That FICA guy won't be your buddy
In the first season of "Friends," Rachel Green looks at her first paycheck as a waitress and asks, "Who's this FICA guy, and why is he getting all my money?"
That's one hard lesson about Social Security. Another is that when it's time to claim, you can't depend on the Social Security Administration to be your personal adviser.
In an effort to save time and cut costs, Social Security employees generally don't give case-specific advice. So that means you are on your own to make the most important financial decision of a lifetime. You have to read the rules and do the research yourself.
William Meyer, whose website, Social Security Solutions, gives Social Security advice for a fee, says you also can't depend on Social Security to follow instructions you give them electronically. If you have a request that is not the most common choice, you'll need to go to the Social Security office and make the request in person, he says.
Read on to brush up on Social Security benefits that are not commonly known.