Disability, Online Services, Retirement

Helping Women Secure Today and Tomorrow

August 28, 2017 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: November 3, 2023

three woman taking a picture together Social Security is with you through life’s journey — from when you’re born, through your working years, and into retirement. We provide information and tools that help you make better decisions about your retirement future. Women face unique challenges when choosing when to retire and in making other decisions related to their future Social Security benefits.

On average, a woman who is 65 years old today can expect to live to about 87. By contrast, an average 65-year-old man will live to about 84. Women tend to earn less over the course of their lifetime than men and enter their retirement years with smaller pensions and other assets. This can translate into a smaller benefit amount.

Marriage, divorce, and widowhood affect the benefit amount you receive, as you may qualify for a higher benefit on your current, former, or deceased spouse’s record. It all comes together with information and planning.

With longer life expectancy than men, women must plan accordingly for retirement, as all these factors could affect you when you decide to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits. As you plan for the future, Social Security is with you every step of the way.

It’s never too early to begin developing a sound financial plan. A great way to get started is by creating your personal my Social Security  account. It’s free, fast, and secure and gives you convenient access to your personal Social Security information. With a my Social Security  account, you can review your Social Security Statement to get estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. You can also verify your earnings are posted correctly. Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime earnings, if you worked.

With retirement, disability, survivors, and other benefits, Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow. To learn more about why Social Security is important to women, please visit https://www.ssa.gov/people/women/.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: ,

See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Tama D.

    I lived with the father of my now grown children for 10 years. Left due to mental and physical abuse. 2 years ago he died. Never paid child support. Am I qualified for survivor benefits or are my kids qualified. Their ages are 32 and 33, I’m 55 single and disabled.?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Tama. We are sorry to hear about your situation. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who died and you are not married, you may be eligible benefits just the same as a widow or widower. For more information, please visit our Survivors Planner: If You’re The Worker’s Surviving Divorced Spouse. Only eligible children qualify for benefits when a parent dies. For more information visit here. We hope this information helps.

  2. Lynne S.

    I would like to review my benefits as I am having a difficult time living on my benefits now. I do need to see if I qualify to receive benefits from my x-husband who I was married to for 13 years. Do you advise me to make an appt. to come in to SS office? Thanks. In advance for a reply

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Lynne. Thanks for your question! If you were married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, and you are not eligible for a higher benefit on your own record, you may be eligible for divorced spouse benefits on his record as early as age 62. To see if you qualify for a higher benefit than what you are currently receiving, contact your local office or you may call our toll-free telephone number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you. We hope this helps.

  3. sirenna c.

    My husband left me back in April 7,2018.I am 80 yrs old not able to work I don’t draw but 767.00 a month.I cant live on this without some help. Please advise what I can do.My life ins.my electricity and food ,plus other personal items.Thanking you in advance Sirenna Crews BD 2/23/1938 1260 Tiger Branch rd.samson al.36477 phone 334 898 1450.

    • Ray F.

      Hello Sirenna, you may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information.
      We hope this information helps.

  4. Test I.

    I got this website from my pal who told me about this web page and at the moment this time I am visiting this website
    and reading very informative posts at this place. http://testinfernoxuk.com/

  5. Go A.

    The UK has an excellent Security System in Place that helps disabled people throughout their entire life. The system however is not without fault as it hands out money to too many people who are nothing but fraudsters

  6. Motherof2boys

    54yr old Mother of twin boys age 14. Husband made bad choices and was deported. Prior to being deported he worked 25yrs with a valid green card. I have been on my own since my boys were 8. Am now starting to struggle financially. Can my kids get any benefits from his retirement fund or can I get spousal support? Thank you

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Motherof2boys. Thank you for your question. Based on the limited information you have provided, you and your children are not eligible for benefit through Social Security. Under certain circumstances, such as death, survivor benefits are payable based on earnings to eligible family members upon the death of a parent. See more information on Benefits For Children with Disabilities and Frequently Asked Questions on Survivor Benefits. We hope this helps.

  7. carol s.

    Are you are a victim of the Gov Pension Offset (GPO) or the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), of which 81% ARE WOMEN, and qualify for one of the many many exceptions/exemptions? If yes, you will not be able to PLAN for your SSA retirement because SSA will NOT provide you with a preretirement determination. When will SSA provide this preretirement planning service?

    Note: AKA, please do not reply to my blogs.

  8. Lenore M.

    When can a person, born Feb. 1951, draw Social Security from their ex-spouse? They were married for 19 yrs.

    • Jenna Y.

      Great question, Lenore. The ex-spouse must be of retirement age (62 or older) or be receiving disability benefits for an individual to qualify and receive benefits on their record. If the ex-spouse does not apply for retirement benefits, but can qualify at age 62 or later, the individual can receive benefits on the ex-spouse’s record if they have been divorced for at least two years. If an individual was born before January 2, 1954 and have already reached full retirement age, they can choose to receive only the divorced spouse’s benefit and delay receiving their own retirement benefit until a later date. See our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced for more information. To see if this individual is eligible for a higher benefit amount, have them contact us. We hope this information helps.

    • Kenny O.

      Hi Lenore, you may be eligible to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62, if:
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • You are unmarried;
      • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      Also, if you continue to work, you will have to contact us as soon as you attain your 40 quarters of coverage (credits). Keep in mind that a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions. If you are divorced and qualify for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, your benefits may be affected by the “Government Pension Offset“. Your own Social Security benefit can be reduced based on the “Windfall Elimination Provision“. We hope this information helps.

  9. Debra A.

    I am 57 yrs old and my husband is deceased will I automatically start receiving survivor’s benefits when I turn 60 yrs old.

    • Kenny O.

      Hello Debra. You are eligible to apply for survivor benefits when you reach age 60 (age 50 or over if disabled). The benefit is not automatic. You will need to initiate your application by contacting us at: toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or by visiting your local servicing office. For more information on widow’s benefits, check out this Frequently Asked Question. We hope this helps.

  10. Insignificant M.

    Does the government have any program that values men and women equally or is it only women that get older, get sick, become poor, or lose a spouse?

Comments are closed.