Ep 9: Can You Pass This Social Security Quiz?

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Did you know that nearly a third of near-retirees fail a basic quiz on Social Security? It’s such an important piece of your retirement, so we want to make sure you know the answers.

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Show Notes

On today’s episode, we’re talking about Social Security and how much you know about it. Nearly a third of near-retirees fail a basic quiz on Social Security? It’s an important piece of your retirement, so we want to make sure you know the answers.

InvestmentNews.com reports that a little more than one-third (35%) of near-retirees failed a basic quiz of their knowledge about Social Security benefits and another 18% earned a D, “meaning more than half of Americans ages 55 to 65 do not understand the program’s basic rules, according to a new Mass Mutual consumer poll.”

You can take the quiz yourself and read some of the answers below:

TRUE OR FALSE?

Social Security retirement benefits are based on my earnings history; I’ll receive the same monthly benefit amount whether I start collecting before or after my full retirement age.

This is false. The first part of this statement is correct, but you won’t get the same monthly benefit amount no matter when you collect it. Full retirement age is what Social Security uses so you can get your primary insurance amount. That age is different for everyone, because it’s based on when you were born.

You’ll get a reduced amount if you claim Social Security early. If you wait until after your full retirement age, you’ll get more money. The amount increases by 8% each year after your full retirement age.

If my spouse dies, I will continue to receive both my own benefit and my deceased spouse’s benefit; the total Social Security benefits I receive will not change.

That is false. Social Security retirement benefits are only paid while you are alive. Assuming that you are eligible, the amount you receive will equal the greater of your benefit or your spouse’s benefit.

Listen to the entire episode or click on the timestamps below to skip ahead to a particular question.

[5:33] – About the quiz

[11:35] – Benefits based on earnings

[14:37] – Spouse’s death

[16:16] – U.S. citizens

[17:13] – Benefits not reduced

[18:53] Still working

[23:23] – Dependent children

[24:13] – Primary insurance

[25:25] – Cost of living

[26:44] – Government workers

[29:08] – No earnings history

[30:34] – Confusion

Thanks for checking out this episode. We’ll talk to you again soon.

 

“Social Security makes up a huge chunk of a lot of people’s retirement income … We want to make sure people are prepared.”

-Scott Sierens

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