Family Activities that Focus on Giving-MainPhoto

Only a legally married spouse is entitled to the Social Security survivor benefit. In addition, according to federal law (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), as a spouse, you’d automatically be designated as the beneficiary of your husband’s 401(k) plan. To designate someone else would require your written permission. In other words, a wife is fairly well protected when it comes to planning for retirement. If you’re unmarried, there are no guarantees.