A Social Security paradox: Higher gas prices could raise the 2019 COLA

About this time of year, those of us now collecting, or about to collect, Social Security start wondering what, if any, cost of living adjustment (COLA) we might expect to see next year. And given that COLA increases in the last 5 years have been quite meager, recent projections that the 2019 COLA could be about 3% are welcome. Now, for those who lament rising gasoline prices as we approach Labor Day, tuck this little nugget into your thinking: Higher gasoline prices during this quarter of the year can actually help you get a bigger COLA increase when 2019 rolls around. And that’s because the 3rd quarter Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from which COLA is determined uses gasoline costs as one of its key measures, thus higher gas prices help raise the CPI-W, and a higher CPI-W means a bigger COLA. In this NY Post article by John Crudele, the author explains this paradox. Click here to read more.

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