Social Security’s 80th birthday celebrated during aging conference

Hundreds of seniors spent Saturday soaking up information at the 9th annual “Aging in Place” conference at the Ala Moana Hotel.

Sponsored by KHON2’s Elderhood Project and Generations magazine, the conference also celebrated Social Security’s 80th birthday, joined by representatives of AARP Hawaii and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz.

Schatz has introduced a proposal in Congress to increase social security benefits, which he said now averages $14,000 per year. He said that “often times, (that’s) not enough to make ends meet.

“Most seniors need social security, because for most of them, that’s the majority of their income,” he said, “and that’s exactly why we got to fight to protect it, and I think over the long run, we’ve actually got to strengthen the program fiscally and make sure the benefits are actually enough for our seniors.”

AARP states that the social security program serves about 250,000 Hawaii residents.

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