Here's where equality stands
Last month, a commentary in the Wall Street Journal online on retirement strategies and Social Security cautioned against a husband taking early Social Security benefits. While the actuarial present value of a person's benefits is roughly the same whether you retire at 62, 65, or 70, that person's spouse receives survivor benefits at roughly half, if greater than the Social Security benefits the spouse would otherwise receive. In other words, retiring early could leave a surviving spouse with far less benefits for the rest of her life.
Reading that made me think that this is the state of equal rights today. The typical husband is older than his wife. The typical man dies earlier than the typical woman. We're asking men to work almost until death for the benefit of women. Some men's rights advocates added their opinions to the discussion.
However, I think it's to the credit of husbands that they will delay their retirement to better provide for their wives. It also underscores the need for independent retirement savings. If the husband and primary wage earner dies earlier, then more of the couple's nest egg is left to provide for the wife's remaining years, meaning a smaller Social Security benefit is less of a problem.