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now more folks get divorced even late in life.

I know--and so does everybody else, which is why we can phase out this benefit. I knew this in the 70s, and it's one reason I went back to work even though I didn't really want to at the time. The percentage of women taking the 50% spousal benefit is dropping as women who worked, and worked full-time, increase with every generation--also as women who never marry increase in number.

The poverty rate among elderly women is about the same among the never-married as the divorced. Why should divorced women get a higher SS benefit than never-married women with the same earnings history?

As for women who marry young and become SAHMs (and I was among them)...well, children grow up. If you take 5, 10 or even 20 years off the work force, there are still another 35, 30, or 20 years to earn your own Social Security. I did it, and I ain't so exceptional. I know a couple of women IRL and read about some online who use every excuse to avoid going bak to work (can;t earn much, like my life the way it is, I don't waaanna), but I don't think those excuses should dump more precious SS dollars into their pockets than go to women who actually worked for decades.
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