Social Security Benefits: The Huge Advantages of Waiting Until Full Retirement Age

Once you reach full retirement age, Social Security offers many more options. Find out about them here.

May 23, 2014 at 5:10PM

Social Security is an essential program for many retirees, and many people end up taking their benefits as early as age 62. But waiting until full retirement age, which is currently 66 for people reaching it this year, can be a smart move.

In this installment of our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from Skip, who asks whether one can take full Social Security benefits after reaching full retirement age and whether he can draw his full Social Security while also continuing to work and earn income without forfeiting benefits. Dan goes through the advantages of waiting until full retirement age to claim Social Security, including suffering no reduction in monthly benefits, having the ability to use sophisticated strategies like the file-and-suspend strategy, and the fact that no reduction in benefits occurs even for those who work. Dan concludes that once you reach full retirement age, you can claim full benefits without fear of reduction.

How to get even more income during retirement
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, but it's not the only way to boost your retirement income. In our brand-new free report, our retirement experts give their insight on a simple strategy to take advantage of a little-known IRS rule that can help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to, and they might be the subject of a future video!

Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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