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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Social Security Benefits Buying Less

If you feel like your Social Security check is not going as far as it has in the past, you’re not alone.

A new report indicates that the buying power of your monthly Social Security benefit has dropped by more than a third since 2000. The annual report from the Senior Citizens League, an Alexandria, Va. Advocacy group indicates the exact reduction in buying power since the turn of the century is 34 percent.

So while you’re seeing a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in your social Security benefits, it is not keeping up with the real increase in the costs of goods and services.

An analysis of the report indicates that those who have been retired longer are feeling the cumulative effect of this gap between COLA and the actual cost of living more than those who started receiving Social Security more recently.

Research associated with the report shows the decrease in buying power from January 2017 to January 2018 is 4 percent, compared to the 34 percent since 2000.

The fastest growing costs for retirees include Medicare Part B monthly premiums, out-of-pocket prescription drug prices, home heating oil, Medigap and real estate taxes.

The average COLA increase since 2010 has been 1.2 percent. There was no COLA increase in 2016 and only a 0.3 percent increase in 2017. There was a 2 percent increase this year, and in what may be some bit of good news, it is estimated that the COLA for 2019 will be at least 3.3 percent.



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