The Lost Social Security Benefit Most People Never Knew Existed

Millions rely on Social Security to help them make ends meet in retirement. But Social Security is complicated enough that many people never knew about a key strategy that could have given them a lot of flexibility in deciding when to take their Social Security benefits.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, walks through the little-known strategy. He notes that until late 2010, the withdrawal-of-application strategy allowed Social Security recipients to get a do-over on their choice of when to start taking benefits. Simply by repaying the benefits you received, you could get the right to refile for benefits at a later age, reaping larger monthly benefits in the process. Dan explains that now, though, the rules for withdrawing your application for Social Security benefits are much more restrictive, giving you just one chance and only allowing you to turn back the clock by 12 months. 

Learn more about Social Security
Social Security strategies change all the time, but you still need to know how to stretch your benefits as far as you can. Find out how by reading our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You." Inside, our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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