Although Social Security provides a significant portion of the income most retirees depend on when their paycheck goes away, many people — even those who plan to retire soon — know little about how the program works.
It’s easy to understand why. The rules that determine whether you’re eligible for Social Security, how much you can get and when you can claim your benefits can be complex — and they continue to evolve over time. There’s a lot of dated information out there, not to mention all the stuff that’s just plain wrong.
I hear the misinformation that’s being passed around — or passed down from one generation to the next — all the time. And I worry for the many future retirees who could make an expensive mistake when claiming their benefits based on something they read a few years ago, or something they were told at a party, or even something they saw on the Social Security Administration’s website, but didn’t interpret correctly.