Social Security Checks are not Created Equal

Jayne Black
Forbes
Social Security Checks are not Created Equal

The question was asked, “At what age you should start taking your social security check?” It is a great question to ask, but an even better question is, “Why do men get a fatter social security check than women?” When it comes to social security, men and women are not created equal. Equal pay has been the law since 1963, yet almost 48 years later women are still paid less than men – even when we have similar education, skills and experience.

The financial challenges for women are great. Eighty percent of men die married and eighty percent of women die alone. Because women out live men, women will need more income to retire on than a man. So why do women still make 32 cents less per hour than men? This wage gap costs the average American full-time woman worker between $700,000 and $2,000,000 over the course of her lifetime, according to economist Evelyn Murphy, president of the WAGE Project. That is not even taking into account the effect this will have on their social security check!

I am not here to sugar coat anything; the facts are the facts. This is not our mother’s generation. In 1967 women breadwinners compromised 11.7percent of the U.S. job market and 44 years later in 2011 women compromise 40 percent. We have big financial demands on our shoulders so I am here to encourage women to boldly look at these truths and stop shoving our financial negatives under the carpet. It is ridiculous that in this time in history one in five women will live in poverty during their retirement years. We work our whole lives and we work just as hard as men and yet our bottom line is less. At 70 years of age, my mother passed away but not before she spent five years living (if that is what you want to call it) on just social security. Even an additional $100 per month would have made a huge difference for her.

I cannot sit by and not let other women know many of us are headed down the same path. Sixty five percent of Americans will not have enough income saved to retire on. That means the demands upon that social security check will become much greater.

Let’s fast forward to retirement. It is the day after you retire. You wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get dressed, and drive to the bank to deposit your social security check for the month. Did you know the average social security check for a woman is 800.00 per month and for a man it is 1,200? Now you drive back home, pay your rent, utilities, phone, water bill, insurance, and medical bills and try to figure out how much you have left to maybe buy some macaroni and cheese to eat for the month.

If you think I am kidding, unfortunately, I am not. If you have nothing saved this is how you will live, and the facts show 1 in 5 of us will live this way. What do we do to prevent ourselves from living in poverty? Well, it is similar to recognizing heart disease: Know the warning signs! Do the things you need to do to live healthy; in this case, “financially healthy”.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • No other form of savings
  • Not using a calculator to figure out how much money you will need each month
  • Not having an annual financial check up with your bank or financial planner
  • Not considering how many years of retirement for which you will need income

  • What can you do to live financially healthy?

  • Start saving
  • Talk to your bank about the best savings vehicle for you
  • Use a calculator to figure out how much you need to save every month
  • Delay taking social security if you can to receive a bigger check later
  • Work part-time

  • Bottom line: Adjust what you need to now to start saving for a future that looks the way you want it to. Please...

    The question was asked, “At what age you should start taking your social security check?” It is a great question to ask, but an even better question is, “Why do men get a fatter social security check than women?” When it comes to social security, men and women are not created equal. Equal pay has been the law since 1963, yet almost 48 years later women are still paid less than men – even when we have similar education, skills and experience.

    The financial challenges for women are great. Eighty percent of men die married and eighty percent of women die alone. Because women out live men, women will need more income to retire on than a man. So why do women still make 32 cents less per hour than men? This wage gap costs the average American full-time woman worker between $700,000 and $2,000,000 over the course of her lifetime, according to economist Evelyn Murphy, president of the WAGE Project. That is not even taking into account the effect this will have on their social security check!

    I am not here to sugar coat anything; the facts are the facts. This is not our mother’s generation. In 1967 women breadwinners compromised 11.7percent of the U.S. job market and 44 years later in 2011 women compromise 40 percent. We have big financial demands on our shoulders so I am here to encourage women to boldly look at these truths and stop shoving our financial negatives under the carpet. It is ridiculous that in this time in history one in five women will live in poverty during their retirement years. We work our whole lives and we work just as hard as men and yet our bottom line is less. At 70 years of age, my mother passed away but not before she spent five years living (if that is what you want to call it) on just social security. Even an additional $100 per month would have made a huge difference for her.

    I cannot sit by and not let other women know many of us are headed down the same path. Sixty five percent of Americans will not have enough income saved to retire on. That means the demands upon that social security check will become much greater.

    Let’s fast forward to retirement. It is the day after you retire. You wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get dressed, and drive to the bank to deposit your social security check for the month. Did you know the average social security check for a woman is 800.00 per month and for a man it is 1,200? Now you drive back home, pay your rent, utilities, phone, water bill, insurance, and medical bills and try to figure out how much you have left to maybe buy some macaroni and cheese to eat for the month.

    If you think I am kidding, unfortunately, I am not. If you have nothing saved this is how you will live, and the facts show 1 in 5 of us will live this way. What do we do to prevent ourselves from living in poverty? Well, it is similar to recognizing heart disease: Know the warning signs! Do the things you need to do to live healthy; in this case, “financially healthy”.

    Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • No other form of savings
  • Not using a calculator to figure out how much money you will need each month
  • Not having an annual financial check up with your bank or financial planner
  • Not considering how many years of retirement for which you will need income

  • What can you do to live financially healthy?

  • Start saving
  • Talk to your bank about the best savings vehicle for you
  • Use a calculator to figure out how much you need to save every month
  • Delay taking social security if you can to receive a bigger check later
  • Work part-time

  • Bottom line: Adjust what you need to now to start saving for a future that looks the way you want it to. Please...

    The question was asked, “At what age you should start taking your social security check?” It is a great question to ask, but an even better question is, “Why do men get a fatter social security check than women?” When it comes to social security, men and women are not created equal. Equal pay has been the law since 1963, yet almost 48 years later women are still paid less than men – even when we have similar education, skills and experience.

    The financial challenges for women are great. Eighty percent of men die married and eighty percent of women die alone. Because women out live men, women will need more income to retire on than a man. So why do women still make 32 cents less per hour than men? This wage gap costs the average American full-time woman worker between $700,000 and $2,000,000 over the course of her lifetime, according to economist Evelyn Murphy, president of the WAGE Project. That is not even taking into account the effect this will have on their social security check!

    I am not here to sugar coat anything; the facts are the facts. This is not our mother’s generation. In 1967 women breadwinners compromised 11.7percent of the U.S. job market and 44 years later in 2011 women compromise 40 percent. We have big financial demands on our shoulders so I am here to encourage women to boldly look at these truths and stop shoving our financial negatives under the carpet. It is ridiculous that in this time in history one in five women will live in poverty during their retirement years. We work our whole lives and we work just as hard as men and yet our bottom line is less. At 70 years of age, my mother passed away but not before she spent five years living (if that is what you want to call it) on just social security. Even an additional $100 per month would have made a huge difference for her.

    I cannot sit by and not let other women know many of us are headed down the same path. Sixty five percent of Americans will not have enough income saved to retire on. That means the demands upon that social security check will become much greater.

    Let’s fast forward to retirement. It is the day after you retire. You wake up, pour yourself a cup of coffee, get dressed, and drive to the bank to deposit your social security check for the month. Did you know the average social security check for a woman is 800.00 per month and for a man it is 1,200? Now you drive back home, pay your rent, utilities, phone, water bill, insurance, and medical bills and try to figure out how much you have left to maybe buy some macaroni and cheese to eat for the month.

    If you think I am kidding, unfortunately, I am not. If you have nothing saved this is how you will live, and the facts show 1 in 5 of us will live this way. What do we do to prevent ourselves from living in poverty? Well, it is similar to recognizing heart disease: Know the warning signs! Do the things you need to do to live healthy; in this case, “financially healthy”.

    Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • No other form of savings
  • Not using a calculator to figure out how much money you will need each month
  • Not having an annual financial check up with your bank or financial planner
  • Not considering how many years of retirement for which you will need income

  • What can you do to live financially healthy?

  • Start saving
  • Talk to your bank about the best savings vehicle for you
  • Use a calculator to figure out how much you need to save every month
  • Delay taking social security if you can to receive a bigger check later
  • Work part-time

  • Bottom line: Adjust what you need to now to start saving for a future that looks the way you want it to. Please...