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Inaction on Social Security will hit future Nebraska retirees hard

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New analysis conducted by AARP shows that 1.1 million Nebraska workers who are paying into Social Security today stand to lose 25 percent of their benefits if the President and Congress don’t act.

While the revenue shortfall faced by the Social Security system that could result in cuts is not imminent, in June, the Social Security Trustees reported that the trust fund would run dry in 2034. After that time, across-the-board cuts of nearly 25 percent would take effect if no action is taken.

“Doing nothing is not an option. The question is how long will our leaders wait to act,” said Bob Eppler, state president of AARP Nebraska. “The presidential candidates need to show they can lead on this issue and give voters real answers on how they will update Social Security for future generations.”

AARP’s national Take A Stand campaign is focused on pressing presidential candidates to show leadership on Social Security. Thousands of Take A Stand volunteers across the country are  attending events and telling the candidates that soundbites aren’t good enough when it comes to Social Security.

Here is a glimpse of what a 25 percent cut would mean to future retirees in our state:

  • The average annual family income of Nebraska retirees would plunge by $4,400. For many state residents, losses would be much higher.
  • The poverty rate of older Nebraskans would skyrocket by 50 percent. Some 10,400 additional seniors would be pushed into poverty.
  • Nebraskans typically spend $7200 a year on groceries, $4900 a year on utilities, and $7700 on health care. A cut of nearly 25 percent would force households to make painful choices about what to buy and what to do without – at a time when the cost of necessities like food and prescription drugs continues to rise.

“This snapshot of the potential effects of inaction on future generations makes it abundantly clear that Social Security needs to be a top priority in the presidential debate,” Eppler said. “Voters deserve to know how the candidates’ plans will affect families, what they will cost and how they’ll get it done.”

AARP asked the candidates what they would do to update Social Security and they responded in the AARP July Bulletin. For more information, go to 2016takeastand.org.

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