Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

More women work, pay Social Security taxes and earn credit toward monthly retirement income than at any other time in our nation’s history. Yet, on average, women face greater economic challenges than men in retirement.

Nearly 55 percent of the people receiving Social Security benefits are women. Women generally live longer than men while often having lower lifetime earnings. And, women usually reach retirement with smaller pensions and other assets compared to men. For these three key reasons, Social Security is vitally important to women.

You could be eligible for your own benefits if you:

• worked and paid taxes into the Social Security system for at least 10 years and

• have earned a minimum of 40 work credits.

Once you reach age 62, you could be eligible for your own Social Security benefit. You could be eligible regardless of whether you are married or not and whether your spouse collects Social Security or not. If you are eligible and apply for benefits on more than one work record, you generally receive the higher benefit amount.

The sooner you start planning for retirement, the better off you will be. We have specific information for women at www.socialsecurity.gov/people/women. Email or post this link to friends and family you love.

Jane Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.


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