By Jane Malik, Alexandria (File photo)
To the editor:
Hooray! The 2016 election is over. We have been through a contentious time, and now we can give time and serious consideration to supporting the structures that support us.
At the top of my list is Social Security. We need our leaders to take a stand to keep Social Security financially strong.
Putting Social Security at the top of our national agenda will enable all of us to plan for our futures, and our children to plan for theirs. Financial planning is important to our futures — for all of us. But the uncertainty of strong funding for Social Security leaves us unable to do that.
Think about this: if our leaders fail to act, future retirees stand to lose nearly 25 percent of their benefits. If this happened today, average family income for people over 65 ultimately would drop by $4,500 after a 25 percent cut. In Virginia, the poverty rate among older residents would soar.
This could be devastating to many families. Based on today’s data, it would force nearly 53,000 Virginians into poverty. Older Virginians’ ability to pay for their basic needs could be compromised by these cuts — Americans’ average health care costs are more than $9,000 per year.
The time for reflection has passed. Taking care of our individual financial planning requires us each to demand action on the future of Social Security funding.