Straight Talk

Think you know how Social Security works? Take this quiz


So you are confident that you have a strong understanding of how and when to take Social Security benefits.

That is great news for you. You are obviously way ahead of most Americans, who find that making the decision on when to claim Social Security is so complicated and significant, they need professional help.

Social Security checks
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It is a big deal. Love it or hate it, Social Security is the foundation of retirement in America, but what people don't know about the system can really hurt them. For millions of people, Social Security benefits will be their only source of income after they stop working. And with the inexorable decline of private defined-benefit pensions in America, Social Security's guaranteed income will become even more important in the future.

Read MoreDoing the math behind Social Security

To be sure, Social Security has become absolutely key to the retirement of Americans. Social Security is also one of the things you can control, and you must control it well. The financial impact of it is enormous over an individual's life expectancy. That's why figuring out the puzzle of Social Security is so important. People who do not fully appreciate how critical and complex claiming Social Security is can make costly mistakes and leave some serious money on the table.

Are you prepared? Let's see. Take our quiz and see how much you know about Social Security.