Why Do Women Claim Social Security Benefits So Early?

TitleWhy Do Women Claim Social Security Benefits So Early?
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMunnell, AH, Soto, M
InstitutionBoston College, Center for Retirement Research
Call Numberwp_2005/ib_35.pdf
KeywordsAdult children, Employment and Labor Force, Social Security, Women and Minorities

This brief summarizes the incentives facing older women when claiming their Social Security benefits. The analysis shows that single women and married women face very different choices. For most married women, the Social Security benefit structure actually encourages them to grab their benefits as soon as possible. These incentives reinforce the tendency for wives, who are usually younger, to retire when their husbands do. Early claiming may maximize the wife's Social Security wealth, but it also encourages them to stop working, creating a loss of earnings and 401(k) savings and extending the period over which they need support in retirement.

Endnote Keywords

Marital Status/Women/Social Security/Labor Force Participation

Endnote ID


Citation Key5612