Ev S.

Mother to four sons and grandmother to their ten children, Ev, age 84, lives alone after losing her husband last year.  “He was almost 93, so he didn't die young, but his death has left both an emotional and financial hole in my life,” she says.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, it’s where she married her husband. They started their family and moved to Boulder County in1964.  Ev recalls fondly how much they all loved the outdoor life in Colorado.

Apart from seven years raising her children and the ten years she spent taking care of her husband before he passed away, Ev worked for more than 30 years contributing to Social Security and began collecting full Social Security benefits at age 65. 

However, because she never worked for a company that provided a pension plan, she now relies on Social Security for 65% of her income with 37% of her income coming from a portion of her husband’s federal pension and approximately 5% from Medicare.

Luckily, she invested in private long-term care insurance years ago.  Her long-term care benefits are incredibly modest, but at least it allows her to receive the two hours of home care she needs each day.

Social Security is essential to Ev because it’s her primary source of income, but she’s increasingly worried about the future of her sons who cannot afford to buy any kind of long-term care insurance or annuities.  Most of all, she is concerned about their ability to collect Social Security.

When asked what she would do if her benefits were reduced, Ev responded by saying that “there is something very wrong with our culture (in terms of how we treat our elders).  In other cultures, elders are revered.  They take care of them.”

Ev feels strongly that Social Security needs to be protected.  She rhetorically asks, “If the U.S. government can afford to spend 53 billion dollars to re-build Iraq, then how can they possibly think about cutting Social Security?”

This story was submitted courtesy of the Social Security Matters campaign of the OWL - The Voice of Midlife and Older Women.