With inflation on the rise, seniors will be getting a nice raise in 2019. The roughly 70 million people – retirees and others who rely heavily upon Social Security could receive an 8% cost-of living adjustment ( COLA) next year.
This year, the average retiree got a monthly check of $1,657 which means that their annual income will increase by an additional 25%.
“This new app is going to be a lifesaver,” The City of Madison’s Department of Human Services says that people who use it can buy an extra week worth of groceries, and pay their electric bills and heating costs. This means they’ll have enough money left over for other basic needs such as medical care or transportation if needed too.”
This year’s increase in Social Security payments has fallen well short of the rise faced by seniors, disabled people and other beneficiaries. This is because despite an inflation rate that sits at 8.3% – which could be considered healthy for retirees looking to keep up with rising costs- it’s been stuck beneath 40 years high numbers seen last month when prices increased upwardly. “It still wasn’t enough,” says Johnson.
The Social Security Administration has announced a 2019 COLA that will be paid in 2022 after prices rose sharply last October but before the historic run-up of recent months.
The number of seniors relying on food stamps has almost doubled since October. The median senior income is $1,360 per month and they are only able to afford about two hundred dollars worth of groceries every three months according to this survey by Johnson’s group.
Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they were using assistance such as donation sites like Good Sam Food closet which offers nonperishable goods at low cost but comes with restrictions like no meat after last week’s sale items.
Some people rely heavily upon these resources while others may go without basic needs because there just isn’t enough money coming through for them anymore.”
The cost of living for retirees has been rising at an alarming rate. As a result, Social Security recipients are struggling to keep up with their expenses and have lost 30% in buying power since 2000 as COLAs grow by about half as much compared with what people typically purchase when they retire.
Retirees were already feeling the pressure from climbing prices on goods or services but now it’s becoming even harder because benefits aren’t growing nearly enough- which means these vulnerable populations may soon find themselves truly dollar poor again.
The gap in purchasing power is growing larger than ever before. In March of this year, it was at 40% – one of the largest annual increases that Johnson has seen during his time as director here at SSA. This can be attributed largely due to how differentials between wages and prices change with each passing month; while some may see an 8.3%, others might experience 8.9%.
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