How well do you understand Social Security? Take this quick quiz to find out

Ready for a quick quiz on how Social Security benefits work? You should. Social Security is the most important retirement benefit for most Americans, and understanding the rules is critical for getting the most out of the program. So, let’s get started.

At what age can you receive your full benefit? Can you keep working while collecting a full benefit? If you’re divorced, can you collect a benefit based on your ex-spouse’s earning history? Can you receive a benefit even if you are not a U.S. citizen?

Only 28 percent of Americans are able to give correct answers to questions like these to get a passing quiz grade, according to a new survey by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Only one in 1,500 respondents correctly answered all 12 factual questions posed about Social Security, and just 38 percent got more than half of the answers right. Only eight percent consider themselves very knowledgeable about Social Security.

The findings are disturbing. Ninety percent of Americans over age 65 receive Social Security benefits, and for 65 percent of them, the program provides more than half their total income, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. For 36 percent, Social Security is the entire retirement income ballgame.

Read more about the MassMutual study in my Reuters column, or take the company’s quick quiz to see how you score.

 

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