Baby boomers are now reaching Social Security age and it’s showing in Rhode Island, with a record number receiving benefits, according to the Social Security Administration’s Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics.
It is the highest number of recipients in Rhode Island in the Social Security program’s 75-year history, Kurt Czarnowski, the agency’s regional communications director, told The Providence Journal.
The number of Social Security beneficiaries in Rhode Island has been rising slowly but steadily. Nationwide, Social Security beneficiaries now number more than 52.5 million, up from 50.9 million as of December 2008, and 49.9 million as of December 2007.
The Journal lists the following reasons for the increases:
o Life expectancy: Americans are generally living longer, so they are collecting benefits for a longer period of time, says Corinne Calise Russo, director of the state Department of Elderly Affairs. For example, Arthur J. Latham Jr. has been drawing Social Security benefits for 35 years since his retirement from Providence Gas Co; he recently celebrated his 100th birthday.