AARP and Knowledge Networks recently conducted an online survey of 2,053 people ages 52 to 70 who plan to claim Social Security within the next 15 years. Only 7% of respondents knew Social Security benefits are calculated based on your 35 highest-paid years of unemployment. Over half of respondents (51%) thought it was five or 10 years. A majority of respondents (89%) knew their payments would be bigger if they waited until their full retirement age of 66 instead of 62 to sign up for benefits. Only 29% knew that waiting those four extra years could increase payments between 30.5% and 41.2%. Less than half of respondents (48%) who are married, or have ever been married, knew that they’re eligible for Social Security spousal benefits.
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