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Can You Pass This Social Security Quiz? Nearly 7 in 10 People Struggle With These Basic Questions
May 30

Brian J. O'Connor

Pop quiz: True or False - Social Security retirement benefits are subject to income tax just like withdrawals from a traditional IRA account.

If you answered ''False,'' you're smarter than more than 60% of your fellow Americans nearing retirement. In fact, if you know just about anything about how Social Security works, you're very likely smarter than almost 70% of people close to retirement age when it comes to understanding one of your most important sources of retirement income.

Those are the findings from the 2023 Social Security retirement benefits quiz of near-retirees from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. Of the 1,500 people between age 55 and age 65 who took the quiz, 69% failed or barely managed to pass the 13-question survey (posted in full below). And a mere 1% managed to correctly answer all the questions.

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Even more worrisome is the fact that more people failed the quiz this year than last year, with one-third (35%) getting six or more questions wrong vs. 29% last year.

''One of the most concerning findings was that 43% of near-retirees do not know what percentage of their income in retirement will be coming from Social Security benefits,'' said Paul LaPiana, CFP, head of product with MassMutual. ''Knowing your total retirement income and where it will come from is part of the foundation of retirement planning.''

How do you stack up? Try the True or False quiz and see for yourself - and you've even got a head start on No. 12. ( Social Security benefits aren't subject to any income tax until you make over a certain limit of income, which is $25,000 for single filers, and $32,000 for joint tax filers.)

2023 MassMutual Social Security Retirement Benefits Quiz
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.
Generally, if I am in a same-sex marriage, there are different eligibility
requirements when it comes to Social Security retirement benefits.
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.
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 file for retirement benefits and have dependent children aged 18 or younger,
they also may qualify for Social Security benefits.


By The Associated Press, Copyright 2023

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