On August 14th 1935, Social Security was signed into law. Before Social Security, many retired Americans lived in poverty. For 83 years, Americans have retired with a greater sense of financial security thanks to the Social Security system. Throughout their working lives, Americans allocate part of their paycheck to the program, knowing that when they reach retirement age they will have a steady income to rely on.
Thanks to Social Security, more Americans are able to age with dignity knowing they will have a reliable monthly retirement income. The stock market may crash, a pension may be lost, or a company may go bankrupt, but Social Security is constant. Social Security adds greater economic stability to the lives of the nearly 95% of Mainers 65-plus who are current beneficiaries.
However, the future of Social Security is on the line and will be a focus of the upcoming election. As one of the oldest states in the nation, it is imperative to Maine’s retirees that Social Security continues. In Maine, one-third of Social Security beneficiaries 65-plus have no other source of income. With rising healthcare and utility costs, they can’t afford cuts to their benefits.
Without Social Security, 47% of Mainers 65-plus would live below the poverty line. It is important to know where candidates running for congress stand on keeping Social Security strong for current and future retirees. I urge you to ask your candidates where they stand on this important issue, and pledge to vote this November.
Life is uncertain. While more people live longer, there is no crystal ball for individuals to know how many years they will have in retirement. Through Social Security, many more people can enjoy their retirement years with the peace of mind that comes with financial security and wellbeing.
Carl and Joyce Bucciantini
AARP Maine Outreach Volunteers