Recognizing Social Security's 85th Anniversary

Posted on 08/14/20 by Natalie Zuccarelli

Social Security

COLUMBUS, OHIO— A new AARP survey, released in conjunction with Social Security’s 85th anniversary, confirms that Americans highly value Social Security, and even more so due to the pandemic. The vast majority of Americans – 93% of Republicans, 99% of Democrats, and 92% of Independents – see Social Security as an important government program, and 56% believe it is even more important for retirees in light of the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter sent yesterday to President Trump, AARP asked him to explain his plan to replace Social Security funding.

More than 2 million Ohioans receive Social Security retirement benefits and accounts for more than half of the income for nearly of 56% of families.

“The average Social Security benefits for a 65-plus family is only about $18,000 per year, while older Ohio families on average spend $19,000 a year on food, utilities, and health care alone,” said AARP Ohio State Director Holly Holtzen. “At this rate, half of all households are at risk of being unable to afford their basic needs in retirement. Workers have paid into Social Security with every paycheck. It’s a hard-earned benefit and a promise that must be kept. AARP will never stop fighting to strengthen Social Security, and make sure hard-working Americans get the benefits they’ve earned.

AARP’s survey found that Social Security is a key source of income and economic stability in retirement, but they have concerns about whether it will be enough.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans (74%) are worried that Social Security will not provide enough to live on during their retirement.
  • Two-thirds of Americans believe the average monthly Social Security retirement benefit of $1503 per month is too low. Nearly 3 in 5 Americans are not confident in the future of Social Security, with confidence in the program lowest among 30-49-year-olds at only 28%.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 Americans (39%) say they do or will rely on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement income and 4 out of 5 expect it to be part of their retirement income.

Social Security is a key component of AARP Ohio’s “Protect Voters 50+” campaign, which launched August 3. The initiative is calling on the presidential candidates to tell us their plan to protect Social Security for current and future generations, and helping voters cast their votes safely from home or in-person this November.

This survey was conducted among 1,441 Americans 18 and older between July 14, 2020 and July 27, 2020 with a confidence interval of ± 3.4% at the 95% confidence level.

“AARP Ohio is fighting to protect voters 50-plus and make their voices heard on the issues that matter. We are focused on protecting Social Security and Medicare, lowering prescription drug prices, and ensuring you can vote safely from home or in-person,” said Holtzen.

This story is provided by AARP Ohio. Visit the AARP Ohio page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.