Preparation For The Future Begins In The Present

September 17, 2015 • By

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Last Updated: November 6, 2023

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation logoRetirement is a concern for all Americans, and financial planning is one way to make sure we’re ready for it. With this in mind, Social Security is finding ways to encourage Americans to use various financial planning tools to help them plan better for their retirement.

September 15 to 20, Social Security is working alongside the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. during their 2015 Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) to help African Americans become familiar with Social Security and our financial tools. As part of this initiative, we’re reaching out to the African-American community by promoting the online Social Security Statement, available with a personal my Social Security account.

According to the last U.S. Census Bureau, African Americans comprise more than 40 million of the U.S. population. The African Americans and Social Security section of our website highlights how African Americans benefit from the Social Security program and how certain demographics compare to the entire population. In 2013, the median earnings of working-age African Americans who worked full-time were about $36,000, compared to $43,000 for all working-age people. In addition, in 2013, among African Americans receiving Social Security, 25 percent of elderly married couples and 55 percent of unmarried elderly persons relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Carolyn W. Colvin, will speak tomorrow at the 45th Annual Legislative Conference in an Issue Forum hosted by Congressman Gregory W. Meeks. The title of the forum is “Wealth Building in the African American Community.” Acting Commissioner Colvin will speak about the importance of Social Security to the African American community and how using financial savings tools, like my Social Security, can help you plan for your retirement. Social Security will also have a booth at the conference, signing people up for a personal my Social Security account. A personal my Social Security account can help you keep track of your earnings, view your Social Security benefits, and get retirement and disability benefit estimates. In addition, Social Security will have an article in the ALC Daily newspaper penned by the Associate Commissioner for External Affairs, J. Jioni Palmer. The Social Security article will appear in the conference newspaper which is distributed to the conference attendees.

While Social Security is the foundation for a secure retirement, people also need other savings and investments. We’re encouraging African Americans to start planning and saving for retirement today.

If you attend the conference, please visit Social Security at booth #527 in the ALC exhibit hall to sign up for a personal my Social Security account. It’s never too late to start planning!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. Krystalon S.

    I truly feel that we all should prepare for the future in the 21st century.
    I’ve been hearing all sort of stuff about the Social Security Administration going bankrupt,…and I’m thinking that is just to alarm us!

    Also, others have said…that Social Security is outdated…and, that we as Americans shouldn’t be too reliant on it, too much! Well, I disagree!!
    I don’t think that the Social Security Administration is outdated! I feel…that it is very much needed in the United States…cause, if it’d not been for Social Security, we’d be in poverty, right now!
    Poverty…is not, or has to be an option! We can just make up in our minds…to use our moneys properly, and save…and, live within our means!
    We don’t have to be broke! We don’t have to be penniless! We can just watch our pennies…and, save little by little! it’s not nearly as hard as we make it appear top be!

    To save…is easy! All we’ve got to do is do it! It doesn’t take a scholar to figure that out!

  2. Quinn

    I’m still learning from you, while I’m trying to achieve my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading all that is posted on your site.Keep the aarticles coming. I enjoyed it!

  3. Lois L.

    I am unable to find information about collecting retirement at age 63 versus the age of 70 I currently receive disability and my retirement however I am still struggling but receiving disability I’m only allowed to make a small stipend. If l switch from Social Security disability to Social Security retirement then I would be able to work and earn enough to survive each month does anyone know how this works and how it would affect me either positively or negatively I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere on the website here.

    • Ray F.

      When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your Full Retirement Age. The benefit amount will generally remain the same. While you may be eligible to switch from disability to retirement benefits at age 62 or before attaining your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced. Additionally, your benefits could be affected even further as a result of your earnings.
      Read more about How Work Affects Your Benefits and Working while Disabled- How We Can Help. If you have more questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and talk with one of our representatives

  4. eliedith

    Ray Fernandez, I am 53 and my husband is 65. He will retire next year. I am an adjunct prof who makes very little like all adjuncts, i also tutor and i am a doctoral student. i have physical neurological and rheumatological disabilities and illnesses. can i get my husband’s survivor benefits when he passes on? he will start ssa at age 66.

    • Ray F.

      If you become a widow and your husband worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older. A widow or a widower can receive benefits as early as age 50 if he or she is disabled AND their disability started before or within seven years of the spouse’s death. We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.

      • eliedith

        Ray Fernandez, thank you, that helped, so the fact that i am a professor does not affect my eligibility?

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