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Published: Apr 18, 2024 4 min read
Photo-illustration of a pencil busting through a multiple choice answer sheet.
Money; Getty Images

Think you know your stuff when it comes to retirement? Big if true, because according to a recent report, the average U.S. adult cannot pass a short retirement fluency test.

TIAA Institute, a think tank within the financial services company TIAA, distributed a five-question quiz on retirement basics to nearly 4,000 adults in January — and on average, respondents scored just 40%.

The percentage of people who answered zero questions correctly (19%) was about the same as those who answered four or more correctly (17%).

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, higher retirement confidence correlated to better test scores. Twenty-six percent of respondents who answered four or more questions correctly said they were very confident that they would have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. Only 7% of those who weren’t confident at all achieved the same score.

People closer to or already in their retirement years also tended to perform better than those who weren't. Members of the “Silent Generation,” born roughly between 1928 and 1945, answered 50% of the questions correctly on average. The newly minted adults of Gen Z, on the other hand, only answered an average of 28% correctly.

Test your knowledge

Are you fluent in retirement? Below are the five exact questions (and answers) from the TIAA Institute survey.