The Social Security Handbook has 2,728 rules for its benefits which makes understanding social security a complex task. This means that sometimes as a Baby Boomer you just need a bit of expert advice around this critical subject. Luckily there’s Ask Larry of PBS Newshour.  The column is written by Larry Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University, noted economist, frequent contributor to Bloomberg and Forbes, and is a renown social security expert who share his secrets on social security on the PBS blog.  Larry is also the creator of ESPlanner, the gold standard in retirement software which includes a free basic version.

After answering a number of questions about social security, PBS decided to make Ask Larry a regular feature to answer all the questions of the 78 million Baby Boomers. This ongoing series features answers on all sorts of social security questions from extra benefits for former military to filing for spousal benefits. Here are a few of Larry’s top secrets about social security.

Waiting is sometimes the right answer when it comes to social security benefits
The official age for retirement has recently changed form 65 to 66. If you decide to retire before this age waiting to take social security benefits is likely to benefit you. Special situations aside, Larry  advises folks to wait until 70 to begin taking benefits if possible since they will be up to 76% higher.  Larry’s advice to wait until 70 is especially true for single Baby Boomers who by waiting can claim the highest benefits possible. However, married or divorced Baby Boomers have additional strategies available to them so in this case the help of a retirement planner may be useful.

Continuing to work into your sixties can have big benefits
Working into your sixties can have a significant impact on your retirement benefits. Continuing to work well into your sixties can not only raise your retirement benefits but also the spouse, child, mother and father benefits your family can collect. If you can work, it’s something you should consider.

Ensuring your financial future is important so you can make the most of your retirement. Make this a priority by being informed and by checking out Ask Larry. Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous retirement!

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