Anxiety about Social Security is palpable as roughly 10,000 baby boomers have been entering their retirement years each day since 2011, and that trend will continue through 2030. (Tweet This)
"Get What's Yours," a guide about how to maximize claiming Social Security retirement benefits, is the 19th best-selling book on Amazon after hitting the top spot in February when the book debuted. When and how you claim Social Security benefits "can beat any annuities you can buy in the marketplace," said Laurence Kotlikoff, the book's co-author and a Boston University economist.
Social Security can be complicated, especially for married couples, divorcees and widows. Financial Engines, the nation's largest provider of managed accounts for defined contribution retirement plans like 401(k)s, estimated there are 8,000 different ways a married couple might claim their Social Security benefits. Many of these strategies rely on claiming spousal or survivor benefits.
To deal with the complexity, many organizations, including the AARP, Financial Engines and the Social Security Administration, offer free online calculators and other tools. Kotikoff also licenses an online Social Security advice tool called Maximize My Social Security to households for $40 per year.
Financial advisors are getting in on the act, too. More than 3,000 advisors attended a Social Security benefits webinar Tuesday hosted by the Insured Retirement Institute, which represents the annuity industry, as part of National Retirement Planning Week (a week of events sponsored by the IRI and other education, consumer advocacy and financial services organizations).
Read MoreSocial Security is hot topic for aging boomers
"It's a fairly new trend for advisors to think about Social Security as an asset class," said Michael Doshier, vice president of retirement marketing at Franklin Templeton Investments. "But Social Security could potentially be the largest asset their clients have, depending on when they claim their benefits and how long they live."