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Introduction to Social Security

Developing a strategy to maximize your lifetime Social Security benefits increases financial security.

Individuals can begin collecting Social Security benefits as early as age 62 (earlier for widow(er)s and the disabled) and as late as age 70. Should you begin collecting benefits before your full retirement age, the benefit amount is reduced. Postponing benefits until after your full retirement age, increases your benefit.

So is it better to receive a smaller monthly amount sooner or a larger monthly amount later?

The majority of people begin collecting their benefits as soon as they are eligible at age 62. This can result in much lower lifetime benefits. It makes sense to look at your specific circumstances to determine the best strategy for you. This tool is designed to help you do that.


CAUTION!  The folks at the Social Security Administration may not be familiar with these strategies. They may tell you that you can't do them.  If so, ask for a supervisor.


These strategies do not apply to Federal CSRS retirees.


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