Eighty percent of women take Social Security early, according to an online survey of 465 women over the age of 50 who are retired or plan to be within the next 10 years, conducted by Nationwide Retirement Institute.
This puts women, who tend to live longer than men, at a distinct disadvantage because taking Social Security early locks in lower payments.
Social Security comprises 56% of women’s income in retirement, according to Nationwide. However, 70% of Social Security will go toward women’s health care costs. Only 5% of women wait to collect Social Security benefits at age 70 or later. More than one third (35%) of women said they were not able to do the things they wanted to in retirement, and 24% said health care costs were hindering their retirement dreams.