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No. of Recommendations: 9
The decision on when to take social security is based on two things 1) when you die; and 2) your overall portfolio real rate of return. Unfortunately neither of things are knowable a priori.

This is exactly right. The finances of the decision come down to risk. For retirement planning, many suggest looking at the worst case scenario, not the average scenario. This path leads to the 4% safe withdrawal rate. The key being safe. Following this path leads to enormous wealth for most people since most people don't experience the worst case scenario. But for those who do, a 4% withdrawal keeps them safe.

Taking social security at 70 is like using a safe withdrawal strategy. It gives you more money in the worst case scenarios, when you really need it, but less money when you don't.
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