Donald Trump probably isn’t interested in retirement; although many of us wish he would sit down somewhere.
Unlike the GOP presidential nominee, retirement security is an issue that interests me personally. In fact, it’s the reason why I’m fighting to make sure more candidates who care about delivering retirement security to working people get into office.
As a child care provider, I’ve never had an employer-sponsored retirement plan which worries me. I’ve considered leaving my profession to work for a company that offers retirement benefits until I’m 80. However, I already gave up a career in corporate America to pursue my passion for helping children.
My retirement struggle is common for child care providers. We’re a community that works for years for low pay and no benefits. We often make sacrifices to accommodate working parents and get late reimbursements from the state. When—or if—we retire, Social Security is usually our only source of income. Sadly, we know these benefits alone are not enough to provide a secure retirement.
However, we continue to do this job out of our love for helping families achieve their dreams. This is something Trump and other Social Security critics will never understand.
Where Trump sees Social Security as “a Ponzi scheme,” child care providers and other workers see a lifeline. These Social Security critics don’t understand the difficulty the average working American faces when saving for retirement.
I had an employer-sponsored plan years ago when I worked in corporate America, but I had to cash out my 401(k) to stay afloat. I’ve even tried purchasing my own IRA-style plan for retirement through a financial group and made larger contributions as my planner advised. However, at $200 a month this plan was too expensive for me to maintain so I let it go.
I’m sure Mr. Trump wouldn’t understand my struggle to save for retirement or my fears for the future.
Unlike him, I’m very aware of my position but it doesn’t mean things have to stay that way.
That’s why I’m going to keep fighting with other working parents, grandparents and Millennials to ensure more Americans can retire with dignity. Since 2012, I’ve been an advocate for the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program which recently passed the Legislature. I can’t wait to enroll in this plan.
I’m also pushing Congress to increase Social Security benefits for working families. In May, I was one of thousands of SEIU members who enthusiastically voted for a resolution calling for Social Security expansion. Our retirement resolution calls for strengthening the program by lifting the payroll tax cap on Social Security so that every American pays their fair share into the trust. It was exciting to learn the Democratic National Committee adopted a similar Social Security platform plank at its convention later this summer. These moments made me optimistic for the future.
I know that expanding Social Security will not only help me; it will benefit the child care providers who come into this industry after me. It will also benefit the low-income families we serve.
That’s why it’s important that we vote in a way that ends the cycle of always staying at the bottom that has been created by wealthy corporations and their political allies. It’s time to have a country where everyone has an opportunity to retire with dignity after a lifetime of working hard and playing by the rules, and no one has to risk giving up the job they love to do so.