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‘Rosie the Riveter’ spirit lives on

  • TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    Jessica Curtis and Sarah Neller played “Rosie the Riveter” at WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, Calif.

“Rosie the Riveter” is an American icon representing women working in factories during World War II. These women learned new jobs and filled in for the men who were away at war. They produced much of the armaments and ammunition to supply the war effort.

They also paid FICA on their wages, contributing to the Social Security program.

These “Rosies” embodied the “can-do” spirit immortalized in a poster by J. Howard Miller. Both the image and the spirit live on today.

If you asked Rosie about Social Security, she would use her rivet gun to drive home the value of Social Security for women. More Rosies work today, and nearly 60 percent of people receiving benefits are women.

Women tend to live longer than men, so Social Security’s inflation-adjusted benefits help protect women. You can outlive your savings and investments, but Social Security is for life.

Women provide their own basic level of protection when they work and pay taxes into the Social Security system. Women who have been married and had low earnings or who didn’t work may be covered through their spouses’ work.

Today’s Rosie turns her “can-do” spirit to learning more about Social Security and what role it will play in her financial plan for the future. For a game plan, Rosie would read the pamphlet, “What Every Woman Should Know,” available at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10127.html.

Rosie would roll up her sleeves and set up her Social Security account (socialsecurity.gov/myaccount) to review her earnings and estimates. If she found an incorrect posting, she would locate her W-2 form and quickly contact Social Security to correct it because she understands these are the earnings used to figure her benefits.

Rosie would examine how marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, work, and other issues might affect her benefits. She would study the fact sheet, “When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits,” at socialsecurity.gov/pubs/ to help her decide when it’s time to lay down the rivet gun. And when the time is right, she would file for retirement benefits online at socialsecurity.gov/retire.

Whether it was keeping the war effort production lines humming or discovering what is available to her from Social Security, Rosie symbolizes the motto: “We Can Do It.”

Rosie and millions like her rely on the financial protection provided by Social Security in assembling their own financial futures.

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