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August 13, 2010

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Saturday marks the 75th anniversary of Social Security. It's a program that was created during the depths of the Great Depression, when most older Americans were struggling with poverty. Since then, it's been credited for keeping millions of Americans out of poverty, including seniors, people with disabilities, widows and children.

Sarah Jennings, state director of AARP-South Dakota, says the program has become part of our culture.

"When we think about it, over 150,000 South Dakotans rely on Social Security, or get some sort of Social Security payment today. It really is a program that impacts families and individuals across our state, and it's a program that has really has been successful."

Jennings has a daughter starting kindergarten next week. She says she believes Social Security will be there for her.

"There's no doubt in my mind that it will be there for my kids, and I think it has to be there because I think retirement security is something that we need to talk about even more as a society. It's not just about Social Security, but it's about saving more, and making sure if you can invest in a 401-K at your office, or some other way, you do that."

A recent AARP survey indicates 75 percent of those 18 and older are planning on Social Security to provide a major portion of their retirement.

The survey is online at www.aarp.org/socialsecurity75th.

Jerry Oster, Public News Service - SD