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Retirement Income Quiz


Results Will Help Americans Determine Their Financial Needs in Retirement

(New York, NY – November 15, 2012) - The MetLife Mature Market Institute’s Retirement Income Quiz is now available to the public online. The 14-question interactive tool was designed to help those planning for retirement determine how much they know about retirement income and to offer them a better understanding of how to make their money last for the duration of their lives.

The Retirement Income Quiz was presented in 2011 to a test panel of 1,213 pre-retired Americans aged 56 to 65. The majority answered only 1/3 of the questions correctly, indicating misperception and misunderstanding income/savings, long-term care, and Social Security.

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For instance, only 45% of respondents knew that experts believe retirees will need 80 to 90% of their pre-retirement income to maintain their current standard of living. Nearly three in ten (29%) incorrectly believe that retirees should limit the percent they withdraw from their savings each year to 7 to 10, while in reality, experts advise limiting withdrawals to four to six percent annually. In addition, just 17% knew that delaying the collection of Social Security by three years would add 24% to the amount they receive.

“We’ve made this quiz available to the general public to help them become aware of what they’ll need in retirement and how much it’s going to cost to maintain their current lifestyle, especially in light of today’s longer life spans,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “We hope this will encourage Americans to take the next appropriate steps. For those who haven’t done so, it's a good idea to talk to a financial professional to determine the right retirement income strategy with a steady income stream tailored to the individual or couple.”

Here are sample questions from the quiz with answers, which are provided following each question online:

Q. What was the average monthly Social Security benefit paid in 2010 to a retired worker?
A. $1,175
Q. What percent of pre-retirement income to experts think retirees need to use as a benchmark
for determining the amount of annual income in retirement to maintain their living standard?
A. 80-90%
Q. An individual who reaches the age 65 has a life expectancy of age 85. What are the chances
he or she will live beyond that age?
A. 50%
Q. At what age would a person who is age 55 in 2011 be able to collect full Social Security
A. 66 and 4 months


The 2011 MetLife Retirement Income IQ, which is nearly identical to the online quiz, was conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and administered online by GfK North America to 1,213 pre-retirees in June 2011. Participants were working full-time, within five years of retirement and were the co- or primary household financial decision-maker. Data were weighted based on gender, education and occupation.

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