Study: Hawaii seniors rely very heavily on Social Security - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Study: Hawaii seniors rely very heavily on Social Security

By Howard Dicus - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - AARP research finds that most American seniors depend on their Social Security checks and that reliance is especially great in Hawaii.

"About a quarter of Hawaii seniors have no income except Social Security," AARP Hawaii policy director Barbara Ann Stanton said on "Sunrise" Monday.  "Another 47% would fall below the poverty line were it not for their Social Security checks."

More than a third of Hawaii respondants 65 and older said they have investment income that has shrunk in value during the past year.

AARP, which counts 59% of all Hawaii seniors as members, did national surveying to gain hard numbers to use as its lobbies against raiding Social Security to reduce the federal deficit.

Normally AARP is a powerful voice in Washington because seniors vote in larger numbers than other demographic groups, but the organization has been concerned about the pressure lawmakers are under to control the ballooning of federal debt.

The survey found 28% of Hawaii seniors report household income below $30,000 and have of those have income below $20,000.

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