Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Many women depend on Social Security payments for all of their income. These benefits are crucial for women for several reasons: women have a longer life expectancy, spend less time in the workplace, and have lower lifetime earnings, pensions, and other assets. Because women have a strong likelihood of living more years in retirement than men, they have a greater chance of exhausting non-Social Security income sources.
Fortunately, Social Security is guaranteed for life. And Social Security has cost-of-living protections, so your benefits are adjusted every year for inflation. The level of Social Security protection for women is getting better too. For example, the benefits for disabled or surviving spouses have been increased.
The Social Security Administration has a resource page specifically for women. It includes information for women who are caregivers, working, retiring, widowed, married, getting married, getting divorced, and for those who are already receiving Social Security benefits. This web resource provides links to important publications and helpful online tools. Whatever your stage or situation in life, you'll find something that fits.
Social Security benefits only replace about 40 percent of pre-retirement earnings. So while it's part of a secure retirement, women need to understand their benefits and Social Security's cost-of-living protections.
(Updated Friday, 09 October 2020)