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Social Security Chief Tells Women: You Must Save More

Millions of Americans rely on Social Security for much of their retirement income. But acting Social Security Administration Commissioner Carolyn Colvin thinks women are particularly at risk for not having enough income in retirement, and she's urging women to save earlier, and more, to make sure they have enough money to make ends meet after they retire.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, takes a closer look at Colvin's comments. The general idea of what the SSA commissioner says is simple: Women have longer life expectancies, and so they need more savings. Yet Colvin notes that the average woman's Social Security benefits are lower -- about $13,000 per year, compared with $17,000 for men. Dan looks at why that's the case and notes that in many circumstances, women rely on key decisions that their spouses make that can have a huge impact on their Social Security benefits. Dan concludes that the best way to go forward is to have outside savings to supplement Social Security income.

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Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to, and they might be the subject of a future video!

Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 5:20 AM, greyhound44 wrote:

    Until the Fools in the US congress pay attention to the Congressional Research Service's recent report concluding that if the SS "CAPS" (taxable wage base) were eliminated, that the Social Security "Trust Fund" would be solvent for 70 years, we are screwed!

    Send everyone of these elected IDIOTS home in November!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 11:12 PM, jenfair wrote:

    Perhaps the SSA Commish ought not play gender politics and worry about making sure the train - that is checks - go out on time for those who actually need them...It's a rightful benefit to those who've put a lifetime in and with legit disabilities, so I doubt they need further politics and bureaucratic frustration...The people who run it are indeed typical jobsworths. Let's just say I've a friend who told me of an associate with a relative born with a disability who works, goes to college, and contributes. Not long ago, they had their privacy violated by people at an SSA office they no longer register at, and their new personal details were disclosed to outside, unauthorized people making inquiries as means for harassment. The harassment was further facilitated by SSA thru the USPS (an additional Federal Postal violation). Ever since, they've been greatly concerned about their peace of mind and privacy. They reported it to the SSA Office of the Inspector General, but they continue to be ignored, and so are without any resolution, justice, or accountability for the egregious actions and blatant insolence of the Social Security Administration...I only tell this to underscore the symptomatic disconcern and shabby standards of the whole of this current Government, especially under the current regime's appointees. When you have people of poor caliber and poor standards, unfortunately you get poor regard and treatment. It's truly "Citizen Beware" these days.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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