The maximum Social Security benefit varies substantially by age

Each year, Social Security has a maximum benefit it pays out to workers who are receiving retirement income

In 2022, those who claim benefits at age 62 have a maximum benefit of just $2,364, while those who claim benefits at age 70 could see checks as high as $4,194

This is a huge discrepancy, and it's helpful to understand why there is such a big difference in the maximum amount of money

The purpose of this limit is to prevent the Social Security Administration from sending out checks totaling tens of thousands each month to very, very high earners

The Social Security calculates benefits based on average wages, up to the wage base limit, during the 35 years when retirees earned the most

So the maximum Social Security benefit equals a percentage of the highest possible countable income that could have been earned during a 35-year period

In 2022, the wage base limit is $147,000. It's adjusted for inflation each year, but it's always a very high amount of income