Guest Bloggers, History, Retirement

Three Retirement Planning Tips For Women

March 19, 2021 • By

Last Updated: March 22, 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. Diana C.

    My full retirement is 66 and 4 months, I am now 65, if I start drawing my SS and still keep working, I understand I will receive a discounted amount.
    My question is when I am at my full retirement age will my month payment go up to the full amount, (still working), and as long as I keep working it can continue to increase each year?

    • Ann C., Public Affairs Specialist

      Hi, Diana. Thanks for your questions. Your payment amount is based on when you decide to start your benefits. If you choose to get benefits before full retirement age, they will be reduced. The amount you receive when you first get benefits sets the base for the amount you will receive for the rest of your life. Your benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month before your full retirement age. As far as working and receiving an increase in benefits based on that work, each year we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your earnings for the prior year are higher than one of the years we used to compute your retirement benefit, we will recalculate your benefit amount. Generally, we will send a letter explaining any increase in your benefit amount. We hope this helps.

  2. sekhar

    thank u for providing such useful information it is very helpful to aged womens i will refer this site to some people who i know.
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