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Social Security closed 2 loopholes, but these claiming strategies still work

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Congress recently eliminated 2 lucrative Social Security claiming strategies for most Americans. But there are still plenty of ways to boost the check that’s likely to be a main source of income in retirement.

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There are a few things to keep in mind. One is that benefits typically are reduced if they’re started before the recipient’s full retirement age, which is currently 66 and rises to 67 for people born in 1960 and later. Also, people who receive benefits before full retirement age and continue working lose $1 for every $2 they earn over a certain amount, which in 2016 is $15,720.

For those reasons, waiting until at least full retirement age to begin benefits is often, though not always, the best strategy. Free calculators at the AARP and T. Rowe Price can help determine the best approach, or people can pay $40 to get a more sophisticated analysis from sites such as and

Here are 3 things to know before beginning those calculations: