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This Secret Social Security Strategy Can Get You 6 Months of Benefits at Once

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.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 01, 2014, at 7:46 PM, Mentallect wrote:

    If you are dying next month, take it. Unless you have some dire financial need, do not take the lump sum.

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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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