Social Security puzzles future beneficiaries: survey

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Middle-aged and older adults planning to fund all or part of their retirement years through Social Security have some learning to do if they want their plans to be successful, according to new research [PDF].

The AARP and the Financial Planning Association surveyed 1,215 adults aged 45 to 64 years about Social Security's rules, policies and intricacies and found that they may not be well understood. That reality could affect future beneficiaries and entities on which they would spend their funds.

The results demonstrate that Social Security knowledge is lacking for Americans aged 45 to 64 years "in ways that could severely impact benefits and retirement decisions," according to the AARP. Future beneficiaries lack understanding of claiming age, spousal benefits, widow benefits, benefits for ex-spouses and working while collecting Social Security, according to the organization.

The Social Security Administration, financial planners and the AARP all offer resources to educate future retirees, the AARP says.

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