Breaking News: COLA 2024 Announced - AMAC

The Social Security Administration announced a cost of living adjustment (COLA) on October 12, 2023, of 3.2%.  This means that effective with the January 2024 payment, one receiving a near average benefit of $1,800 per month will soon receive $1,858 per month, a $58 increase each month. 

Of course this is far less than the 8.7% COLA announced in October 2022 effective in January 2023.  Inflation has subsided some.  Third quarter data (July-September) are used to calculate what the COLA will be.  COLAs first started automatically in 1975 per a law passed by Congress.  In three years since then (fairly recently) no COLA was paid, as there was no measurable inflation. See a history of COLAs below.

Note COLAs are designed to help benefits keep pace with inflation over time.  However, they are NOT a raise in the typical way people might think of one.  And no, you don’t “win” or “get ahead.”  That is not nor has ever been the intent.  A fruitful retirement strategy involves saving money on your own, and the stock market has historically been the only place to build wealth and beat inflation over time.  Social Security is a mere baseline means of support to keep people out of abject poverty, though many still continue to believe it’s a retirement program they expect to try to live on.  But, alas, one cannot live on it alone, nor was it ever intended as such.  The benefit payment simply does not allow most retirees to cover all expenses.

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