The coronavirus pandemic has caused concern about the long-term viability of Social Security as a reliable source of retirement income, but it turns out many Americans don’t understand the program that well.
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A new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Nationwide Retirement Institute showed that 61 percent of people are more concerned about the program’s funding now than they were before the pandemic.
As a result, 28 percent of people said they were likely to change when they planned to file for benefits.
But that may not be the best strategy for everyone. And it turns out, some people may be making planning decisions without truly understanding how the program works.
Less than half of Americans said they were confident in their knowledge of Social Security and the poll showed that people across all generations had some misconceptions.
Here’s a look at what they are:
If a person files early, benefits will automatically rise when the person reaches full retirement age
Percent of people who knew this was false:
- Millennials: 45 percent
- Gen X: 49 percent
- Baby Boomers: 69 percent
At what age are you eligible to receive full benefits?
People who incorrectly identified that age:
- Millennials: 97 percent
- Gen X: 90 percent
- Baby Boomers: 80 percent
Click here for more on your full retirement age.
What determines the maximum benefit?
People who accurately knew all of the factors
- Millennials: 4 percent
- Gen X: 6 percent
- Baby Boomers: 7 percent
Benefits are based on the number of years worked, earnings during years where you paid into the program and the age at which you decide to file.