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In this series, Tips from the Pros, Money taps the collective wisdom of expert financial planners.

There are a few simple ways that you can get the most out of your Social Security earnings. One strategy, for example, is to put off taking Social Security until you turn 70. Your lifetime monthly payment—which might be the lifetime payment for your surviving spouse, too—will have grown over all those years you did without.

Another thing you can do is calculate your life expectancy. Are you healthy? How long did your grandparents and parents live? If your genes indicate you might live into your 80s at least, put off claiming Social Security. But if your circumstances point to a shorter lifetime, claim Social Security earlier and live your best life.

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