Why Do Women Claim Social Security Benefits So Early?

Alicia H. Munnell Mauricio Soto

IB#35

Introduction

If individuals continue to withdraw completely from the labor force in their early 60s, a large and growing number will be hard pressed to maintain an adequate standard of living throughout retirement. Economic and demographic pressures are gradually eroding key sources of retirement income at the same time that increases in life expectancy mean that people can expect to live for 20 years, on average, after they stop working. And averages do not tell the whole story. Nearly one third of women and almost one fifth of men will live into their 90s…