General, Guest Bloggers, Retirement

Three Retirement Planning Tips For Women

March 19, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 19, 2021

Photo of Cindy HounsellOne day in 1939, Ida May Fuller stopped by the local Social Security office in her hometown of Rutland, Vermont, and said, “I knew I’d been paying into Social Security and I wanted to learn more.” The following year, she received the very first Social Security benefit payment—$22.54—and it arrived as check number 00-000-001. Ida’s story still holds lessons for women today—and it started with her getting the information she needed. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us consider the following retirement planning tips you should know.

Today, signing up for a personal my Social Security account can help you get tailored information to plan for your retirement. It’s never too late to start planning. Ida was 65 years old when she started receiving benefit payments, but she lived well beyond her life expectancy of 65 years, 4 months. In fact, Ida lived to be 100 years old, and received Social Security benefit payments for 35 years. It’s important to create your personal my Social Security account as soon as possible. With your account, you can view estimates of future benefits, verify your earnings, and view the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. Verifying earnings is important because your future benefit is based on your earnings history.

Your Social Security benefit payments will provide only a portion of pre-retirement income. That means you’ll have to save more to have adequate income for your desired lifestyle in retirement.

Savings need to be an active part of your plan to take care of yourself and your family’s financial future. Ida never married. She supported herself. However, you may find yourself widowed or divorced—and having to provide for yourself for 15 years or longer. Unlike in Ida’s day, you can go online to see if you’re eligible to receive a current, deceased, or former spouse’s benefits. It might make financial sense to claim those benefits instead of your own—since the payments could be higher based on the individual’s own earnings history.

In the spirit of Ida, we encourage you to plan for your financial future. Please share this information with your friends and family—and help us spread the word on social media.


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  1. drbones4@hotmail.com

    I would like to set up my benefits for my 70 birthday on 12-04-1951
    I started to set it up and it said it would start on 9-10 no will wait, Please tell me how to set-up.
    want to also have a 1099

    • Vonda

      Hi there. Thanks for using our blog to ask your question Our system is set up to take applications four months in advance. You can choose any of the upcoming four months to begin your benefits. If you started or submitted your application and need to make a change, please call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Cindy

    My earnings in 2018 were not reflected on my SSA benefits statement. I sent in a W-2 and had that corrected, but my earnings that year were for six months. Had I worked at that rate all year, it would have been one of my highest earnings years ever. Will the fact that my 2018 earnings were reported “for the year” impact my benefits any differently than if they had been reported quarterly by my employer?

    • Patty

      Hi Cindy. Thanks for using our blog.  Social Security benefits are based on your lifetime of earnings for each calendar year. We calculate an individual’s average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which they earned the most. Higher lifetime earnings result in higher benefits. You can create a personal my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. Thanks!

  3. Letecia E.

    daley centermade me change my name

  4. Evelyn C.

    This is wonderful advice! I recently learned about the importance of building your retirement account early. I’m 26 and opened a Roth IRA this year plus my company has a separate 401k retirement acct so I’m contributing to both. I’ll eventually roll everything over to my Roth but I’m so glad I’m starting early.

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