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Personal Finance

Want Help With the Big Social Security Decision?

A growing number of planners and online tools are focused on helping investors craft a personalized filing strategy. Here's how to size them up.

Note: We're refeaturing this article as part of Morningstar's October 2014 5 Keys to Retirement Investing special report. This article originally appeared Sept. 10, 2014.

Deciding when to file for Social Security is one of the most consequential financial decisions most Americans will make about their retirement. Opting to claim benefits early, at the Full Retirement Age (FRA), or later can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in higher--or lower--lifetime benefits for a married couple.