Women, Planning & The Reality of Longevity
October 8, 2019 by Marcia Mantell, RMA
Most advisors who are fairly proficient in Social Security’s rules know the technical answer to the question “Is Social Security Really Different for Women?” is no. The calculations to determine one’s Social Security benefit are the same whether male or female. In fact, Social Security is clear that the program is gender neutral. If a wife is the higher earner, the husband is eligible for spousal benefits. Whether you become a widow or widower, you will receive the higher of the two benefit payments. The technical rules are the same.
But. it wasn’t always that way. In fact, because of the original framing of the Social Security Act as law, based on the beliefs of the 1930s, women are in a situation today that is different from men.
Digging under the surface can help financial advisors better advise their female clients, and especially when the women are, or were, part of a couple.