A Call to Teach Our AAPI Seniors About Social Security

two women on laptopAs we approach the new lunar year of the Rooster, we have a unique opportunity to alert our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) seniors about Social Security benefits and eligibility — like the rooster issues its daily morning call.

I believe that we as a society are judged by how we care for the least among us, especially our elderly. Continue reading

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A Secure Retirement for All

perez-guest-blog-picHaving a secure retirement is an important pillar of strength for the middle class in America. Yet, it is unavailable to too many workers in our country. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re acutely aware of the particular challenges faced by middle class Latinos in the workforce. Not only do Latinos face wage disparities, they’re also less likely to have access to retirement savings plans. Research shows that only about a third of Latino workers have access to a retirement plan through their employer, compared to more than half of African-American and white workers. Continue reading

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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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OPM and SSA Partner to Meet the Need for Additional Administrative Law Judges

two lawyers shaking handsEvery day agencies across the Federal Government come together to provide important services to the American people. This spring, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) joined forces to recruit prospective candidates for administrative law judge (ALJ) positions. ALJs are integral to SSA and other agencies to make impartial decisions on such issues as disability determinations, licensing, or grievances. Nearly 2,000 ALJs work in 27 Federal agencies across the government.

SSA’s hearing and appeals operation is Continue reading

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Ancient Wisdom Applies to Today and Tomorrow

Adin_Strauss_DSC1624During May 1 to 8 Social Security is joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about their programs and services. The theme for this Faith Week of Action is “Shining a Light on Your Lifelong Protections.”

One of the common misconceptions about Buddhism is that it is detached from the affairs of daily living.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Buddhist tradition focuses on cultivating the wisdom to differentiate between short-term pleasure and long-term well-being, and the courage to make the best choices.

Among the ancient Buddhist teachings, we find detailed, practical advice on how to handle our money. One sutra, or teaching, advises us to “set aside one fourth of our earnings for times of need.”

Social Security is a solid partner that helps us to prepare for times of need — retirement, disability or the unexpected death of a family’s breadwinner.  Continue reading

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Working Together for the Common Good

Multiracial Group of Friends with Hands in Stack, Teamwork

Social Security emerged from the Great Depression to promote the economic security of our nation’s people. It provides security and peace of mind for America’s workers and their families. Social Security helps protect families against loss of income when the unexpected happens, such as a disability or the loss of a loved one.

On May 1 – 8, the Social Security Administration will celebrate a special week of action by joining forces with faith-based and community groups across the country to increase awareness about the agency’s programs and services. This year’s campaign theme is “Shining a Light on Your Lifetime Protections.” The goal is to increase knowledge about tools that could change lives for the better and set them on a sound financial course.

We invite you to participate in this effort.  You can learn about your Continue reading

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