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Social Security is a significant source of income for many retirees, but people often misunderstand even basic concepts behind this government program.
For the Nationwide Retirement Institute’s 2022 Social Security Survey, 1,853 adults age 26 and older were asked about their attitudes and knowledge regarding Social Security. It uncovered significant gaps in respondents’ understanding of the nation’s retirement program.
Here’s a look at a few of the facts that a majority of people get wrong about Social Security.
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True or false: If you work less than 35 years, your benefit amount will be reduced.
Respondents who answered correctly: 38%
Fewer than 4 in 10 people knew this statement is true. While you don’t need to work 35 years to receive Social Security benefits, you do need to work that long to get the largest benefit amount possible.
That’s because your Social Security retirement benefit amount is based on your highest 35 years of earnings. If you worked fewer than 35 years, the government uses a zero for each year without earnings. Each zero lowers your benefit amount.
Early claiming and spousal benefits
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