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A recently released survey shows that a large percentage of people over 55 claim to be pretty confident about their decision-making in regards to benefit claims. According to the same survey, however, only 5% of those people could answer crucial questions about Social Security.

This survey was financed by Financial Engines, which offers strategy advice to seniors.

When it comes to claiming Social Security benefits, strategy is key. Waiting another year, or waiting until you turn 70, may seem like the optimum strategy, but in order to really benefit from this, especially as a couple, you have to factor in different ages, earnings and health, spousal and survivor benefits, the concept of joint life expectancy, and strange Social Security rules that use “file and suspend” strategies to maximize combined benefits.

There are thousands of different variations a married couple could use to claim benefits. Using an optimal strategy could produce over $250K in lifetime income gains. This is where Financial Engine comes in. The company was co-founded in 1996 by Nobel Prize winning economist Williams Sharpe, and manages more than  $88 billion in 401K money for more than 750,000 employees.

Financial Engines launched Income + three years ago, in order to provide a service that manages 401(k) investments and withdrawals for retired workers. It aims to coordinate the investment and spend-down of 401(k) assets and Social Security in order to maximize income over the 20 to 30 years of retirement. With the majority of Americans claiming Social Security at 62, but not spending their 401(k)s and IRA’s before the age of 70, it’s becoming apparent that people would be better of spending their 401(k)s earlier and deferring the date they claim Social Security.

To read more about Retiree Benefits visit Forbes.

Kenneth G. Marks has been practicing personal injury law since he was admitted to the California Bar in 1981. www.KmarksLaw.com