When it was first created, Social Security paid retirement benefits only to those who worked. Spousal benefits were added in the late 1930’s to provide for wives who stayed at home and did not work. In 2009, married couples have dropped below half of all U.S. households (48 percent) for the first time in comparison with 78 percent in 1950.
Close to 75 percent of women 62 or older now have a work history. Thus, most...