Could the COLA increase hurt some?
It’s hard to think of getting a raise in Social Security benefits as having some negative side affects, but in this article by Tim Grant at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the author’s source suggests that the 2.8% COLA increase in 2019 could push some folks over the thresholds at which their Social Security benefits become taxable income. And further, some might not see the entire COLA increase because Medicare’s Part B premium is going up. Nevertheless, while the author presents valid “caveats” about the benefit increase, he is equally clear that the extra money from the COLA will help definitely help seniors who rely on Social Security for a large part of their income. Click here to read more.
(Note: There is a statement in the article which asserts that if combined income for a married couple falls below $44,000 Social Security benefits are not taxable. That is incorrect. If combined income for a married couple falls below $32,000, benefits aren’t taxable, but between $32,000 and $44,000, up to 50% of benefits may be taxable.)