Most retirees rely on Social Security to act as their primary income source in retirement. The system was designed and has been maintained as an important income source for almost all U.S. retirees, not only for those who worked outside the home, but for those who worked inside the home.
Spouses who raise families and perform other valuable societal tasks are entitled to a spousal benefit under Social Security based on their spouse’s primary insurance benefit. (To read more on spousal Social Security benefits click here).
Almost all spouses, regardless of their own work history, could be entitled to Social Security spousal benefits. To be eligible, you need to be married for at least one year before applying for benefits. You also have to be at least age 62 and the worker-spouse must have started to collect benefits in order to trigger eligibility. While you can claim benefits before full retirement age, you will be penalized by a permanent reduction in your monthly spousal benefits.