Social Security values and appreciates women. Men and women with identical earnings histories receive the same benefits, yet women should know about certain trends, differences in lifestyle and patterns of earnings that may affect their benefits.

For example, some women may be caregivers for many people: spouses, children and parents. Taking time away from the workplace to care for a newborn child, ailing spouse or aging parent can impact your future Social Security benefits.

Despite significant strides, women are still more likely to earn less over a lifetime than men, and less likely than men to be covered by private retirement plans. In their retirement years, they are more dependent upon Social Security benefits.

Did you know that on average, women tend to live about five years longer than men? This means more years depending on Social Security and other retirement income or savings.

If a woman’s spouse earns significantly more than she does, she may qualify for a larger benefit amount on the spouse’s record than on her own. To learn more, read, “What Every Woman Should Know” on

You may also be interested in listening to Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security, on National Public Radio as she talks about women and money. Just visit

Questions, online applications, or to make an appointment to visit a Social Security office, contact:
1-800-772-1213 (toll free) | 1-800-325-0778 (TTY)