Would You Pass a Social Security Quiz?

Angela M. Carstens | Posted: June 13, 2018

Understanding Social Security and the various claiming strategies can certainly be complex, and the difference between understanding your options and not understanding your options may result in leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The results of an online survey conducted by MassMutual insurance company showed that 47% of adults ages 50 and above failed a simple 5-question Social Security quiz. The good news is that this is actually an improvement from a survey conducted three years ago which resulted in 72% fail rate for the general public and a 62% defeat for those ages 50 and up.

The two topics that seemed to stump the quiz takers were the ideal claiming age for Social Security and spousal eligibility to receive benefits. Let's see how you do on these two True or False questions:

Under current Social Security law, my benefits will not be reduced if I claim them at age 65.

False. Only 49% percent of those surveyed answered this question correct. Today, the age retirees need to be to receive an unreduced benefit (full retirement age) is between the ages of 66 and 67. If you claim your benefit before your full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced.

My spouse is eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits, even if he or she has no individual earnings history.

True. Just 54% of those surveyed responded with the correct answer. Understanding how spousal benefits work is very important. Even though your spouse may have no earnings record or a low earnings record, they may be eligible for a benefit based on your work record.

If you answered these questions incorrectly, don't worry! Our wealth management team is here to help you navigate the Social Security system and coordinate your benefit with your overall retirement income plan. Contact us about a customized Social Security Analysis.

About the author

Angela M. Carstens

Angie is a Lead Wealth Manager working with individuals, families, and business owners who are currently retired or nearing retirement and accepts a limited number of new clients each year. Angie specializes in comprehensive wealth planning and retirement income planning. She further educates clients and the community on ways designed to help maximize Social Security benefits and teaches personal finance to a select group of students at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. Outside of work, Angie enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, camping, and hiking.

Certifications, Licenses, and Registrations

  • Registered Representative with Triad Advisors, LLC
  • Accident, Life, Health, and Variable Life/Variable Annuity Insurance Licenses

Education and Training

  • Series 7, 66, 53

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