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6 Reasons Your Social Security Benefits May Be Smaller Than You Expect

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You follow the rules as best you can and figure you’ll get what you’re entitled to when you finally claim Social Security. But with this program, timing is everything. At best, you’ll have to wait at least a month after you file to get any benefit, and you may have to wait almost a year to get the full monthly amount. At worst, you could lose thousands of dollars in foregone benefits, even if the mistake is a timing error on Social Security’s part.

Here are six reasons your Social Security benefits may not live up to your expectations—and how to claim the highest benefits possible.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things You Must Know About Social Security

It is with a heavy heart that we report that the author of this slide show, Jane Bennett Clark, died in March 2017 of injuries suffered in a tragic accident. Jane was one of the finest reporters and writers ever to work for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

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