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About social security and early retirement: My understanding is that your social security retirement will be based on your best 35 years of employment, not the best 10 years. I retired at 53 after paying maximum social security tax for 30 years and minimal social security taxes for three years before that on starvation-level Navy pay. In computing my retirement, the social security administration uses those 33 years and two more years at zero tax to compute my retirement. They do adjust your earnings record for inflation. You can find out what you personally will get by asking the social security administration for a person statement. In filling out that form, I just told them I expect zero earnings this year.

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