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Social security is one of the biggest and most important programs in American society. Unfortunately, far too many people make mistakes about it just at the time when they need it most. These are some of the biggest mistakes people make regarding social security, and some steps you can take to avoid the same fate.

Miscalculating the Amount of Money You’ll Be Getting

First of all, you need to make sure that you accurately calculate the amount of money you’ll receive from the program. You don’t want to find yourself short on funds because you thought you would be getting more than you are. As we’ll see later, this is especially true for women. That said, everyone can benefit from speaking with their financial advisors and making sure they’ve calculated their social security benefits properly.

Overestimating What Social Security Can Do

Likewise, you need to make sure you are not overestimating what you can get from social security. This means you need to speak to a financial advisor who can tell you what to expect and thus how to plan your finances for the future.

Men, Women, and Social Security

While social security is an ostensibly gender-neutral program, as with so much of our society, there are several ways in which the deck is stacked against women when it comes to social security.

For one thing, women continue to be hit hard by the gender pay gap. This is a systemic problem within our economy and society as a whole, and it has needed to be addressed for some time. What it means for you as a woman looking to draw social security is that you may have fewer funds from which to draw. What’s more, women working outside of the home have, on average, far fewer resources which they can draw on than their male counterparts do.

The less money you make during your working life, the less you’ll have to draw on when it’s time to retire, and this is where women really get hit hard.

This, in turn, keeps women working longer. Women who work until they are 70 may be better covered when they tap into their social security benefits.

On the other hand, social security was designed by the FDR administration as a safeguard against having to work far into old age in the first place. It was intended to be a comfort for older Americans so they could live free of poverty and in dignity during their golden years. While withdrawing social security benefits too early is a mistake some women make, not addressing a system that forces them to work longer and for less money than their male counterparts is an egregious mistake in itself.