Part of the secret to a long(er) and healthier retirement might be the help you can provide retirement plan participants in understanding the timing of Social Security – a relatively simple waiting game that can result in significantly improved benefits.

The BMO Retirement Institute recently issued a report backing up the fact that most Americans don't understand how Social Security works and, as they approach retirement age, too many of them subsequently draw benefits too early and end up costing themselves in the long run.

"Retirees Not Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits" made that issue painfully obvious by noting that 91 percent of respondents surveyed said they understand that waiting longer increases the monthly benefit they'll receive, yet nearly half admitted they're either collecting benefits already or are planning to draw benefits before the full retirement age.

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