Best Social Security Books - For Upcoming Retirees and Professionals

From a brief overview to all the technical Social Security rules

On Nov. 2, 2015 new laws on Social Security were released. when these new laws were released I went to work writing a book that covered them - my book Social Security Sense, is the first on the list below. I am sure many of the books on this list will be updated to cover the new laws - but as of Dec. 2015 the only one on the list that I can assure you covers the news laws is Social Security Sense.

Social Security Sense

Social Security Sense book cover
Social Security Sense. Dana Anspach

Social Security Sense covers all the new rules that were signed into law on Nov. 2, 2015. It provides practical examples on how your choices as to when you claim benefits affects your retirement security - and shows you how to make choices that deliver the best possible results for you and your family. You can find the book on Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble, but for 50% off use coupon code AN48K at Smashwords (you'll need to create a free Smashwords account).

Social Security Made Simple

Book cover for Social Security Made Simple
The title gets it right - this book covers Social Security basics in under 100 pages. Mike Piper

If you are looking for a not-too-technical introduction to how your Social Security retirement benefits work then get the book Social Security Made Simple. The great thing about it? It is 100 pages or less! 

It covers all the basics, and by the time you're done you'll know if your situation warrants continuing on to more technical books that will take you on a deeper dive into complex rules. 

Mike Piper, the author, is a CPA, and has several other fantastic short simple books on personal finance. He also writes a free blog/newsletter called Oblivious Investor, which is listed in my Top Ten Retirement Blogs.

A Social Security Owner's Manual

Book cover for A Social Security Owner's Manual.
An easy-to-read book that covers everything most need to know about claiming Social Security. Jim Blankenship

Jim Blankenship, a CFP and an Enrolled Agent, has now released his 3rd edition of A Social Security Owner's Manual. It provides a technically accurate summary of all the important things you need to know before you file for your Social Security retirement benefits.

It covers spousal benefits, spousal claiming strategies that you can use if you're married, rules of thumb you can use to increase the benefit your surviving spouse will receive, how working while receiving benefits may affect your benefit amount, deemed filing rules (this is something that applies to spousal benefits and you need to be aware of it when you develop a claiming strategy with your spouse), remarriage, divorce and more.

My favorite part of this book is the short chapter Should I Use IRA Assets or Social Security Benefits where the author provides a great example which shows how you can get more after-tax income by coordinating when you take Social Security with when you take IRA withdrawals. The Coordinating Spousal Benefits chapter is also a must read.

Get What's Yours, The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Book Cover for Get What's Yours The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security
Filled with stories and examples, this book covers just about anything you'll want to know about your Social Security benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, Phillip Moeller and Paul Solman

This book is longer than the first two, covers all the topics in greater depth, provides far more examples, and is written in a story-telling style that keeps you entertained while you are learning.

Get What's Yours, The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security also provides links to additional resources and online Social Security calculators, one of which (Maximize My Social Security) was created by one of the authors, Larry Kotlikoff. 

My favorite chapter? The last one titled Whither Social Security, in which each of the three co-author's, all experts in the finance field, writes their own synopsis of the system and where it is headed. It is fascinating to see the diverse perspectives - and then to realize they were all able to work together to write this book. If you're concerned about the future of Social Security - read this chapter.

2016 Social Security & Medicare Facts (Tax Facts)

Book cover of 2015 Social Security & Medicare Facts
This book is a great technical reference guide for finance, legal and tax professionals. Joseph F. Stenken

And last, but not least, if you want a technical reference guide, buy the annually updated edition of Social Security & Medicare Facts

This book is for those in the finance, tax or legal profession who need to find answers to complex questions about claiming benefits. It also covers technical aspects of Medicare, veteran's benefits and benefits for federal employees.

You can probably find most of the answers online with A LOT of searching - but it is a far more efficient use of your time to have this book on your shelf.