Why Social Security is Important to Latinos

ssa-latinosFew things are more important to a secure and dignified retirement than Social Security. It plays a large role in the economic well-being of Latinos. According to the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Latino and African American households have significantly less in retirement savings than white households, and about half of elderly Latinos receive more than 90 percent of their income from Social Security.

President Obama has pressed consistently to ensure that Latinos, and all Americans, recover from the lingering economic depression so that they can have a strong foundation for retirement. At the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, he pointed out in his remarks that every budget request submitted to Congress has included a proposal to automatically enroll workers without access to a workplace retirement plan in an IRA. Soon after that, the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched myRA, a simple, safe, and affordable new savings option for those who don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work.

Regardless of the efforts of President Obama and others, the responsibility to save for retirement is on each of us. Social Security offers a basic level of protection, but it was never meant to be the only source of post-retirement income. Unfortunately, only 27 percent of Latinos between the ages of 21 and 63 participate in an employment-based retirement plan.

Our retirement security depends on us making a commitment to put money away, particularly at the beginning of our careers. A 25-year-old who begins saving $100 a month and earns five percent interest will have more than $150,000 at the age of 65.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, one of the things we can celebrate is the economic progress of Latinos in this country. The latest Census data states that in 2015 Latinos saw the fastest growth in median household income and access to health insurance coverage and the largest declines in poverty rates. To continue that progress, we must also think about how we create safe and secure retirements for ourselves and for our families. President Obama has said, “If you’ve worked hard all your life, you deserve a secure retirement.” Social Security does its part in securing your today and tomorrow, but this means we should do our part and take advantage of the opportunities that allow us to save to make sure we have a dignified retirement.

About Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Deputy Director of Public Engagement

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35 thoughts on “Why Social Security is Important to Latinos

  1. What financial institution is paying 5%. Rates at that level have not been realized since the U.S.Government colluded with the Financial Industry and the Federal Reserve in robbing the American people of any hope of any adequate retirement savings.
    By lowering interest rates at the ridiculous levels imagined the financial and banking industry has been bailed out by the US government is a lie being perpuated by our politicians.
    Case in point the scandalous Cigarette Industry Settlement which in turn placed the cost on the victims through higher taxes placed on the cost of purchasing cigarettes.
    Government and the Industry wins, addicted smokers loses.

  2. Each year that goes by, the cost to live good is harder and harder. Everything goes up but our wages. We can’t get a fair increase in our social security income each year. Last year someone said our economy was below the increase line. So what! I can’t change that. Then all things should not go up? Every year each person on SSDI or SSI should get the 1200 dollar a year increase for the first five years. Most will die, some will not so the next 5 years the increase should be the percentage of cost of living. You see, this helps, not no increase at all. That’s not fair and shame on you, shame on you for being that greedy with the people’s moneys. The big CEOs and their people at the top take care of themselves from the pool of money from the people. I think you know what’s the problem and so dumb, you don’t know how to fix it for everyone. That’s ok, you all are going to get what’s coming to you sooner then you think. Shame on you.

  3. A Recession accompanied by pre-borrowing from the National Social Security Budget and not replacing the funding taken through convoluted pretenses, complicated now by our present Government Administration paying Foreign Countries Billions of Americans taxes from hard earned labor, so what does it matter when some Americans like the Clintons and the Obamas can lie through not only their teeth; but through their pores, why should anyone care ? only the Politicians can Claim to get a Rats behind, but what would it matter ?. Perhaps Americans who voted this Administration into the White House may be coming to their senses? Don’t bet on it.

  4. The president is on the campaign trail telling people who to vote for in order to preserve his legacy. Who want’s to preserve, stagnant wages, high worker non participation rates, high unemployment in the poorer precincts or racial divisiveness? The Latino’s have made progress not because of this Administration’s initiatives, but because of their own sweat equity.

  5. I am not trying to offend Latinos, or Blacks. I realize that it’s my own misfortune that I lost most of my family’s IRA savings in the 08 recession, but the fact is that like millions of Americans, I worked long, and hard all my life, and contributed the entire time into Social Security. People now are being led to believe that Retirement Social Security is an entitlement. What is being handed out for free is an entitlement. I’m not saying that we can’t have compassion, and assist best we can, but I am becoming very concerned that today’s Senior Citizens who contributed all their lives, are being ignored by not receiving cost of living increases, and continually having benefits decreased, or increasing costs.
    I do not care about being wealthy. I simply want be able to get by. My wife, and I live solely, of my Social Security, and a small funding for what’s left of the IRA. Many elderly are no longer physically able to work. They have no choice. Most civilized cultures respect, and take care of their elders. I pray that this nation doesn’t just shove them aside. Thank You

  6. Why single out Latinos and blacks? Every American retirement should be the concern of our lousy biased administration!
    Typical action of this administration

    • If anyone paid in should get SS, no matter race or color. But when federal retirees are forbidden SS, thinking of them should come first. I m a retired white person, my husband and I paid into SS but I cannot receive mine or his. So I have no sympathy for others especially ones that did not pay in. Who is working for poor white people???

  7. The Federal government gave banks zero to low interest rate loan for so long and the banks have been profiting off the taxpayer’s money. Bank don’t need to borrow money from bank customers’ CD accounts, so they pay us very little interest on the CDs less than 1%.

    Checking and savings accounts interest rate are even lower with less than 0.1%.

    The best thing that millions of Americans are doing now is cheating Social Security disability and saving $100 or more a month until their free disability checks convert over to Social Security retirement checks.

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