So, you might think you know everything you need to know about Social Security? If that’s the case, congratulations — you are part of the minority when it comes to your knowledge of the country’s biggest retirement benefits program.
A recent study published by the Nationwide Retirement Institute discovered that many Americans do not know enough about some of the most basic parts of Social Security. The new study was based on a survey that was conducted by The Harris Poll for the Nationwide Retirement Institute.
“It is indisputable that Americans in all generations need more education on Social Security,” Tina Ambrozy, stated in a media release. “Unfortunately, we are failing to close that knowledge gap and correct many of these misconceptions that could have costly consequences. Financial professionals should help their clients better understand retirement security within America and plan properly to get the most from their Social Security benefit.”
Here are five things a lot of Americans do not know about Social Security:
1 — Age of Eligibility: Two in five respondents do not know the age of eligibility to get full benefits.
2 — Payments: Just over half of those that are not already getting Social Security checks (51%) do not fully understand how much they will receive in Social Security income.
3 — Spousal/child benefits: 30% do not know that Social Security might offer benefits for children and spouses.
4 — Inflation protection: Over a third (37%) incorrectly think that Social Security benefits aren’t protected against inflation.
5 — No adjustments: 45% of Americans make the mistake of thinking that if they claim SS benefits early, their benefits will increase automatically when they are at full retirement age, or they do not know this is false.
The study discovered that many Americans are not educating themselves on Social Security because they really don’t think it will still be around when they are ready or need to claim the benefits. Seven in 10 Americans ages 25 and over worry that the SS program will be out of money sometime in their lifetimes. And this is especially true about millennials (77%) as well as Gen Xers (83%).