Social Security Keeps Many African-American Retirees from Poverty

By | October 16, 2012

Although many Americans are living longer, a new public policy analysis reveals that a disproportionate number of older people are also living in poverty – particularly if they are a person of color. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, Social Security keeps about 30 percent of older African Americans and Hispanics from retirement poverty. Yet another 20 percent of these two ethnicities at ages 65 or older, live in poverty at a rate that is double that for whites.

The reasons for these disparities are tied to multiple economic impacts incurred over lifetimes spent in the workplace. Years of working at lower incomes and wages do not easily allow for aggressive savings or investment portfolios. Additionally, many people of color have or held jobs that did not provide for pensions or retirement accounts. For other workers whose employers provided some kind of retirement plan, often the benefits are smaller.

Among all people of color, AARP found that higher-income Asian-Americans were the most likely to receive diversified incomes in retirement years that included interest, dividends and rental income from assets. (Washington Informer)

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