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Claiming Social Security: Different People, Different Choices

By: Joan Entmacher, Benjamin Veghte, and Kristen Arnold
Published: June 2016

Thinking about retirement? Deciding when to take Social Security benefits is one of the most important financial decisions you will make. For most people, Social Security is their largest source of income throughout retirement. And it’s one of the few sources of income you (and your spouse, if you are married) can count on for as long as you live. So it’s important to make the most of your Social Security benefits.

Different People, Different Choices provides several examples of the choices older workers and retirees are faced with when deciding when to claim Social Security benefits. It was developed in conjunction with What to Know, What to Ask, as part of the Academy’s toolkit, When to Take Social Security: It Pays to Wait.