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The decline in Social Security’s family benefits The Social Security family benefits, which were conceptualized in 1930s, have become outdated and no longer address the needs of today's families, writes Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Boston College Center for Retirement Research. "Most married women work, and many households are headed by single mothers, who are not eligible for family benefits. The same is true for divorced women who were married less than 10 years," Munnell writes. "Single women often find it hard to earn an adequate Social Security benefit on their own, as their work opportunities are constrained by child-rearing duties." –MarketWatch

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