Social Security Basics Course

Making decisions about Social Security for yourself or a loved one is intimidating and confusing. There are so many choices, and you'll have to live with your decisions for the rest of your life.

Updated with 2021 information.

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Some of the most popular topics in the course . . .

When to Collect Benefits

Learn the relevant points for making a decision about when to start collecting monthly Social Security benefits. Collect early and get a lower amount? Or wait until age 70 to get the maximum amount?

Spousal and Survivor Benefits

Social Security offers benefits to spouses. It also offers benefits to your survivors when you pass away. Learn what these benefits are, their amounts, and who is entitled to them.


If you're wondering how and why your Social Security benefits are taxed, we have an answer for you. We provide specific examples so you can determine how you'll be impacted.

"I was confused about the best time to retire. Should I jump in early and collect Social Security benefits as soon as I'm able at age 62? Or should I wait until I'm 70 so I can get the maximum amount each month? This course helped me understand the pros and cons of each strategy. And it helped me know how my choice could potentially affect my wife if she chooses to get spousal benefits. Now I'm comfortable making the decision."

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Social Security Basics

This course breaks all the important decisions into "bite size" pieces so that by the end of the course you have a clear path that's tailored to your specific and unique needs.

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What's included in the course?

You get seven video lessons, each with a download.

  • Lesson 1: Getting Started explains full retirement age and why it's important.
  • Lesson 2: When to Start Collecting Benefits equips you to make an informed decision about when you should start collecting Social Security benefits. 
  • Lesson 3: Tax Considerations helps you understand when and how your Social Security benefits are taxed.
  • Lesson 4: Spousal Benefits explains what benefits are available to spouses.
  • Lesson 5: Survivor Benefits provides information about the benefits surviving family members are entitled to when a person collecting Social Security passes away.
  • Lesson 6: The Future of Social Security talks about the important question of "how safe and secure is Social Security for future generations?"
  • Lesson 7: Special Topics talks about how to apply for Social Security, and other important topics not yet covered.
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