
Medicare Part B provides medical insurance to cover outpatient services, home health care, durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, and preventative services.
Social Security Provides Inflation Relief
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.
Medicare Part B expenses are also affected by inflation and have decreased after federal spending came in under budget in 2022. Learn more about Medicare Part B coverage and costs.
15 Cited Research Articles
- Social Security Administration. (2022). Social Security Basic Facts. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/basicfact-alt.pdf
- Social Security Administration. (2022, December). How much will the COLA amount be for 2022 and when will I receive it? Retrieved from https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01951
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, December). 12-month percentage change, Consumer Price Index, selected categories. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/charts/consumer-price-index/consumer-price-index-by-category.htm
- Social Security Administration. (2022). Cost-Of-Living Adjustments. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/colaseries.html
- Social Security Administration. (2022, December). Effect of COLA on Average Social Security Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/colaeffect.html
- Social Security Administration. (2023, February). Monthly Statistics Snapshot January 2023. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/quickfacts/stat_snapshot/
- Social Security Administration. (2023, January). What is the maximum Social Security retirement benefit payable? Retrieved from https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01897
- Social Security Administration. (2023, January). Special Minimum Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/smt.cgi
- Social Security Administration. Delayed Retirement Credits. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/delayret.html
- Social Security Administration. Receiving Benefits While Working. Retrieved from: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2022, September 27). 2023 Medicare Parts A & B Premiums and Deductibles 2023 Medicare Part D Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2023-medicare-parts-b-premiums-and-deductibles-2023-medicare-part-d-income-related-monthly
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, December). Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t02.htm
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2023, February). 2023 Farm Sector Income Forecast. Retrieved from https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-economy/farm-sector-income-finances/farm-sector-income-forecast/
- Chambless, Ginger. (2022, December 8). Economic Outlook 2023: Trends to Watch. Retrieved from https://www.jpmorgan.com/commercial-banking/insights/economic-trends
- Federal Reserve. (2022, December 14). Federal Reserve issues FOMC Statement. Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/monetary20221214a.htm
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