Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay
Courtesy: Social Security Administration

March was Women’s History Month. During the month, Social Security’s educational outreach focused not just on the achievements of women, but also on the challenges they continue to face in today’s world. 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 take control of your own rich and independent history with knowledge obtainable from Social Security.

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 may 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.

A great place to start is with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator. It gives you a personalized estimate of your retirement benefits. Plug in different retirement ages and receive projected earnings to get an idea of your future benefit amounts. You can use this valuable tool at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.

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

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

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