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In this series, “Social Security Secrets,” experts Larry Kotlikoff and Phil Moeller explain the most important things you need to know about this valuable retirement benefit. Kotlikoff and Moeller are co-authors of the New York Times best-seller Get What’s Yours: The Revised Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.

How much money will Social Security provide you in retirement? Not as much as it might have once did, explain Phil Moeller and Larry Kotlikoff, co-authors of Get What's Yours: The Revised Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security. The formulas used to determine Social Security benefits are slowly diminishing the program's payout per-person.

How much of your pre-retirement income that Social Security replaces depends in large part on your annual income as a worker. Low-earning people get a higher percentage of their income replaced than higher-income workers do.

Americans need to save more and start saving for retirement earlier than they traditionally been starting, say Moeller and Kotlikoff. Americans also need to work longer and delay claiming their benefits as long as possible, they say.