Wondering whether you should claim your Social Security at age 62, 66 or 70? The options are actually more complicated.
There are tens of thousands of ways to claim your monthly checks, when you consider factors such as spousal and child benefits and that you don't just decide which year to file, but which month, as well.
"It's definitely not a one-size-fits-all," said Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University and the co-author of "Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security."
Kotlikoff created a complicated calculator that determines a person's "maximum" Social Security strategy — the way in which they can reap the most money.
To be sure, most people don't have the luxury of waiting before claiming Social Security. Losing a job or lacking savings pushes them to file early, despite the economic advantages of deferral. And research shows that even early filers rarely regret their decision.
Still, if you want to know how to maximize your benefits, the calculator can be useful.
CNBC asked Kotlikoff to provide three different examples of optimal claiming strategies.