You, Women’s History, and the Power of Social Security

March 10, 2017 • By

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Last Updated: November 3, 2023

3 women smiling March is Women’s History Month — a time to focus not just on the past, but on the challenges women continue to face. Nearly 60 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women, and in the 21st century, more women work, pay Social Security taxes, and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Knowing this, you can be the author of your own rich and independent history, with a little preparation.

Social Security has served a vital role in the lives of women for over 80 years. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. With the national average life expectancy for women in the United States rising, many women will have decades to enjoy retirement. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a female born today can expect to live more than 80 years. As a result, experts generally agree that if women want to ensure that their retirement years are comfortable, they need to plan early and wisely.

You can start with a visit to Social Security’s Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and projected earnings to get an idea of how such things might change your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at

You should also visit Social Security’s financial planning website at It provides detailed information about how marriage, widowhood, divorce, self-employment, government service, and other life or career events can affect your Social Security.

Your benefits are based on your earnings, so you should create your personal my Social Security  account to verify that your earnings were reported correctly. Your account also can provide estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits.

If you want more information about how Social Security supports women through life’s journey, Social Security has a booklet that you may find useful. It’s called Social Security: What Every Woman Should Know. You can find it online at

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Hughes D.

    Government managed retirement is a program that is indispensably imperative to all Americans, yet it is particularly essential to the monetary security of ladies. Overall, ladies today who arrive at age 65 outlast men by 2.5 years.

  2. Jennifer s.

    Looks like discrimination against federal workers who have federal retirement.cant receive spousal benefits.private retirement you can!!!!!

  3. Alannah

    Vests can be a fullback or a backless in cut. Full back
    vests cover the shoulders down to waist. It is the most standard
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  4. Ray G.

    Social Security DISCRIMINATES against women and minorities because benefits are tied to discriminatory wages. Women earn 77 percent of what men earn at work, and thanks to SS, they get $300/month less in retirement! The way to end this, and the “pension pigs” who get six-figure pensions while others scrape by, is with a universal retirement benefit (URB):

  5. Lorraine

    I always ask and no one ever has an answer. Back when Lyndon Johnson was president he tapped into the social security fund account to pay other expenses. As I understand it, this practice still continues today. Why are the social security funds used for other government purposes?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Lorraine. Thanks for your question. Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Social Security taxes collected from today’s workers pay the benefits of today’s retirees. Any funds in excess of what is needed to pay today’s benefits are invested in special issue, U.S. Government, interest-bearing securities. This investment – the purchase of U.S. Government securities – is what constitutes the “borrowing” that people are sometimes concerned about. Any funds that have been “borrowed” from the Social Security Trust Funds have always been paid back in full, plus interest. Please check out our Trust Fund Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. We hope this helps.

  6. lesly f.

    hi jim what do you think if some one request a appeal determination from is ssi matter and ssa stop is check I think if some one appeal a case is check not suppose to stop until the final decision.from that matter.telling me about the appeal case.

    • Hope F.

      lesly francois , you have 10 days from the date you receive the letter informing you of the Cessation of Benefits to request to continue to receive monthly benefits during appeal. With SSI Only, how long you can continue to receive monthly SSI Benefits before going before an ALJ depends on the reason for the cessation of SSI. If the cessation is upheld at the ALJ level, you ay have to pay the monthly benefits back.
      With SSDI, you can receive monthly benefits until the ALJ makes a decision.

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