Why Women are Delaying Retirement

Depending on your individual situation, delaying retirement may be a wise financial choice.

It may be a good idea for a woman to retire later rather than sooner. Leaving the workplace after 65 may help position a woman for slightly greater retirement income and reduce some of the pressure of funding her “second act.”

Women tend to receive smaller Social Security payments than men. This doesn’t necessarily reflect a difference in earnings. Social Security benefits are calculated based on a person’s 35 highest-earning years; yet, a woman may spend fewer than 35 years on the job due to time out for childcare and eldercare.1

If someone works less than 35 years, Social Security fills in the “missing years” with zeros. Women born between 1946–60 average 7.7 years of zero earnings. Additional years at work mean fewer zeros and greater monthly benefits.¹

Every extra year worked means one less year of retirement to fund. Working longer also gives a woman’s invested retirement savings more time to grow and compound further.

Working longer leads to larger monthly Social Security benefits. For each year a woman delays claiming Social Security after age 66, her benefit payout rises by 8%.²


¹Fool.com, “Why More Women Should Work Into Retirement” (December 11, 2016)

² Kiplinger.com, “Why You Should Delay Social Security Benefits” (January 2017)

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