Posts

Three tips for Social Security

,
  • Use the benefit calculators available on the Social Security website to estimate your future retirement, disability, and survivor’s benefits. Social Security was never intended to cover all of your financial needs, but understanding what benefits you might be entitled to can help you plan for the future.
  • Consider the impact on your Social Security benefits if you plan on taking time out of the workforce. Having years of no or low earnings may mean lower benefits, and can also affect your eligibility for disability coverage.
  • Check your earnings history regularly, and report any name changes right away to the SSA so that your earnings are recorded properly. If your name doesn’t match SSA records, any income tax refund can also be delayed.

Sources: *Fact Sheet: Social Security Is Important to Women, SSA Press Office; **Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2011, SSA

Retirement benefits: a steady stream of lifetime income

,

While Social Security retirement benefits are important for everyone, they are especially important for women. Because women generally live longer and tend to have lower lifetime earnings than men, they may be more dependent on Social Security benefits in retirement.*

Fortunately, you can count on two features of Social Security to help you provide for a long retirement. First, benefits last as long as you live; although you may exhaust other sources of retirement income, it’s impossible to outlive your Social Security retirement income. Second, Social Security benefits are subject to automatic cost-of-living adjustments that increase benefits when prices increase, an especially valuable feature when you have to rely on a fixed income for many years.

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits that enable you to qualify for Social Security benefits. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, depending on the amount of income that you earn, and you’ll generally need 40 credits (10 years of work) to be insured for retirement benefits. Your monthly retirement benefit will be based on your lifetime earnings. However, if you don’t work outside the home or haven’t worked long enough to qualify for Social Security based on your own record (or have much lower earnings than your spouse), you may still be eligible based on your spouse’s record.

Why Women Need Social Security

,

Did you know that the first person ever to receive ongoing Social Security benefits was a woman? Ever since Ida May Fuller received the first retirement benefit check in 1940, women have been counting on Social Security to provide much-needed retirement income. Social Security provides other important benefits too, including disability and survivor’s benefits, that can help women of all ages and their family members.