Social Security is a key part of your financial security in retirement, but one problem many have with it is that you can only get your benefits one month at a time. But one little-known secret can get you a one-time lump sum of up to six months of benefits. Is it a smart move for you?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, explains how the little-known Social Security lump sum provision works. Essentially, if you wait until beyond full retirement age to get your benefits, you can later get up to six months in a single lump sum. But Dan notes that there's a catch: your benefit is calculated as if you'd started taking it six months ago, leaving you with lower monthly benefits. As a result, Dan concludes that those with survivors who'll receive benefits might end up taking a hit over the long run, but single Social Security recipients who get news of a terminal illness might find it useful to maximize their benefits using the strategy.

Make the most of Social Security
Knowing the secrets of Social Security is essential to make sure you don't miss out on valuable benefits. In our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder for You," 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.

Neither Fool contributor Dan Caplinger nor The Motley Fool has any position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.