Take the Social Security Quiz!!

If there are thousands of Social Security possibilities, how can anyone know which one(s) is the best? I guess you start with the basics...Take the quiz and see how you do!

I found this in one of my trade publications. Though I have knowledge on social Security, I am no expert on SS (Social Security). I leave that to the financial planners, but I thought a quick test was a good way to at least have some basis for understanding since it should always be, must be, part of your financial picture. To keep it short, no explanations are given. For more information, feel free to contact me or search out the explanation online.

Answers are at the end. See how you fair!

1. What is the current FULL retirement age?
A. 65
B. 67
C. Between 65 and 67 depending when you were born
D. 62

2. If you were born AFTER 1960 and wait until you are 70 instead of age 62, your monthly SS will go up by:
A. 0%
B. 25%
C. 51%
D. 77%

3. Non-US citizens can collect SS, if otherwise eligible:
A. Never
B. Just by signing up
C. If they have a valid visa
D. If they emigrated from certain preferred countries

4. Minors (children under 18) can receive SS benefits:
A. When a parent dies
B. When a parent applies for benefits
C. When a grandparent who is their legal guardian applies for benefits
D. All of the above

5. You can work and still collect SS benefits at the same time:
A. Never
B. Always with no effect on benefits
C. After reaching full retirement age (see question #1)
D. Only if you make under $10,000

6. Spouses of someone who has qualified for SS are entitled to:
A. Only claim benefits that they themselves have earned
B. Claim up to 50% of their spouses' benefits if higher than their own
C. Claim up to 100% of their spouses' benefits if higher than their own
D. Claim up to 50% of an ex-spouse if the marriage lasted 5 years or more

7. Your SS benefits may be reduced if you:
A. Worked for a government agency that paid into SS
B. Worked out of the country and paid into a foreign retirement plan
C. Started collecting SS before your full retirement age
D. All of the above

8. SS benefits are taxable:
A. Never
B. Only in some states
C. If your total income reaches certain thresholds
D. Always

9. SS no longer mails benefit statements that show your earnings and projected benefits. These figures can only be obtained:
A. Online at www.socialsecurity.gov
B. Through your employer
C. They cannot be obtained anymore
D. Through a paid online service

10. Typically, in most circumstances, a senior citizen on SS does NOT have to file a federal tax return if his/her TOTAL income is BELOW (may be different for your state):
A. $25,000 and single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)
B. $25,000 and Married Filing Separately and lived apart from spouse for the entire year
C. $32,000 if you are Married Filing Jointly
D. $0 if you are Married Filing Separately and live with your spouse at any time during the year
E. All of the above

If you have questions on SS, feel free to ask me. If I cannot answer them, I can refer you to people who can or use the sources below. Better to ask than be in the dark.

Answers: 1.-C; 2.-D; 3.-C 4.-D 5.-C
6.-B (D if marriage lasted 10 years) 7.-D 8.-C
9.-A 10.-E

References:

Connors, Dan. Winter 2015. "Social Security. Test your knowledge: A quiz for
you and your clients". Tax Pro Journal. National Association of Tax
Professionals. Pgs 33-36.

Social Security. December 3, 2015. "Benefit Planner: Income Taxes and
Your Social Security Benefits". https://socialsecurity.gov/planners/taxes.html