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Investing Specialists

Should You Count Social Security as a Bond?

The right answer depends a lot on the retiree's risk capacity as well as risk preferences.

Note: This article is part of's September 2016 Retirement Matters Week special report. A version of this article appeared on Jan. 9, 2014.

For many people approaching and entering their retirement years, Social Security benefits are the most valuable "asset" they have. According to statistics compiled by the Urban Institute, a two-earner couple earning average wages over their lifetimes and starting Social Security at 65 in 2010 would receive nearly $1 million in Social Security benefits over their lifetimes.