Millions of Americans rely on Social Security to help them make ends meet in retirement. That makes it more important than ever to get as much in Social Security benefits as you can. But given how complex Social Security is, that task can be a big challenge. In particular, married couples have a lot to consider in order to maximize their benefits.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, examines why Social Security planning for couples is so complicated. Dan observes that for single people, Social Security involves the simple decision of planning for usually one beneficiary. With couples, though, the interplay between two spouses' work histories, the potential to receive spousal and survivors' benefits, and the combinations of actions necessary to implement complex strategies like the file-and-suspend strategy or the restricted application strategy all present opportunities to maximize benefits -- but they also are extremely difficult for many Social Security recipients to understand. Dan concludes, though, that it's worth the time to get all the Social Security benefits you deserve.

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