Social security checks are boosted

Washington — Millions of social security retirees will see a 5.9% increase in benefits in 2022. The biggest cost-of-living adjustment in 39 years follows a surge in inflation as the economy struggles to shake off the coronavirus pandemic resistance.

According to Wednesday’s estimate from the Social Security Administration, COLA will add $ 92 a month for the average retired worker, as is commonly called. This is a sudden break from the long-term decline in inflation, with living cost adjustments averaging only 1.65% per year over the last decade.

With the increase, the estimated average social security benefit for retired workers will be $ 1,657 per month next year. The profits of a typical couple rise from $ 154 per month to $ 2,753.

However, it is only to compensate for the rising costs that recipients are already paying for food, gasoline and other goods and services.

“It goes pretty fast,” retired Cliff Ramsey said of rising living costs. After a sales career at a major steelmaker, Ramsey lives near Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At home, he takes care of his wife, Judy, who has developed Alzheimer’s disease for nearly 60 years. Since the coronavirus pandemic, Ramsey also said he occasionally mentioned wages paid to the caregivers who spell him out and increased prices for Judy’s personal care products.

COLA affects about one in five Americans’ households. This includes social security recipients, disabled veterans, and federal retirees, for a total of about 70 million people. For the baby boomers who have begun to retire within the last 15 years, this will be the largest increase they have seen.

Among them is Kitty Ruderman of Queens, New York City. He has retired from his career as an executive assistant and has been collecting social security for about 10 years. “We are waiting to hear what the increase will be every year, and every year it wasn’t that important,” she said. “Thank you for this year. It makes a difference.”

Ruderman says he’s taking time to shop for groceries to take advantage of the mid-week senior discount, but the price increase was still “extreme.” She says she doesn’t think she can afford the medicine recommended by her doctor.

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins described the increase in government payments as “important for social security beneficiaries and their families to keep up with rising costs.”

Policy makers say this adjustment is a safeguard to protect social security benefits from loss of purchasing power, not an increase in retiree wages. About half of the elderly live in households where social security provides at least 50% of their income, and a quarter rely on monthly payments for all or almost all of their income.

“We don’t want to minimize the importance of COLA,” said Charles Brahaus, a retirement policy expert who is a former public trustee helping to oversee the finances of social security and Medicare. .. “What people can buy is very much influenced by the number that comes out. Often we are discussing the necessities of life.”

This Tuesday, October 12, 2021, the photo shows a social security card in Tigard, Oregon. Millions of retirees using social security will see a 5.9% increase in benefits in 2022.

As inflation rises, it costs more to adjust living expenses

Social security checks are boosted

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