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AARP AARP States Arkansas Advocacy

AARP Seeking Ways to Save Social Security

social security cards

Could your budget take a 20 percent cut?

For Arkansans living on Social Security, that’s a possibility if those who control the program — Congress, the White House — don’t take corrective action in the next 10 years. And it’s what’s driving recent efforts by AARP Arkansas.

Social Security is the government program for older Americans, those with disabilities and others. In coming years, it will be a focus of Congress as lawmakers look to stabilize its finances. The latest Social Security trustees report says that starting in 2034, the program will be able to pay only about 80 percent of benefits.

The average Social Security retiree benefit in Arkansas was $1,460 a month in 2020 — about $17,500 a year, according to AARP data. For 30 percent of Arkansans 65 and older, Social Security is the vast majority of monthly income. A 20 percent cut in the average payment is about $3,500 a year.

AARP Arkansas is working to educate residents about Social Security’s importance.

“You’ve earned every penny of your Social Security through years of hard work, and we want to help ensure it’s there for you in the future,” says Ashley McBride, AARP Arkansas’ state director.

Her office recently joined with AARP Tennessee to give out 10,000 hand fans with Social Security resources. The September giveaway was at the Southern Heritage Classic football game in Memphis, Tennessee, between Tennessee State University and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. AARP also staffed booths at the event’s Gladys Knight concert and during tailgating.

For November, AARP is scheduled to hold retirement and Social Security planning programs in Fayetteville, Forrest City, Hot Springs and Little Rock.

See for resources.

—Mary Van Beusekom

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