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  • Archive for September, 2018

    Hispanic Heritage Month: Building Financial Security through the Latina Savings Project

    Tuesday, September 25th, 2018


    Half a century ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed the nation’s first formal recognition of Latino/Latina culture, history, and contributions by declaring Hispanic Heritage Week in the United States. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the importance of this celebration by expanding it to a full month, from September 15th through October 15th. Today, nearly 59 million people in the U.S. – over 18% of the total population – are of Hispanic origin.[1]

    As we honor the extraordinary cultural and historic contributions of Hispanic Americans and Latinos/Latinas, however, it’s important to acknowledge the many social and economic barriers that exist – particularly for Latinas. For example:

    Nearly one in three (30.9%) Latinas works in service occupations, which traditionally are lower paid;[2]

    *  A Latina worker earns just 53 cents for every dollar earned by a White man[3]

    *  Roughly two-thirds (65%) of Latinas work for employers that don’t sponsor retirement savings plans[4]

    *  Just one in five Latinas is covered by a private pension[5]

    *  Almost three-fifths (58%) of Latinas have no retirement income from savings and assets.[6]

    The result? Nearly one in five (19.8%) of Latinas aged 65 and over lives in poverty.[7]

    And, because Latinas age 65+ have longer life expectancies than the majority of the U.S. population, they are likely to experience worse poverty, for a longer period, than most other Americans. Retirement planning is important for all of us, and it is especially essential for Latinas.

    The Latina Savings Project

    That is why WISER is collaborating with MANA—A National Latina Organization on the Latina Savings Project. With funding from the AARP Foundation, the demonstration project is designed to support low- and moderate-income Latinas in developing a habit of saving for retirement through education and hands-on access to savings accounts. WISER and MANA are partnering with community-based Latina organizations in Baytown, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Topeka, Kansas, with plans to expand to other communities.

    The project helps participants open savings accounts and begin to contribute what they can afford, with added opportunities for matched savings contributions. The project also provides culturally-specific workshops that focus on the importance of saving and offer practical advice about how to get started.

    The goal of the project is to help improve the long-term financial security for its participants. Ideally, a successful outcome will help jump-start other efforts to increase Latinas’ retirement savings. More information about the project will be available soon at





    [4] WISER, “Latinas and Retirement: Just the Facts”

    [5] WISER, “Latinas and Retirement: Just the Facts”

    [6] WISER, “Latinas and Retirement: Just the Facts”



    It’s Not Too Late! Special Medicare Part B Enrollment Deadline Approaching

    Friday, September 21st, 2018


    Did you become eligible for Medicare Part A on or after March 1, 2013?  Did you keep your Affordable Care Act (ACA) health coverage instead of enrolling in Medicare Part B and then discover there were penalties for keeping that coverage?

    You have until September 30, 2018 under a special program which lets Medicare Part A beneficiaries sign up for Medicare Part B without late enrollment penalties.

    Who is eligible?

    Medicare beneficiaries who were covered by a qualified health insurance plan and who are not enrolled in Medicare Part B are eligible. Perhaps you turned down Medicare Part B coverage or dropped it because you thought ACA qualified health coverage was more affordable.  If so, what you did not realize is that you would lose the benefits of ACA coverage because of your Medicare eligibility.  And, you will face Part B higher coverage costs for life.

    What does the special relief provide

    It provides a special enrollment period that allows individuals to enroll in Medicare Part B without facing lifelong enrollment penalties. This ends September 30, 2018

    If individuals have Part B coverage now but are paying late enrollment penalties, special relief would end the penalties.

    Apply for special equitable relief to enroll in Medicare Part B and/or to eliminate your Part B enrollment penalties.

    Call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 800-772-1213 or go to to find a local Social Security office that you can visit in person

    Once at the office or on the phone with a representative, request special “equitable relief” to enroll in Part B and/or eliminate your Part B penalties.

    Do this BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30, 2018!


    Visit the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to learn more about enrolling in this special program.


    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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