Today we’re going to test your knowledge about Social Security. Social Security is one of those things that most of us don’t think much about until we get close to retirement. Of course, that's only natural! However, I’m in business to help you put all the pieces together before and when you get to this phase.
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How much do you really know about Social Security?
I want to share with you a Social Security quiz I heard about recently on a podcast episode with financial advisor Benjamin Brandt, who is in my coaching program and has a practice similar to mine in North Dakota.
For the quiz, MassMutual Insurance polled 1,500 near-retirees aged 55-65 who had not started collecting Social Security to see if they could answer 12 true or false questions about Social Security.
52% of the people surveyed got a D or an F, meaning they answered fewer than 9 out of 12 questions correctly.
Only 3% of those polled got all 12 questions correct.
This helps amplify the need for what we do - helping put all the pieces together in a retirement plan that includes how Social Security fits into everyone’s individual circumstances.
How do you think you would do on the same quiz? Since you are reading this blog, you are probably more educated about Social Security than the average American. But let’s find out!
Try to answer each true or false question for yourself. The answers are provided at the end. Can you get at least 9 out of 12 correct?
Social Security True or False?
1. If I take Social Security benefits before my full retirement age, those benefits will be reduced for early filing.
2. If I receive benefits before my full retirement age and continue to work, my Social Security benefits might be reduced based on how much I make.
3. Once I start collecting Social Security, my benefits will never change.
4. If my spouse passes away, I will continue to receive both my full benefit and my deceased spouse’s full benefit.
5. My spouse can receive benefits from my earnings record if he or she has no individual earnings history.
6. 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.
7. Under current Social Security law, the full retirement age for Social Security is 65 no matter when you were born.
8. As a divorced person, I might be able to collect Social Security benefits based on my ex-spouse’s earnings history.
9. Under current law, Social Security benefits could be reduced for everyone in 2035.
10. If I file for Social Security benefits and have dependent children age 18 or younger, they may also qualify for Social Security benefits.
11. 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.
12. I must be a U.S. citizen to collect Social Security retirement benefits
Social Security Answers
1. The answer is True. If you take Social Security benefits before your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced.
2. The answer is True. If you make more than $18,240 in 2020, your benefits will be reduced.
3. The answer is False. Most years there are increases in benefits due to inflation.
4. The answer is False. You will continue to receive the largest of the 2 benefits.
5. The answer is True. You are able to claim your own benefit or 50% of your spouse’s benefit, whichever is larger.
6. The answer is False. Your future benefit will be paid for by future workers.
7. The answer is False. 65 is the age at which you can file for Medicare regardless of the year you were born. The full retirement age for Social Security is currently anywhere between 66 and 67.
8. The answer is True. If specific requirements are met and you haven’t remarried and you were married at least 10 years, you can claim 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefits.
9. The answer is True. But don’t pay too much attention to the date because this fluctuates with the strength of the economy, employment rate, and other factors.
10. The answer is True. But this is probably not worth filing for early, but there could be exceptions.
11. The answer is False. Your benefits will cap at age 70 at 132% of your benefits at full retirement age.
12. The answer is False. If you paid into the Social Security system, you are eligible to collect benefits.