With the senior population expected to grow by nearly two-thirds in the next two decades, and most workers unprepared for retirement, California faces a mounting retirement crisis. While the retirement crisis is national in scope, California seniors face high costs of living and the state ranks near the bottom in workplace access to a pension or 401(k). Absent policy action to improve old-age financial security for today’s workers and sustain quality of life for the aging population, the ranks of California’s impoverished elderly will swell rapidly over the next two decades and beyond.
Only 1 in 5 private sector workers will have a pension when they retire.
Every year wall street billionaires support legislation to reduce or eliminate worker pensions.
Social security alone is not enough to live on and afford even the basics.
401K access is spotty, and particularly bad for the 25% lowest income-earners.
Real Workers. Real Stories.
Working Californians from all sectors are sharing their personal stories with elected officials and with fellow Californians on the realities of retirement security in our times. Read and share their stories below.
My name is Susan Difuntorum. I grew up here in California. I’m a state worker and a veteran. I’m 62 years old and I’m looking forward to retiring in the near future. At this time in my employment I don’t have enough time or make enough money to put into a 401(k) to beef up my retirement. I’m hoping that between my pension and Social Security that I’ll be able to live comfortable during retirement.
I’m Tonya York, and I’m a home care worker in California. Home care workers fall under the category of low wage workers, and we have absolutely no financial security. They are also paid current which means if their client dies today, the paychecks stop today. And if they retire as a Home care worker some may not even qualify for social security. We are also paid poverty wages which makes it impossible to save money.
Over the next 20-30 years as the population ages, the need for Home care will have only grow; we need a plan. We can not expect for people to want to have careers as Home care workers if there is no financial security?
My name is Marta Delgado and I’m a family child care provider in Long Beach.
My father in Guatemala worked for the railroad for 35 years. He was very proud of his career and the way it allowed him to provide for his family. My parents owned the home that they raised us in and we lived a good life.
At the end of his career, my father received a monthly retirement pension that allowed him to live with dignity during his senior years.
The issues we are here to talk about today are very personal to me. My family lives them every day, along with millions of others in California and across the country.
Out of the 3 generations of adult women in my family, I am currently the only woman who will have something more than Social Security to support me in my retirement, or even have the option of retiring at all.