On August 14th, Americans everywhere can celebrate 80 years of Social Security.
When the Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935, almost half of all older Americans lived in poverty. At first, Social Security was just a retirement program. Today, it offers survivors’ benefits, benefits to a retiree’s spouse, and disability benefits. Social Security is a foundation of economic security for millions of Americans and their families. Here in Maine, one third of Mainers 65+ who are on Social Security rely on their benefit for 100% of their income. Without Social Security, over 80,000 older Mainers would fall into poverty.
As Social Security continues to have a positive impact on many American’s lives, AARP is celebrating this accomplishment through an anniversary activity. “Humans of Social Security” will collect authentic photographs of a wide array of individuals from all 50 states along with a quote or anecdote about the impact and importance of Social Security in their lives. The goal is to demonstrate that Social Security is a great American program that needs to continue on for future generations.
It is well known that in Maine a huge portion of the population benefits from Social Security. About one in four Maine residents receives Social Security and 63% of these recipients are retirees. The additional beneficiaries are people with disabilities, widows and widowers, children, and spouses. With so many Mainers being directly touched by this incredible program, we’re reaching out to you to become a part of “Humans of Social Security.”
To keep the activity impactful but enjoyable, below are a couple of examples of what types of information AARP is looking for:
• Retirees: How many years did you work? What was your first job and amount per hour you originally made? (Funny and/or unique first jobs and related stories are encouraged!)
• Kids: What do you want to be when you grow up?
• College age to 30’s: Do you hope to retire someday? What do you hope to look back on and say you achieved?
• 40’s to 60’s: What does Social Security mean to you and/or your loved ones?
Participating in this new activity is simple. You can submit your own story through our website, aarp.org/humans.
Before President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law all those years ago, many older Americans literally could not afford to stop working. After 80 years, it is hard to imagine life without Social Security. This benefit, earned over a lifetime of hard work, is making a difference in the lives of millions of families every day including right here in Maine.
Happy Anniversary, Social Security, and here’s to 80 more years!