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We all dream of an early retirement.

Being able to punch out, kick up our feet and not have to answer any more nagging emails from the boss. And we all dream about doing that as early as possible. For a lucky few, that dream becomes a reality. Thanks to careful planning, steady saving and a bit of market timing luck, some investors are able to do just that.

But there is a big downside to retiring early. We’re talking about Social Security.

Retiring early and escaping the rat race can have a significant effect on your benefits and how much money you’ll receive over the long haul. That holds especially true if you decide to take SS as early as possible to help fund your retirement.

But luckily, there are some ways for you to help stretch your savings and take Social Security as late as possible.

Early Retirement & Social Security

After years of saving, hard work and 258% market gains for the S&P 500, more Americans are calling it quits early. According to research from Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research, the average retirement age is around 62 for women and 64 for men. While Boston College’s data doesn’t break down the reasons why these are the ages – voluntary or involuntary retirements – the idea is that we as a nation are still punching our last clock earlier.

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