3 Social Security mistakes that could wreck your retirement

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Social Security benefits can be a lifesaver in retirement, especially if your personal savings fall short. But if you depend too much on those checks, it could spell financial disaster during your golden years.

Benefits are designed to replace approximately 40% of your pre-retirement income, and yet nearly half of single beneficiaries and one in five married couples depend on Social Security benefits for at least 90% of their income, according to the Social Security Administration.

Because Social Security benefits are such an integral part of many Americans' retirement plans, it's important to maximize the amount you receive in your monthly checks. Sometimes, even simple Social Security mistakes like these could hurt your chances at retiring comfortably.

Mistake No. 1: Not knowing your full retirement age

Your full retirement age (FRA) is the age at which you'll receive the full benefit amount you're theoretically entitled to each month. For those born in 1960 or later, your FRA is 67. Those born before 1960 have an FRA of either 66 or 66 and a few months, depending on the exact year you were born.
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