That path took a different turn after the couple divorced in 1999 and had to divide everything from their home to their savings. Looking toward an uncertain future, Bird worked with a financial planner to map out how much longer she’d need to work and how to start rebuilding her finances. The longtime Glenelg resident relocated to North Carolina, where she’d spent her childhood and could live more affordably.
Any worker who delays claiming Social Security receives a larger monthly benefit due to the actuarial adjustment. Some claimants – particularly women, who are more likely to take time out of the labor force early in their careers – can further increase their benefits if the extra years of work raise their career average earnings by displacing lower-earning years. This study uses the Health and Retirement Study linked to earnings records to quantify the impact of women’s late-career earnings on Social Security benefits relative to men’s. It also compares the impact on women, depending on their marital status and education.
When employers force their employees with caregiving duties to choose between work and family, everyone loses. This can be particularly true for women, who still make up 60 percent of the family caregiver population (though men are increasingly shouldering the responsibility).