Think you know enough about Social Security to make the best decision about when to claim your benefits? The catch is, when the same folks took an eight question quiz about crucial Social Security rules, just 5% got all the answers right.

Did you know that only about a quarter of workers age 55 and older are confident enough to decide when to start claiming Social Security? So what about the other 75%? Sounds like three-fourths of Americans need to evaluate their planning strategy!

The survey results in the recent Forbes article “Big Retirement Mistake: Thinking You Know When To Claim Social Security, When You Don’t” should prompt you to speak with an elder law attorney. He or she can help you make the decision to claim your Social Security benefits—not when other older workers believe it’s right—but rather based on your specific situation.

As you read more of this article, you will see that the majority of Americans claim Social Security right at age 62 or within a few months of retirement (the latter of the two), but don’t start spending their 401(k)s and IRAs before age 70½ when the required minimum distributions from traditional pre-tax accounts must begin. Many individuals would be further ahead if they were to spend some 401(k) money earlier in retirement and postpone claiming Social Security.

Your elder law & estate planning attorney will work with you and your financial advisors to maximize your income throughout retirement, and analyze your specific family situation, pensions, savings, investments, and taxes to determine what the best course of action is for you—regardless of what the others might think is correct.

Reference: Forbes (March 11, 2014) “Big Retirement Mistake: Thinking You Know When To Claim Social Security, When You Don’t

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.