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  • Archive for 2019

    Supporting Latina Savings on Latina Equal Pay Day

    Wednesday, November 20th, 2019

    EN-ESP~1

    This year, Latina Equal Pay Day is being observed on November 20, 2019. This event marks the day when Latina pay catches up to that of white, non-Hispanic men from the previous year. More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Latina’s typically earn only 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men which equates to a loss of more than $600,000 over a career[1]. The lack of pay equity eventually translates into a “retirement wage gap” that helps push up the poverty rate for older women, especially Latina women.

    Latinas face several other unique challenges that make saving for retirement more difficult. They have the highest life expectancy of any other demographic in the U.S. (88 years) and living longer places Latinas at a higher risk of outliving their assets. As a result of this longevity, low earnings, and a lack of savings, Latinas are at greater risk for potentially living in poverty later in life, with nearly 20% of Latinas age 65 years and older live below the federal poverty level. Learn more about Latinas and pay equity.

    Understanding how to plan for retirement and save for short-term goals can help lessen financial burdens Latinas may face. That is why WISER collaborated with MANA—A National Latina Organization on the Latina Savings Project. With funding from AARP Foundation, the savings project is designed to support low- and moderate-income Latinas in developing a habit of saving through education and hands-on access to savings accounts.

    In honor of Latina Equal Pay Day, WISER released the final report for the Latina Savings Project.

    The Latina Savings Project successfully demonstrated that moderate and low-income Latinas can overcome formidable obstacles to saving.  From 2017-2019, financial workshops were conducted with MANA chapters in four cities: Baytown, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Fort Worth, Texas; and Topeka, Kansas. The program focused on helping participants understand their own finances; then overcome barriers to saving, develop achievable savings goals, and open a savings account to begin saving. Fully three-quarters of the participants enrolled in a savings account and a majority successfully saved.  As one participated stated:

    “[The project] encouraged me to make a commitment to save money out of my paycheck each month. This is something I’ve wanted to do but just never fully committed to it.”

    For more information on the project, read the press release.

    [1] National Institute on Retirement Security, “Shortchanged in Retirement” Survey, March 2016.

    Tips and Tools for National Retirement Security Week and Beyond!

    Friday, October 25th, 2019

    Plan-Ahead-Map

     

    National Retirement Security Week, held this year from October 20-26th, is a national effort to raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement. The week provides an opportunity to reflect on your personal retirement needs and goals and to create steps to achieve those goals.

    All week long, WISER has been providing resources and ideas to help you take action towards building a more financially secure future. Here is a recap of all the tips and tools.

    Know your sources of income

    The first step in planning for your financial future is to know what your sources of retirement income are now and in the future.  WISER’s “Get Your Ducks in a Row” worksheet is a great place to start.

    Calculate how much money you will need

    An important step in planning is to figure out how much money you will need in retirement. There are lots of easy-to-use online tools to help you figure this out. Check out some of these retirement planning calculators.  And remember, there is no perfect answer, but getting a best guess estimate gives you a starting point.

    Get to know your Social Security benefit

    Social Security is the foundation of retirement security for most people. It is important to know how it works and how you can maximize your benefit. Explore WISER’s Social Security resources to help you make the most of this important benefit and avoid costly mistakes.  Also, check out WISER’s infographic to learn about key milestones for claiming both your Social Security and Medicare benefits. These are important pieces of the retirement planning puzzle for most Americans but understanding how these systems work can be confusing. Learn the basics!

    Your Social Security statement is also a great retirement planning tool. Get benefit estimates and lots more information by signing up for your online Social Security Account.

    Ready, set, save!

    Saving today is the best way to help build your financial security for tomorrow. Saving for long-term goals like retirement is important, but don’t overlook the importance of building an emergency savings fund. This can help you weather life’s “OMG” moments and keep your overall financial goals on track. For lots of great tips, ideas and inspiration on ways to boost your savings, visit America Saves.

    Invest and plan for the long haul

    Investing is key to building long-term savings, but it can be confusing and intimidating. The good news is you don’t have to be a financial genius to make smart financial decisions. Good, basic information can go a long way in helping you understand the ins and outs of different investment options. Check out these guides from WISER to help you get started.

    Need a little more help when it comes to retirement planning? Most of us do, and a financial advisor or planner can be a great partner in helping you to set financial goals and make a plan to keep you on track. But choosing a financial planner can be overwhelming. Read WISER’s Financial Planner Alert to help guide you through the process.

    National Retirement Security Week is coming to an end but remember, you can use this information and take steps to build your financial security throughout the year. And don’t forget to share these resources with others! We can all use a little help on the road to retirement security.

    Your Social Security Benefit Statement May Be Wrong

    Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

    SSCard_dark textThis summer, reporters with Forbes and USA Today discovered that Social Security had mailed out thousands of incorrect benefit statements to prospective recipients. A number of those who asked for information on their account via a paper form, known as SSA-7004, between 2017 and now, received benefit statements that were off by as much as hundreds of dollars.

    According to the Social Security Administration, the mistakes were isolated to some, but not all On Request Statements sent to the following people.

    -Those who were born in 1955, 1956, or 1957.

    -Those who were age 62 or older at the time of their request.

    -Those who indicated on the SSA-7004 that they planned to stop working at age 66.

    The Social Security Administration states that they stopped issuing SSA-7004 statements in late June, but will soon resume now that the system has been fixed and consumers have been sent corrected statements.

    What Can You Do:

    If you are concerned about this happening again, or think you received a faulty statement that was not corrected, there are a number of simple actions you can take to double-check the accuracy of your statement. If you have ordered an On Request SSA-7004 statement within the last 2 years, be sure to either cross-reference your most recent statement with past statements you may have received or check your earnings statement with your W-2 forms from past IRS filings. You should also create an online Social Security account and view those estimates, make your own calculations, or have it looked at by a financial expert.

    How to get your Social Security statement online

    How to request a statement if you can’t or don’t want to get an online statement

    WISER

    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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