The vast majority of Americans are familiar with Social Security, but few understand it completely.

Others simply assume that once they retire they can count on Social Security to cover their retirement expenses for the rest of their lives. 

Some people, however, feel Social Security does not provide a significant amount of retirement income, although it is nice to have. 

About half of beneficiaries receive at least 50% of their retirement income from Social Security. About 90% of retirees receive

their income from Social Security. Therefore, Social Security contributes substantially to the retirement security of older Americans. 

You can't maximize your benefits unless you pay attention and develop a strategy. 

Tax and financial advisors can be valuable resources, but it's vital to understand how Social Security works at least 

the basics. You will be better prepared when the time comes for you to retire if you learn these facts early in your career. 

the basics. You will be better prepared when the time comes for you to retire if you learn these facts early in your career. 

You'll also want to understand how to use different claiming strategies in conjunction with your own retirement savings.

Use GOBankingRates' six-question quiz to find out if you know the ins and outs of Social Security. 

The following are not comprehensive, but if you understand these basic principles, you'll be well on your way to both 

Getting all of the retirement benefits to which you're entitled, and positioning yourself to make the most of your retirement income.

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