I am a Victorian Soul, live in a small townhouse that was built in the mid 1970's, not a huge Mega Mansion, with my Hubby Joe, who is a Retired Letter Carrier. I worked night shift as an RN on a Hospital based Rehabilitation( Physical Medicine) Unit for 37 years before I had Knee Replacement Surgery and officially Retired in 2019 after 41 years working in Direct Patient Care ... I am LOVING Retirement!!!!


George Eliot
George Eliot was actually a pen name for a woman named Mary Anne Evans......


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Social Security: Planning for Early Retirement

  Welcome to the 2nd post in my Series on Planning for Early Retirement!

I am by no means an expert on this subject but I would like to share what Joe and I learned in preparing for our own Early Retirement.

First, I want to thank Sinea, over at Ducks N' a Row, for featuring my post, What We Learned About Social Security: Planning for Retirement, as among the" Very Popular" from last week's Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!

Thanks so much for Sinea and all the others hosts of this great party!!

Please take some time to stop by and link up!! 

If you missed the first post in this Series, What We Learned About Social Security..........
  Please click HERE

I was originally planning on addressing the use of a Financial Planner for this post but because of some of the wonderful comments that I received on the first post and because of some of the questions asked, I thought I would look more into Social Security for all Woman and not just for me and my personal situation.
One particular comment really got me thinking and wondering......

Carol stated " Married couples can not take both SS checks"

Meaning that a husband and wife can not receive 2 checks

 This comment was something I had not heard about because my mother, Joe's mother and several of my co workers that retired ALL received their own Social Security check in addition to their husbands.
So I went to the Social Security Web Site and I found a very interesting Fact Sheet about benefits titled:

 "What Women Should Know About Social Security"

Here is just an excerpt from the Fact Sheet:
"Nothing keeps you from getting own Social Security benefit

If you’ve worked for at least 10 years and earned a minimum of 40 work credits, you are vested in the Social Security system.

Once you reach age 62, you will be eligible for your own Social Security benefit
whether you’re married or not and whether your husband collects Social Security or not.

Your retirement benefit is figured the same way a man’s retirement benefit is figured. It’s based on a percentage of your average monthly wage using a 35-
year base of earnings. If you don’t have 35 years of earnings, we must substitute “zero” years to reach the 35 year base.

If you become disabled before your full retirement age, you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits if you’ve worked and paid Social Security taxes in five of the preceding ten years.

If you also get a pension from a job where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes (e.g., a civil service or teacher’s pension), your Social Security benefit might be reduced."

 There is a lot more information on this fact sheet so please click HERE to read!!

Also in my research on this subject, I came across an online Phamplet also titled:

"What Every Woman Should Know"

This Phamplet is for women of every age and go over a wide variety of subjects such as Divorce, Disability, Limited Income, Widows and of course, Retirement!

Click HERE to view the online Phamplet 

I also came across an article for Stay at Home Mom's titled:

 "What every Stay at Home Mom Should Know about Social Security and Medicare"

Here is an excerpt from that article:

 "It sure would be nice if those years as primary caregivers of young children weren’t so potentially damaging to a full-time parent's future Social Security and Medicare benefits."

" Here’s the rub: A person’s Social Security benefit—which is the value of the monthly check she will receive in old age—is based on having a total of 35 years of paid employment. For each year worked, a certain number of “credits” are provided. You need to have 40 credits to be eligible for your own Social Security retirement and Medicare health insurance benefits. (At the current four credit maximum per year, that requires at least 10 years of employment.) To calculate the value of a person’s retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration totals the earnings from the highest 35 years of income, and then divides that number by 35. Using various rate sheets and tables, that sum is then translated into a benefit. Men generally have no problem meeting or exceeding a work-life of 35 years (unless of course they die). Women have a tougher time."

This article explains that in order for a woman to receive her own Social security check, she must work a minimum of 10 years ( 4 credits per year) to receive 40 credits over a 35 year span to obtain benefits.

Click HERE   to read this article

Another interesting article that I came across was from The Huffington Post about Stay at Home Parents losing their chance to receive Disability Benefits....
"How Stay at Home Moms ( Dads) Lose Their Social Security Disability "

This article states......
" Once a person leaves the work force for more than 5 years, Social Security Benefits evaporate. Simply put,The money you paid into the system is gone, returned to the "pool" for others to use!"

Click HERE  to read this interesting article! 

Unfortunately, those women that chose and were able to financially stay home when their children were born will not fare out well when looking to receive Social Security benefits in retirement unless they later returned to the work force and worked at least 10 years total in a 35 year span.

However, they can receive Social Security based on their husband's earnings....

This is stated in the Fact Sheet from Social Security mentioned above:
"A wife is due between one-third and one-half of her husband’s Social Security.

Most working women who reach retirement age get their own Social Security benefit because it’s more than one-third to one-half of the husband’s rate."

So even though a woman may not have worked outside the home, she can get a Social Security benefit through her husband but it may be very small.  
 Another great article I found was from AARP, which Joe and I both belong to....

"Women and Social Security Benefits"

Please click HERE to read
So to sum it up on a personal level:

Yes, I will receive my own Social Security benefit check

It will be several hundred dollars more than Joe's because I have earned more money and will have worked for 41 years when I retire at 62 years old

I will NOT receive Widow's benefits should Joe die first because my check will be the larger one

Joe will receive Widower's benefits if I die first because my check is the larger one

I am glad I heeded my mother's advice to  " Never be dependent on a Man for anything especially money."

 She worked from the age of 16 years old to 67 years old.

I hope this post was informative and I hope that all women, no matter what age your are, whether you work outside the home or not, look into what Social Security will mean for you when they approach Retirement age....

In my next post in this series on Planning for Early Retirement.....
 I will be touching on developing a Plan for Retirement!

It is never too early to develop such a plan!!
I wish we had started on our plan earlier but better late than never!!

So I hope you will be back to visit soon!!

And thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......

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  1. Debbie, I am keeping up with your posts on SS. Just like the first post you done this is filled with information we all need. Thanks so much for taking your time to share. I am saving it as I did the first post you did for us. Mercy...that sad part is that if we don't ask questions or check into ourselves we will be lost in the shuffle for sure. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  2. I've been drawing my own SS check since age 65...Bill's is the larger of the 2 we receive every month. We have urged our children to prepare for their own retirement as we fear SS won't be there for them.
    One thing I can tell everyone planning for their retirement...what you THINK is a sizeable sum to put back into a CD, MM or whatever, you better double, triple and even more, the amount...it takes tons of money to survive these days. Get all bills paid in full...pay off your house and car....the less you owe, the better off you will be...just good common sense..

  3. Your posts on retirement are obviously a hit!

  4. I am 63 and I sure want to retire early! but I did not start planning early enough to retire:( Funny how time sneaks up on you. However, I will retire in 2 years, thank you so much for posting, and as you stated it's never too late to start planning, some planning is better than none. Hugs,

  5. What a great and interesting post. And informative. We all need to plan!
    Thanks for coming by the party. Thanks for putting the button on. I'll see you soon!
    Enjoy your decorating!

  6. Debbie-
    Great post!
    I appreciate the research you have done!
    I'm 42 and know I'm late to the planning.
    Thanks for the motivation!

    1. Michelle,
      You still have plenty of time to start to plan!! It is NEVER too late!! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great post Debbie! Thanks for sharing it with SYC. Hubby loves delving into this kind of stuff so he has it all planned out for both of us. :)

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your blog! What a crazy world we live in, but I'm glad to see you up and running again. This is a fabulous article on Social Security - I started drawing mine at 62. I worked 21 years before marriage, and during marriage worked several part-time jobs. My hubby is a couple years younger than me, has chosen to continue to work to age 66 (loves his job). My hope was that I would be able to draw under his SS after he begins to receive payments - it used to be if his was larger I could switch over to my portion of his. I heard somewhere that this law has been changed and a wife can no longer do that - if she's drawing on her own, even if it's a smaller amount, she cannot convert to her percentage of her husbands. I'm just thankful to have mine - bought a new TV with it yesterday ;)

  9. Debbie, this is such usual information.(I've pinned it!) Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm.

  10. Debbie, I'm enjoying your informative series. Thanks so much for sharing with everyone. It's easy to put off the planning, but I'm sure you have many people motivated to learn more and to start their own plan. Looking forward to the next post! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle Sunday. Pinning!

  11. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing this very useful info on planning for retirement at our Monday Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the week.

  12. Thanks for another very informative post with links to the direct source! I am so enjoying this series!

  13. Debbie, this is such a great post for the ladies out there! Even though I live in Canada, it is interesting to note how things work for my friends in the US. I'm certain this will be very helpful and I thank you for the time and effort you put into posting it. A stay-at-home mom here in Canada doesn't benefit as well as those who worked of course. In fact, it is scandalous what one receives in their CPP. The OAS is different and everyone pretty much all receive the same amount. Thanks again for sharing and enjoy your weekend.


  14. Definitely a great post!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  15. Debbie, this is great information! I appreciate that you state the facts and their sources -- and just the facts without commentary. It is also helpful to see how this impacts an individual so thank you for sharing your personal application/experience.

  16. Great information, Debbie! Thank you for all the links to various articles and pamphlets. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

    Thank you for sharing this post at Tuesdays with a Twist!

  17. I definitely learned things I didn't know reading this! What a great idea for a series - early retirement would be wonderful and personal finance is such an important issue, especially for women! -Erin @ www.stayathomeyogi.com

  18. Hi Debbie. This post featured today at A Tray of Bliss. Love, Mimi xxx


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