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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Social Security Joins The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

Grandparents and granddaughter making bubblesSocial Security joins you and your family in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15.

We know the contributions of Hispanics can be traced to before the origins of the United States with the discovery, exploration, and naming of many places in our nation, such as state names like California, Colorado, and Texas and city names like San Antonio, Santa Barbara, and Boca Raton. Hispanics have influenced every facet of life, from language to our cultural development. Hispanics play a crucial role in American life. Continue reading

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