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Social Security on the Best-Seller List? The New Over-50 Shades of Grey

The flogging is only for your money
Blank U.S. Treasury checks
Photographer: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Get What’s Yours is far from a soft-porn escapist romp, but the how-to book on maximizing your Social Security payout has become an improbable best-seller. On its first day of sale on Feb. 17 it was in the top five on Amazon's Top 100 list, and as recently as Thursday evening it was No. 3.

While the book's dry subject matter won’t ever qualify as entertainment, the subtitle—The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security—mainlines into the rich vein of national retirement anxiety. In a recent survey, BlackRock reported that almost two-thirds of Americans consider Social Security a “critical” factor in their retirement security. Even among those with investable assets of at least $250,000, more than 60 percent also consider Social Security critical to making the numbers work in retirement.