New Poll: Social Security’s Future a Top Concern for Latino Voters

By Yuqi Wang, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project

Overall, Latino voters have a positive outlook on the national economy, with 68% saying the economy is improving or has remained the same. At the same time, their personal finances are sometimes uncertain, with 46% saying it was sometimes difficult each month to make ends meet.

These findings, from a recently released NCLR national poll, show the concerns of a thriving, young community that is estimated to make up almost a third of the U.S. population by 2060.

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While Latino voters are optimistic about the state and future of the economy, there is a high level of insecurity about both their short- and long-term financial well-being. The community’s top concerns reflect this dynamic—Latino voters said the three economic issues that a new president and Congress must address are job creation, student debt, and Social Security.

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#TakeAStand on the Future of Social Security

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The future of Social Security will disproportionately impact Latino retirees. This is because 60% of Latinos work for an employer that does not offer a retirement plan. Moreover, Latinos who have access to a plan at work do not participate at the same levels as their non-Latino counterparts. As a result, 52% of Latino retirees draw 90% of their income from Social Security.

On October 14, NCLR joined hundreds of Social Security advocates in front of the Fox News office to deliver a message to the final presidential debate moderator, Chris Wallace. The request of Chris Wallace was that he ask a question on Social Security at the October 19 debate, a topic that hadn’t been addressed in the first two debates. The team unfurled banners that said “Give U.S. A Plan for Social Security” and held signs with “Take A Stand” written on them, while two people representing the AARP carried boxes holding 1.4 million signatures supporting a conversation about Social Security at the debate and delivered them to the office building.

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A Message from Don Francisco on Your Retirement

The U.S. Social Security Administration is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month this year with some informational retirement resources for Latinos in both English and Spanish.

It’s never too early to start saving for retirement, yet as a group, Latinos have historically low participation in retirement savings plans. Hispanics overall tend to have less access to employer-sponsored retirement plans; in fact, about two-thirds of Latinos work for companies that do not offer a retirement plan.

Saving for retirement from an early age helps retirees put themselves in a stronger financial position, and because it’s never too early to start saving for retirement, the new retirement estimator from the Social Security Administration provides an estimate of your Social Security retirement benefits to help you plan.

The Social Security Administration also teamed up with Don Francisco from Sábado Gigante to help spread the word about the importance of saving for retirement and the Spanish-language resources the Social Security Administration has for Latinos.

This Hispanic Heritage Month, do the smart thing and start planning for your retirement!

Five Million Working Families Will Suffer if Congress Fails to Act

Why saving tax credits is so important to working families

 By Stephanie Román, Economy Policy Analyst, NCLR

How often do you think about tax credits outside of the day you prepare your taxes or get your tax refund?

It’s true that a lot of us don’t think about tax credits often, but we should be thinking about them now because they might disappear if we don’t act to save critical improvements.

During the recession, lots of families were struggling, so both parties in Congress agreed to help working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) so even very low-income working families could get a partial credit. These tax credits help families with the cost of raising children and reward families who don’t earn very much. If these credits are worth more than what someone owes in taxes, they can receive the difference as a tax refund.

I was recently in Miami at the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s event Viva Miami to talk to real people about why they might lose part or all of their CTC and EITC refund. I didn’t expect people to be interested in this topic, but they proved me wrong. These families were interested in talking about these tax credits because they make a real difference in their lives. While there, I met Karen, a single mother of three. Karen told me it would be extremely harmful to her family if the improvements to the CTC expire. She works hard to support her kids yet is still living paycheck to paycheck. Though the recession has officially ended, research shows that many working families like Karen’s are not earning enough to cover their basic expenses. Latinos are hit especially hard—more than 40 percent bring home poverty-level wages despite their huge contributions to the U.S. economy. The CTC refund averages $1,000 and helps families fill the gap and provide funds that can be used for savings, to make a needed purchase, or go toward rent and mortgage payments.

The Mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, who also participated in this event, is another person who believes in the effectiveness of the CTC and EITC. He spoke compellingly about how he’s seen the tax credits work in Miami. To him as to many others, “saving the credits is an important and human issue.” With so many working families struggling to get by in a tough economic recovery, it just doesn’t make much sense for Congress to allow these vital enhancements of the EITC and CTC expire. As I learned from talking to families in Miami, the stakes are high. If these critical tax credits expire, Latinos would be especially harmed because they make up a disproportionate share of low-wage workers who qualify for the EITC and CTC. In 2013, Latinos made up 17 percent of the U.S. population but 28 percent of the working poor.

This fall, as Congress considers renewing some business tax credits that are expiring, it should not forget about the millions of families like Karen’s who depend on these pro-work tax credits. If Congress doesn’t act to save these credits, five million Latino families will lose an average of $1,000 each and 50 million Americans, including 25 million children, will lose part or all of their EITC or CTC. These tax credits make a difference in the lives of millions and we have to make sure Congress does the right thing for hardworking families struggling to get by.

Vale la pena esperar

Para obtener el mayor provecho de sus beneficios de retiro, debe considerar esperar llegar hasta la edad en la que pueda maximizar sus pagos mensuales. Vea esta gráfica y verá por qué vale esperar. Visite nclr.us/ItPaysToWait para descargar nuestro panfleto titulado en inglés Latinos and Social Security: How to Maximize Your Benefits.

Decisions,decisionsSP