May 2, 2018 — Even though the average scores were quite low on last week’s Social Security IQ Quiz, there is still plenty of good news. Best of all, we are happy that so many people, over 2,000 and climbing, took the time to take it last week. It wasn’t easy, particularly with its occasionally tricky multiple choice options. But after having taken it, gotten a score, read the answers, and understanding why they were correct – a lot of people now have a better understanding of this critical retirement benefit. Hurrah!
In this article we are going to cover the highlights of the quiz and how our test takers did on it. We won’t go into the nuts and bolts of every answer, because we already provided all the correct answers and explanations at Your Social Security Quiz Results.
The average score on the quiz was 50%. Of the 2046 taking it as of April 30, only 22 got a perfect score, the same number that only missed 1 question. Congratulations to those folks on their excellent Social Security knowledge. Passing score was 60%, so by that standard most people did not pass. But we want to stress that what really counts is what you know AFTER you take test and study the answers!
The questions had 3 or 4 choices, so the probability of guessing each right answer was 33% at best. Some answers were a bit tricky because we wanted folks to understand a few key concepts. Two questions were harder than the others, since more people answered them incorrectly than correctly. Those were:
Q. 3. How does the Social Security Administration calculate your benefit?
The correct answer was “Social Security calculates your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most”. However, slightly more people chose an incorrect answer (20 years). The point of the question was, you have a lot of working years to try to maximize your benefit.
Q. 12: Which ONE of these statements about filing strategies is TRUE?
More people (736 vs. 639) selected “None of the above” than the correct answer, “People born before Jan. 2, 1954 can take a Restricted Benefit (spouse can collect spousal benefit but can wait to claim own benefit)”. We chose this question because there is much confusion over “Restricted Benefit” and “File and Suspend” (and who is eligible for each). While File and Suspend is no longer available, some folks can still take advantage of the Restricted Benefit option.
One other question that people had a lot of trouble with was the one that asked how much of a spousal benefit you can get. Although 46% answered correctly, you can get 50% if you are Full Retirement Age, an alarming 44% thought that you could get 50% at age 62. That could be a costly if taken early with the mistaken thought you get 50%.
Questions almost everybody got
There were 4 questions that almost everyone answered correctly. They were important questions, so it’s great that people already were up to speed on those:
Q. 1. Full Retirement Age for people born before 1955.
Some 67% knew the correct answer, 66 years of age.
Q. 7. Working after taking SS. The correct answer was “Once you start social taking security your benefits will not be reduced if you work for pay, as long as you have reached your full retirement age.” Almost everyone has good command of this one – 72% got it right.
Q. 11. Divorce and SS.. This was the question with the highest percentage getting it right. Some 76% knew the correct answer to “Assume that you are divorced from someone who qualifies for social security benefits. You are at least 62, and have not remarried. Can you collect benefits as a divorced spouse on the record of your former spouse?” The correct answer was: “Yes, as long as you have were married to that person for at least 10 years”.
Q. 13. Future of Social Security.. The question was “Which was the only true statement from the latest Social Security Trustee Report about the financial health of Social Security”, and the correct answer was: “In 2035 only 75% of promised retirement benefits will be available to be paid.” 59% of you got that one right.
Thanks to all for taking the quiz. Hopefully you now know (if you didn’t already) the key things you need to understand about Social Security, a critical resource for your retirement. If you haven’t already read our article with the answers and explanations to each question, we strongly urge you to spend a few minutes reviewing it.
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