SS Recipients Losing Buying Power

In this Kearny (NE) Hub article, contributor Maurie Backman discusses the issue of seniors on Social Security losing buying power, largely because Social Security Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) don’t keep pace with rising healthcare costs. Statistically, COLA increases have averaged 1.65% over the last ten years, while healthcare costs have gone up by about 2.9%. According to the author, one culprit for the loss of buying power is how COLA increases are determined in the first place, namely using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), which many claim does not properly represent inflation for seniors. Instead, it is suggested, the CPI-E, an experimental CPI index for tracking expenses of the elderly, should be used, which would yield a more generous COLA to Social Security recipients. While the question of whether the CPI-E is a good solution to this issue is debatable, the article nevertheless, presents a solid explanation how seniors are losing buying power each year. Click here to read more.

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