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COLA Watch 2025: It Looks Disappointing

Sean Williams explains how Social Security’s cost of living adjustment (COLA) is calculated in this piece. The COLA is a lifeline for those collecting benefits, especially the lowest income recipients. Williams provides historical context for how the COLA became automatic in the 1970s and explains the CPI-W measure and how it uses third quarter data only. Early indications by different groups estimate a 1.8% to 2.5% COLA, which is below the historical average and way below the past few years when inflation was soaring. Full piece here.

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