No benefit increase for Social Security, government says

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A million or so more people who receive Medicare but have either deferred receiving Social Security or aren’t yet eligible would also be hit with the higher premiums, as would another 2.8 million individuals who are new to Medicare in 2016.

Given that there won’t be a Social Security COLA, beneficiaries might need to consider ways to boost income: invest more aggressively in higher-yielding and perhaps more risky assets such as long-term bonds and high-dividend-paying stocks; return to work; or work more hours.

But the Labor Department also calculates an inflation measure called the CPI-E, which is the consumer-price index for Americans 62 years of age and older. Health care costs rose 6.1 percent. Dropping fuel prices are the biggest reason retirees aren’t getting a raise.

The Social Security Administration says the decision was made based on consumer prices for things like gas being down. Last year’s raise, for instance, was just 1.7 percent.

Speak to a financial adviser and the Social Security Administration for various options that may be available to you so you can maximize your future Social Security payments. If they stay more or less flat, so do benefits. On average, monthly premiums are expected to rise 13% for those who remain in the same plan, from $36.68 in 2015 to $41.46, according to Kaiser. “Social Security recipients spend more of their monthly budget on health care, food and housing than do younger workers”. The CPI reflects spending patterns for a population.

That gap exists partly because the cost of living increases that have been offered over that time period have been mostly modest, Johnson said. He recently went through a series of kidney stones that had originally been billed to him for $61,000 before he was able to convince his provider to reduce the costs to monthly installments totaling $12,000.

“I am concerned the absence of a cost-of-living increase this year will place an undue burden on America’s senior citizens, disabled veterans, Supplemental Security Income recipients, and their families”, said Congressman Cohen. “Or at least that’s the case for 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who are collecting Social Security and don’t pay an income-related higher Medicare Part B premium”, says Mark Lumia, founder and CEO of True Wealth Group in Lady Lake, Fla., and author of Thinking Outside the Money Box. This also includes new enrollees, people who don’t receive Social Security benefits and enrollees who earn more money.

 

Medicare actuaries predicted in July that the standard premium for other beneficiaries would rise next year to $159 a month. In 2010 and 2011 retiree pay was frozen along with pay of federal civilian employees. “It is about basic fairness”. Medicare participants who aren’t covered by the hold harmless provision because their Part B isn’t subtracted from their Social Security will feel the pinch.

Social Security Administration

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