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Would you fail a basic Social Security quiz? Put your knowledge to the test.

Would you fail a basic Social Security quiz? Put your knowledge to the test.

Would you fail a basic Social Security quiz? Put your knowledge to the test.

I came across a recent CNBC article that caught my attention but didn’t surprise me. The article alluded to the fact that most people ages 55 to 65 either failed or barely passed a 13-question true/false quiz on Social Security. The survey was done by MassMutual and the results, in my opinion, underscore the importance of seeking professional fiduciary help when doing income planning for retirement.

Social Security can be one of many sources of income for retirement that need to be optimized. However, for most retirees, Social Security is typically the largest source of income they’ll have and thus it is critical that they coordinate this benefit with the rest of their financial plan.  Unfortunately, most don’t know enough about it to know if they’re getting the most out of a benefit they’ve paid into their entire working life.

When put to the test, 78% of respondents ages 55 to 65 failed or barely passed (41% failed and 37% got a D) and less than 1% got a perfect score by answering all 13 questions correctly. In fact, the 2024 rate of 78% is worse than the 2023 results of 69%.

So, how well do you think you’d do on this survey? Answer true or false to the following questions and check your answers at the end against how others faired.

  • In most cases, if I take benefits before my full retirement age, they will be reduced for early filing.
  • If I am receiving benefits before my full retirement age and continue to work, my benefits might be reduced based on how much I make.
  • If I have a spouse, he or she can receive benefits from my record even if he or she has no individual earnings history.
  • If I have a spouse and he or she passes away, I will receive both my full benefit and my deceased spouse’s full benefit.
  • Generally, if I am in a same-sex marriage, there are different eligibility requirements when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits.
  • The money that comes out of my paycheck for Social Security goes into a specific account for me and remains there, earning interest, until I begin to receive Social Security benefits.
  • If I get divorced, I might be able to collect Social Security benefits based on my ex-spouse’s Social Security earnings history.
  • Under current law, Social Security benefits could be reduced by 20% or more for everyone by 2035.
  • Under current Social Security law, full retirement age is 65 no matter when you were born.
  • If I file for retirement benefits and have dependent children age 18 or younger, they also may qualify for Social Security benefits.
  • If I delay taking Social Security benefits past the age of 70, I will continue to get delayed retirement credit increases each year I wait.
  • Social Security retirement benefits are subject to income tax just like withdrawals from a traditional IRA account.
  • I must be a U.S. citizen to collect Social Security retirement benefits.

With Social Security, there’s unfortunately no do-overs. You need to get it right from the outset. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you’re coordinating your benefit with other income sources that can affect how your benefit may be taxed. Doing some sound income planning in coordination with other areas of your retirement plan such as tax and investment planning can go a long way in getting you better prepared and with more peace of mind as you enter retirement.

I hope this is helpful to your retirement journey. Call us, come see us or visit us at www.woottonfinancial.com, we’d love the opportunity to help address your questions and concerns and provide you Clear Direction for Your Retirement®.

Answer Key: 1. True (92% correct), 2. True (84%), 3. True (75%), 4. False (70%), 5. False (70%), 6. False (65%), 7. True (59%), 8. True (58%), 9. False (55%), 10. True (53%), 11. False (48%), 12. False (38%), 13. False (23%).

Investment Advisory services offered through Game Plan Advisors, Inc., a registered investment advisor. Insurance services offered through Wootton Financial Group, Inc. Game Plan Advisors, Inc. and Wootton Financial Group, Inc. are affiliated through common ownership. Neither Game Plan Advisors, Inc. nor Wootton Financial Group, Inc. offer legal or tax advice. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your individual circumstance. Not associated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Not associated with or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

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