Munnell, Alicia Haydock, Alex Golub-Sass, and Nadia S. Karamcheva. “Strange but true”. Issue in Brief 9-6, Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, March 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:104289.
The brief's key findings are: (1) An unconventional strategy allows individuals to use early Social Security benefits like a "free loan," paying back the principal while keeping the interest. (2) If this strategy were widely adopted, it would cost Social Security $6 billion to $11 billion per year today and more in the future. (3) This strategy primarily benefits higher income individuals, who have the financial resources to invest their benefits and tend to be in better health.