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.

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