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Social Security Claiming Knowledge and Decision-Making Factors

In 2009, with the 75th anniversary of Social Security approximately one year away, AARP embarked on a two-part study to examine knowledge of and attitudes toward Social Security retirement benefits among current and future beneficiaries.   While Social Security provides various types of benefits (including retirement benefits, disability benefits, spousal benefits, and survivor benefits for widows/widowers and other dependents), this study focuses only on individuals who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits.  We focused specifically on individuals ages 55 to 66 who are currently receiving Social Security retirement benefits, are not yet receiving them but are already eligible to receive them, or will be eligible to receive them within the next few years.  The study, which consisted of focus groups followed by a survey, had the following key objectives:
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