• Question
  • social security

    Asked on 7/31/2008

    why is my social security benefits so low.i get only 279.00 a month. others are getting 600.00 and more

  • Categories: How Calculated?, Social Security


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  • Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings. Your actual earnings are adjusted or “indexed” to account for changes in average wages since the year the earnings were received. Then Social Security calculates your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most. We apply a formula to these earnings and arrive at your basic benefit, or “primary insurance amount” (PIA). This is how much you would receive at your full retirement age—65 or older, depending on your date of birth.

    Monthly benefits are also higher if you opt to delay the start of Social Security until your maximum retirment age.

    Many seniors are now opting to work in retirement. Learn more here:

    Reverse Mortgages are another way retirees are bumping up their monthly income:

  • Login to rate this answer:   Answered on 8/4/2008
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.