Posted on 12 September 2012
By Mark Miller
There’s no such thing as a stupid question – especially on Social Security, which has many complex features that can affect your benefits.
I get hundreds of questions from readers every year on very specific issues they face regarding Social Security benefits — most of which I just don’t have time to answer. However, we have some bigger fish in the sea who do have the time and resources to get your questions answered.
Notably, AARP has just launched a searchable database tool of questions on Social Security. The tool contains answers to more than 11,000 questions that AARP has received on the program.
The need to educate the public about Social Security’s plan design is clear. A 2010 study by the Pension Research Council of 2,000 Americans found that most think they understand the program—but don’t.
For example, only 25 percent could correctly answer a question about how Social Security benefits are calculated. Forty-three percent didn’t understand that Social Security benefits can be taxed in certain situations, and the same proportion did not know that benefits are adjusted for inflation.Moreover, few people know the relationship between their retirement age, claiming age and the level of benefit they can receive.
Along with the AARP Q&A tool, here are some other useful resources on Social Security questions you may want to check:
–Ask Mary Jane, a free service provided by the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare.
–SocialSecuritySolutions.com, a fee-based service that can help sort through filing decisions with you.