Optimizing Social Security’s retirement benefit has gone from being an obscure, wonkish topic to an essential part of retirement income planning. The system’s complexity can create a temptation to go the black box route: Plug the numbers into a software program and accept whatever recommended strategy emerges.
The risk with that approach, of course, is that programs are only as good as their code. If the system developers and programmers don’t know about a particular claiming strategy or if an algorithm doesn’t handle a situation properly, an advisor risks giving incomplete or incorrect information. That risk makes it important to understand how Social Security operates.
Social Security Strategies (2nd edition) by William Reichenstein and William Meyer and available on Amazon.com will get you up to speed. The authors are genuine experts in the subject—just witness their ubiquitous media presence. Both are well-known for their many articles on Social Security and the popular analytic program they sell, Social Security Analyzer.