In the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Yet, on average, women face greater economic challenges than men in retirement.
Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Women generally live longer than men while often having lower lifetime earnings. And women usually reach retirement with smaller pensions and other assets compared to men. These are three key reasons why Social Security is vitally important to women.
If you’ve worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for at least 10 years and have earned a minimum of 40 work credits, you may be eligible for your own benefits. Once you reach age 62, you may be eligible for your own Social Security benefit whether you’re married or not and whether your spouse collects Social Security or not. If you’re eligible and apply for benefits on more than one work record, you generally receive the higher benefit amount.
The sooner you start planning for retirement, the better off you’ll be. We have specific information for women at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/