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. Hospitals &.

    Social Security Amendment of 2016

    Free Disability Insurance Reallocation Tax (DIRT) Act

    To immediately amend the DI tax rate from 1.80% to 2.30%, from 0.90% to 1.15% for employees and from 0.90% to 1.15% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.60% to 10.10%, from 5.30% to 5.05% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.30% to 5.05% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) to avoid depletion of the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund in 2016 without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 beginning October 1, 2015.

    To amend the DI tax rate again in 2018 to 2.20% from 2.30%, from 1.15% to 1.10% for employees and from 1.15% to 1.10% for employers under Sec. 201(b)(1)(S) of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)II§401 and amend the OASI tax rate from 10.10% to 10.20%, from 5.05% to 5.10% for employees under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3101 (a) and from 5.05% to 5.10% for employers under 26USC(C)(21)(A)§3111 (a) without increasing the overall 12.4% OASDI or 15.3% OASDI and Hospital Insurance (HI) tax-rate under 26USC(A)(2)§1401 to maximize efficiency until a deficit appears in the OASI Trust Fund in 2019.

    Be it enacted by the Actuary, Commissioner and Treasury (ACT)

    Without Income Limit Law (WILL) Act

    To abolish the maximum taxable limit on DI contributions on January 1, 2016 and OASI contributions January 1, 2017 and repeal Adjustment of the contribution and benefit base Section 230 of the Social Security Act 42USC(7)§430.

    To require the Social Security Administration to pay for SSI Costs beginning January 1, 2017.

    To share profits in excess of social security program costs to the general fund of the U.S Treasury on a sliding scale beginning year end 2016 DI 50/50 with the USPS, and OASI 10/90 to eliminate the federal budget deficit. In 2020 OASI would share at negotiated rates an estimated 25/75, by 2025 OASDI would share 50/50 and by 2030 OASDI would save to pay for the peak in costs of Baby Boomer generation in 2035 that might raise the overall OASDI tax rate from 12.4%.

    Be it enacted by the House and Senate assembled

    Signatories: Carolyn Colvin, Commissioner; Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary, Jack Lew, Treasurer. Optional: Shuan Donovan, OMB Director, Megan Brennan, Postmaster General

    End of Copying

    PS I have looked at SSA racial statistics regarding a random sample of a few million beneficiaries that was totally unempirical. I feel that thorough research into the racial statistics regarding social security disability and SSI benefits is in order under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. My theory is that blacks under retirement age are dramatically underrepresented by disability insurance and SSI and black and poor or black at career end, is a qualifying disability for SSI or DI respectively. This is only slightly mitigated by a higher percentage of blacks receiving Survivor benefits. Not to discriminate against the cheap insurance teachers are suckered into paying for, teachers should be given the option to pay 2.3% for DI insurance and nothing for OASI as they have their own retirement fund and the health care is alright even if the number of the beast underpayment may also require $700 a month pending backpay and restoration of benefits under (revelation 13:10). I pray African-American legislators can set aside their personal disinterest compromised aversion to the poison of the enactment clause and save the Disability Insurance Trust Fund by signing and passing the above Postmaster General Disability Petition Form Version of the Social Security Amendment of 2016.

    Due to the toxicity of the enactment clause legislators and signatories are implored to dedicate 2.3%, rather than 1.8% of their time to complaining and doing something about their own unhealthy working conditions. In the US Code Title 18 is crime, in the Constitution it constitutes adulthood or majority, but is neither mathematically accurate description of the cost of disability, which is estimated to be 2.3% right now before the depletion of both DI and Highway trust funds in Title 23 drive us to invoke the emergency principle of non-use of force as the jus cogens of international law inherent in the number 24. 23 has an economic stabilizing meaning under Art. 23 of the Declaration on Social Progress and Development that was used to moderate the international economy after the Iraqi reconstruction fund and seeks to impose the 1% tax Martin Luther King was so fond of he suggested 2% presumably so employees could see 1% of their income on their FICA tax stub as early as 2020, perhaps beginning as a voluntary 1% UN tax (donation to the UN). A 2.3% tax and disability rate would more accurately inform workers of their risk of serious disability and encourage people suing the government, or simply sick or at dis-ease in the company of others, not to exercise their right to remain silent about their health, but actually have something even more innocuous to talk about than the weather.

    Specifically the enactment clause is so demented I must look up the term monoclonal antibodies for the protection of Congress against another oil industry disabling year like 2014 when I believe them to have published only one dishonored law. Thousands of former oil industry workers are probably now eligible for disability. I believe that dishonored pipeline was the only bill Congress attempted to pass last year although there is no fascist petroleum industry act in the world that could be law after John Boehner publicly betrayed the 6% Oil, Gas, Coal and Electricity Export Tax to Dick Cheney. John Boehner is a posterchild alcoholic 1.8 DI tax rate victim. He has exhibited a tendency to call the FBI (that the prohibition era US forgot to abolish under the Slavery convention of 1926) regarding confidential health information regarding his monoclonal antibody corrupted antibody crippled back. Patience.

    CHANGE, the Constitution of Hospitals & Asylums Non-Government Economy states: Art. 22 Legislative Drafting

    A.Drafting legislation is one of the most difficult legal writing skills.

    1. The first step is to determine what you want the proposed legislation to do.

    2. The second step is to determine the structure of your proposed legislation. The structure of a bill begins with the long title and enacting clause required under 1USC§101 everything after is part of the statute. All bills begin with –

    A BILL
    To —

    Be it enacted in the Senate and House of Representatives, Assembled, Referred to —

    The damage is done. My personal heartfelt doubts about the utility of the enactment clause caused me to contract USDA certified gout this time from Bordetella pertussis and Streptobacillis agalactiae to plantar fasciitis monoclonal antibody this summer and am now hobbled indefinitely. After planting a field of Calendula officinalis there is still some pain in my left heel. The USDA has been sorely corrupted by the Halloween of 2013 SNAP cuts that violate criminal civil rights statute pertaining to the deprivation of relief benefits under 18YUSC246. The biosafety of Organic Certification Act of 2002 and SNAP program has been jeopardized by the newly corrupted USDA’s 20th century in flagrant non-compensating scientific violation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and Law of the Sea the US must ratify to have any hope of restoring sanity to Abraham Lincoln’s Department of Agriculture since the free dirt from the Homestead Act ran out in 1900. I regret sick and computer hacked and bugged city dwellers do not have the conviction to do anything but abolish the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, having already abolished the White House Intellectual Property (WHIP) Enforcement Coordinator under the Slavery Convention of 1926 and being notified by 300 economists and 600 churches that it is time to abolish the ONDCP, FBI, ATF, DEA, US Marshall’s Task Force and all Office of Justice Programs grants and any other “federal police finance” to reduce Justice Department spending by $10 billion. This may be necessary to stop the unprecedented computer restore point famine and poisoning of the enactment clause that so infringes on congressional immunity.

    Art 24(4) of CHANGE New Editions of Code states: A minimum of $6,500 is appropriated for the preparation and editing of the Code and Supplemental of the United States and District of Columbia under 1USC(3)§213. $6,500 is about how much the OASDI WILL (Without Income Law Limit) charges the average $174,000 Congressperson. My DI tenure pays better than this so, not to disparage $6,500 funding for any sincere effort at the codification of the Social Security Act of 2016 I suggest we just interpret this law to forge a new personal relationship between the rich and the poor by Congressional representative taxation at around this $6,500 cost to the average $174,000 a year Congressmen to balance the HA trued federal budget

  2. Witold S.

    The commissioner’s advice to do financial planning on MYSSA is bad advice. Not only do a significant number of MYSSA accounts get set up fraudulently resulting in the theft of direct deposit checks from unsuspecting beneficiaries but the best vehicle for getting retirement planning device is to visit an SSA office and talk to SSA experts. Don’t fend for yourself on the internet. Chances are that you will make bad decisions costing you tens of thousands of dollars. Go to an SSA office and talk to an expert. It’s safer and more reliable.

    • Stephen

      I have read about 15 books on Social Security and several on Medicare. Dealing with Social Security personal I have found them wanting to help and generally competent. But several times I had to question things they were trying to do which were positive for me and the wife but were not allowed by the rules. You need to know about the program yourself which is very complex. No one will look out for you like you will.

  3. Steve

    I think he is right You really need to contact your local SSA office. There have been some special plans allowing people to see if they can go back to work.
    business services online

  4. DAVID K.

    I served 45 years in serving the United States and now am getting messed over by the United States. I served 25 years in the military and 20 years in civil service. I have ran into 2 very bad situations I do not think is right. After serving and paying Social Security over those 45 years the Social Security rules say unless my wife is a United States Citizen she cannot claim from my Social Security. I think I earned it and my wife should be able to claim it when she turns 65.There are others that have not served and wives have not worked at all and are allowed to draw on their husbands Social Security. Would you please help me with this?

    My second request I am requesting help with is my wife will be able to claim the military SBP but the draw back is Social Security will take out 30% tax on it. I think that is a big exuberant, don’t you.

    Thank you very much for any help you can give me!!

    David Knutson

    • R.F.

      Hi David, it seems that you missed our previous response to your questions, but here is the information again.
      If you qualify for Social Security benefits, your wife may be able to get benefits on your record — see “Benefits For Your Spouse” for eligibility information. She would also have to meet the requirements for non-citizens living in the United States. If you have specific questions, please call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Or, you can contact your local Social Security office. For information about the Survivor Benefit Plan or SBP, please contact the Department of Defense.

  5. Peter I.

    Please tell me why Seniors on Social Security can’t get
    a fair COLA, .0.9% increase/per year for the last 5 years
    is so unfair. Congress has taken 2.7 trillion dollars from the trust fund and no one seems to care.

    • Dianne

      I agree, this is so unfair to American citizens who have worked their whole life, and are now of retirement age. BUT, we will not get increases we are entitled to, because our Government is spending that money on aiding illegals in this country, on aiding immigrants coming into this country who haven'[t paid a dime, of aiding foreign countries that despise us. AND that is the reason we won’t be getting fair COLA increases, or often, any increases. We are no longer important to our government.

      • Lois L.

        I agree Dianne. I retired from a branch of the county government. It is scary the amount of money foreign folks get , just for being here, they receive a monthly grant. Our money Dianne. I’ve worked a very long time. I am way below poverty level, Foreigners have brand new
        cars. Mine is 35 years old. Been
        recently looking for part time
        work to supplement my income.
        Forieners are using food stamps to buy meat, l live on peanut butter and jelly.

        the powers that be do not have the money issues we do, they probably never will, l hope they will some day … now that will be fair!

  6. I h.

    My husband is 67 & I am 60. we both have worked over 38 years & paid social security. I am planning to work up to 65 if he start drawing his social security am
    I able to get half of his social security till I am 65.How or will filing for half of his social security effect me & my plan. please help.

    • R.F.

      The earliest you can start receiving Retirement or Spouse’s benefits is age 62. To receive full retirement benefits on your own record or to receive half of your husband’s benefit amount you would have to wait until you reach your full retirement age. If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling a higher amount.
      See our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for complete information. then check out our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know.”

    • Summer

      Your answer shows real innelligetce.

  7. Pat S.

    My husband is 63 and I am 61. We have both worked our entire lives. He plans to retire and file for soc sec at 66. At that point, whether I am or am not working at that point, can I receive half of his soc sec, being 64 at that time? I have not decided for sure or not, but may not plan on filing for soc sec until I reach 70. How or will filing for half of his soc sec affect me and my plans.

    • armand

      You cannot receive , from what I know, his ss until his death at which time you will get which ever one is higher yours or his.

      • Lois L.

        As l understand from the social security office, the ‘yours or your husbands’ operate on a percentage basis. Ithought l would receive more from my husbands SS. So l checked, they stated to me that l am within the percentage range so l do not qualify for his,. When we both worked, he made twice as much as l did, almost to the dollar. What is up with that!

    • R.F.

      Hi Pat, you could not receive half of your husband’s Social Security benefit at age 64. In order to qualify for full retirement benefits on your own record or to receive half of your husband’s benefit amount you would have to wait until you reach your full retirement age. If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.
      If you and your husband are considering delaying your retirement until age full retirement age or later (age 70), you should know that you both may have some additional options. See our Retirement Planner: Benefits For You As A Spouse for complete information. then check out our publication, “What Every Woman Should Know.”

  8. sherry S.

    I would like to express my disappointment when I was told I could not receive ANY of my husband social security benefits due to the fact that I was receiving a State University Retirement pension. This is due to the Windfall Act. Ron and I were married 55 years and he paid into social security for over 35 years, and thought he was helping my future if something should happen to him before me. We knew I would not be able to receive his full amount of benefits but to be told I could not receive ANY is so unfair. We have people drawing off of husband who never worked, people drawing social security disability who are out playing golf or working and being paid cash for their service, yet I am told I can’t draw benefits because I worked at a Junior College. This Act would be repealed!

    • eliedith

      thats terribly unfair. i am an adjunct professor and my husband is much older and I hope I do not have that issue. I have neuroligical and rheumatological conditions and my husband has intellectual disabitieis but we both work and he will retire next year. hope i will be able to draw from his benefits when he passes on bc im an adjunct professor.

      • Martha F.

        This is totally unfair. I myself was a teacher for 16 years. Before becoming a teacher I worked as a secretary for 11 years. After my third stroke which left me semi-paralyzed from my right side, I was forced to medically retire from my teaching position. I am receiving retirement benefits from Texas Teacher Retirement System. When I tried to collect Social Security I was told that I did not qualify to collect from both. I paid into the Social Security for 11 years. I feel this is very unfair. I have to pay Medicare $314 quarterly and my payment for my medical insurance is deducted from my Teacher Retirement payment every month. I have to pay for my own dental plan and the co-payment for all my doctor visits and medications. My husband is employed but suffers from heart problems and is also diabetic and has a lot of medical bills and medications. Sometimes we barely have enough to cover all the bills we have. Very sad!

  9. Steve D.

    Hi guys I am presently on disability after Tonsillitis cancer. I would like to know, that while I recover, can I engage in any type of work and for how long?


    • cindy

      You really need to contact your local SSA office. There have been some special plans allowing people to see if they can go back to work.

    • R.F.

      Great news Steve! You can try to return to work while receiving Social Security disability benefits. We have special rules to help you get back to work without jeopardizing your initial benefits. You can learn more about how work can affect your benefits by reading our publication, “Working while Disabled- How We Can Help
      Keep in mind that whether you are receiving Social Security or SSI, it is important to let us know promptly when you start or stop working, or if any other change occurs that could affect your benefits. Good luck !

  10. Bryce P.

    Happy Birthday!!!.

    Always and Forever ,
    Bryce Payton Hendricks


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