Don’t be a Social Security Flunky

School of Social Security & Medicare

Did you know?

Join us for our next Meld University webinar, Preparing For Long Term Care Expenses in Retirement on October 17th at 3:00 PM CDT with speaker Blake May, J.D., CFP®, Meld Financial.

Click here for more details and to rsvp. There is no cost to attend, but you must register in advance.


Each year large insurance companies such as MassMutual and Nationwide survey Americans near retirement to see how knowledgeable they are in various benefits such as Social Security and Medicare.  In March 2018 MassMutual conducted a simple five-question true or false survey to test the Social Security knowledge of people age 50 or older and 47% of them failed.

How knowledgeable are you regarding your Social Security retirement benefits?  To find out, answer the MassMutual five-question survey below.

  1. Under current Social Security law, my benefits will not be reduced if I claim them at age 65. True or False
  2. My spouse is eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits, even if he or she has no individual earnings history. True or False
  3. If my souse dies, I will continue to receive both my own benefits and my deceased spouse’s benefit; the total Social Security benefits I receive will not change. True or False
  4. Social Security retirement benefits are based on my earnings history. I’ll receive the same monthly benefit amount whether I start collecting before or after my full retirement age.  True or False
  5. If I am still working when I claim my Social Security, my benefits might be reduced, depending on my earnings and my age. True or False

The answers to these questions are as follows:

  1. Age 65 is the age Americans are eligible for Medicare, not the Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security.   The FRA for people currently age 50 or older for Social Security is between ages 66 and 67.
  2. A spouse can receive benefits off the other spouse’s record as long they have been married for at least a year.
  3. At the death of your spouse, you will continue to receive the greater of the Social Security benefits on your record, or the Social Security benefits on your spouse’s record, but not both.
  4. Your Social Security Benefits will be reduced if you start getting them before your Social Security defined FRA, which is between ages 66 and 67 for people currently age 50 or older.
  5. If you start getting Social Security before your Full Retirement Age, your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn over $17,040 in 2018.

So, how did you do? Did you ace it or are you like the majority of the folks surveyed by MassMutual and could use some additional Social Security knowledge?  If you would like to improve your Social Security knowledge, you are welcome to attend one of the Social Security Educational Workshops hosted by Meld University.  You can see our upcoming Meld University Events by clicking here.

Why Meld Financial?

Meld Financial, Inc. is an independent wealth management firm located in Birmingham, AL.

We specialize in financial planning, investment management, employee benefits and executive benefits for individuals, families, trusts, foundations and institutions.

We provide independent and objective services melded with customer-driven financial goals.

Mark McGarvey - President - Meld Financial

“We will always recommend the same course of action we would choose for ourselves, given the same circumstances.”

-Mark McGarvey, President