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  • It’s National Save For Retirement Week! Today’s Topic: Social Security

    It’s National Save for Retirement Week 2012! A week dedicated to building knowledge and taking action toward securing your retirement. Each day this week we are going to look at a different contributing factor to retirement and help you increase your understanding of it so that you can take action and be prepared. Today we are looking at Social Security.

    We start with Social Security because it is a fundamental building block for retirement security, especially for women. Since women have longer life expectancies, they have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income. Women reaching age 65 in 2010 are expected to live, on average, an additional 20.7 years compared with 18.6 years for men. Women represent 57 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older and approximately 68 percent of beneficiaries age 85 and older.

    Yet despite its importance, many people do not even understand the basics of how the system works. This can be costly! When and how you claim your benefits can greatly impact how much Social Security income you receive over the years. The more you learn now, the better prepared you will be in the future to maximize the benefits available to you. Use these helpful resources to find out more about how Social Security benefits work and how to best utilize them.

    For a quick test of your knowledge on Social Security benefits, review our Social Security checklist.  Did you know all the answers?  If not, listen to our five-minute podcastMake the Most of Social Security” for an overview of benefits and how those benefits can be affected by early retirement, marriage, divorce, and widowhood.  For example, did you know you may receive Social Security benefits based on your own work record, your spouse’s work record or a combination of both?  You should always receive the highest amount for which you are eligible. For more information, check out this WISER factsheetSocial Security: What Every Woman Needs To Know.

    Social Security is often the first line of defense for women against poverty in old age. Clearly, women have a strong stake in ensuring the financial solvency of the program and making sure that the broad range of benefits remains. Women need to stay informed on the proposals and the debate to reform the current system. Read WISER’s special report on Social Security for a quick update on some current issues.

    For more information on Social Security, including spousal benefits, Social Security benefits and divorce, and a worksheet to help you understand your Social Security statement, visit the Social Security page on WISER’s website. Also visit for lots of helpful information from the Social Security Administration, including how to review your Social Security statement online.

    Now that you’ve got the basics of Social Security covered, be sure to check back tomorrow for information about another important retirement savings vehicle–company benefits!

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    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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