Here's the Exact Amount of the Average Social Security Check for the Middle Class

Delve into the dollars and cents of middle-class retirement and Social Security.

United States treasury check
Updated July 18, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

It’s wise to know how much you will likely receive each month in Social Security payments before you retire. For millions of Americans, these checks are a cornerstone of financial security during their golden years.

Yet, many people have no clue about how much to expect. If you are in the middle class, here is how much you might receive each month from the federal government.

Eliminate your late tax debt

Each year, the IRS forgives millions in unpaid taxes. If you have more than $10,000 in tax debt, or have 3+ years of unfiled taxes, you could get forgiveness too. You might be eligible to lower the amount you owe, or eliminate your tax debt completely.

Easy Tax Relief could help you lower or get out of your tax debt for good. They’re well respected in the industry and have been recognized for their ethical standards when dealing with tax debt. While most tax companies just put you on a payment plan and file your taxes for you, Easy Tax Relief talks to the IRS directly. They can help you pay off your tax debt faster while potentially reducing what you owe.

Important: Not everyone will qualify. To take advantage of this special program you must owe more than $10,000 in past-due taxes.

Fill out this form to get started

$1,867 is the average Social Security check for a middle-class retiree

Andrey Popov/Adobe payroll compensation cheque

GOBankingRates recently crunched data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to calculate the average Social Security check for the middle-class retiree.

The website found that those who earned the median U.S. household income of $74,580 in 2022 and retired at 65 would receive a benefit of $1,867 per month.

$1,710 is the average Social Security check for all retirees

Caterina Trimarchi/Adobe bookkeeper checks accounts

How does the average Social Security check for the middle class ($1,867) compare to the average benefit for all retirees who qualify for Social Security?

The Social Security Administration says the average check overall was $1,710.78 in November 2023. So, the middle-class benefit is about $156.22 higher on average.

How Social Security benefits are determined

gunnar3000/Adobe social security benefits

When the Social Security Administration calculates benefits, it uses a summary of 35 years of a worker's indexed earnings.

These earnings are adjusted to make sure a worker's future benefits "reflect the general rise in the standard of living that occurred during his or her working lifetime," according to the SSA.

In general — and up to certain limits — the more you earn throughout your career, the bigger your monthly check will likely be.

The age at which you file for benefits also determines the size of your monthly check.

The size of your monthly check will be adjusted annually to help account for cost-of-living increases that impact how much that retirement check is actually worth.

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees) has no annual fee and you can earn $200 after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

The Active Cash Card puts cash back into your wallet. Cardholders can earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases — easy! That's one of the best cash rewards options available.

This card also offers an intro APR of 0% for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable). Which is great for someone who wants a break from high interest rates, while still earning rewards.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

How your age impacts your monthly benefit

zinkevych/Adobe senior woman reviewing bills at home

The age at which you file for Social Security benefits plays a significant role in the size of your monthly check.

Most Americans are eligible for Social Security at age 62. But if you file at that age, your monthly check will be smaller than if you wait a few years.

For example, you will get a bigger monthly check if you wait until your full retirement age to file. Your full retirement age is 66 if you were born between 1943 and 1954. 

For folks born after that, the full retirement age increases gradually. Anyone born in 1960 or later has a full retirement age of 67.

If you work beyond your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will add an additional 8% to your benefit for each full year you delay filing for Social Security.

Waiting until age 70 to file gives you the biggest monthly check. After age 70, there is no additional benefit to waiting.

Are you middle class?

Evgenia Parajanian/Adobe Social Security Administration Important Information letter

Moving into the middle class has been the goal of poorer people throughout American history.

The government doesn’t assign an official income classification to the term “middle class,” and the amount of income used to define “middle class” varies depending on the source.

Factors such as the cost of living in your area can also impact what income might qualify as “middle class.” For example, a $70,000 income will likely go further in Birmingham, Alabama, than in New York City.

However, for its calculations, GOBankingRates uses the median U.S. household income of $74,580 to stand in for a middle-class income.

How to determine your estimated Social Security benefits

Andrey Popov/Adobe social security benefits form

You can sign up for a “my Social Security” account at the Social Security Administration website. Registering for this free account can help you estimate the size of your future Social Security benefit based on your past income.

You can also use the SSA’s Social Security online calculator. Plug in some basic information — such as your date of birth, the age you plan to retire, and your earnings history — and you can see what you will likely receive in terms of a benefits check.

What to do with all this information

Rawpixel.com/Adobe insurance health risk assessment

Now that you know how much you’ll likely receive in Social Security benefits, it’s time to build your retirement savings. Having a fat nest egg is one of the best ways to supplement your Social Security in retirement.

So, consider boosting your contribution to your tax-advantaged retirement accounts or paying off your debt. If you’re unsure of the path, talk with a financial advisor who can help craft a plan that aligns with your expectations.

Bottom line

Kimberly Reinick/Adobe Social Security and money

If you're a middle-class worker, it's helpful to know how much you can expect in Social Security benefits once you retire.

You should start investing and saving now so you can build a nest egg that, combined with Social Security, will offer you a comfortable retirement.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Sandy Baker

Sandy Baker is a has over 17 years of experience in the financial sector. Her experience includes website content, blogs, and social media. She’s worked with companies such as Realtor.com, Bankrate, TransUnion, Equifax, and Consumer Affairs.