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New research gives important guidance on how to stretch your retirement dollars the furthest: In your 60s, lean on a “bridge” of withdrawals from your 401(k) and don’t start claiming Social Security until you turn 70.

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Unless you have a pre-existing condition that suggests a shorter-than-average life expectancy, waiting for that higher payout will more than pay off assuming you live into your mid-80s. (For the record, if you make it to 65, the odds are that you will indeed live at least that long.)

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The CRR researchers created a model using household survey data from 2016 that showed 65-year-old single men who had 401(k) savings had a median account value of $106,000 and were eligible for an annual Social Security benefit around $15,400. Women with 401(k) savings had a median account value of $110,000 and were eligible for an annual Social Security payout of around $14,500.

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If you register at the Social Security website you can get an estimate of your Social Security benefits if you were to claim at 62, at your full retirement age or at age 70. Then you can decide if you want to withdraw your FRA amount (or less) from your 401(k) so you wait to claim Social Security as long as possible.

Tax season is approaching, and replacing your annual benefit statement has never been easier. The benefit statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from us in the previous year so you know how much Social Security income to report to the Internal Revenue Service on your tax return.

"States are generally incentivized by the federal government to cut resources during times of low unemployment," said Kristin Richards, acting director of IDES during a Senate Labor Committee hearing Wednesday. "In times of low unemployment, agencies tend to not have the resources that they need to plan ahead and plan for large, widespread dislocations."

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