Social Security: 1 Number Every Retiree Needs to Know Right Now

If there's one number that every retiree needs to know, it's their primary insurance amount for the purposes of Social Security. This is the amount you will receive each month if you apply for benefits at full retirement -- which, at present, is 66 years of age.

You can think of this figure as a pivot point. If you elect to receive benefits before then -- at 62, for instance -- then your actual benefits will be less than your primary insurance amount. By contrast, if you wait until 70 years of age to begin receiving benefits, then they will exceed your primary insurance amount.

The importance of this figure is evident when you consider that nearly half of unmarried retirees rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their income. Or that more than a third of Americans have no money set aside specifically for retirement.

With this in mind, Motley Fool contributor John Maxfield delves into the primary insurance amount in the following video, further explaining both how it works and how it's calculated.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2014, at 6:15 PM, greyhound44 wrote:

    As I have said many times, this useless financial adviser idiot has NO clue.

    I retired 31 Aug 2003 at age 58.75 after having paid MAX SS Portion of FICA for 35 + years, and took MAX SS retirement benefits ((reduced for age) at 62.

    Never paid a dime in income tax on same.

    My IRA/ R/O IRAs finally went went over the line to US$ $ 2,004,700.80 on Friday.

    I have had no debt since 1991

    All these airheads should be so fortunate!!

    retired expatriate (11 years) MD; NBME; ABIM: ABNM: ABR w/spec comp NR

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2014, at 6:23 PM, greyhound44 wrote:

    Sure, please pay your FICA and income tax you IDIOT goof!!

  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2014, at 9:44 PM, eyelostmyname wrote:

    A person would have to be dumber than a bag of beans if they let someone convince them to wait until they are 70 or even one year past their legitimate age to collect "their" Social Security money. What guarantee does anyone have that they will live to be that age?

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John Maxfield

John is The Motley Fool's senior banking specialist. If you're interested in banking and/or finance, you should follow him on Twitter.

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