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The Social Security COLA Increase Will Ease the Sting of Inflation


“It’s the backbone of our retirement system,” said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research. “It’s the bottom upon which everyone relies or builds. There is no such thing as a query about that.”

For Tish Leon, 71, a bigger Social Security check will help her keep ahead of her rent, which rose 5 percent last 12 months. (Ms. Leon owns a mobile home, but not the land.) It is going to also allow her to eventually save enough money to make home improvements. Her current check of nearly $2,100 accounts for roughly 80 percent of her income. She withdraws one other $500 monthly from her own retirement savings, which she amassed when working as an office manager at nonprofits.

“The value of living is admittedly high,” said Ms. Leon, who lives in Lakeside, Calif. She has made some changes, like limiting her driving to maintain her gas costs down. “Once I do drive, I attempt to do as much as possible once I am out.”

This 12 months, retirees will even get to maintain more of the annual bump to their Social Security check. Last 12 months, Medicare beneficiaries had to soak up a giant increase of their premiums, that are deducted from their checks. But this 12 months, for the primary time in greater than a decade, premiums will decline. The usual monthly premium for Medicare Part B — which covers doctor visits and outpatient hospital services — will probably be $164.90 in 2023, or $5.20 lower than it is that this 12 months, in line with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Ms. Hinojos, the California retiree, had worked since she was 15. She was along with her last employer, mostly in accounting-related jobs at a personal college, for nearly 4 many years.

But it surely was difficult to place aside a meaningful amount for retirement while raising her son as a single mother. She had saved some money in a 401(k), but she said two market crashes had diminished her savings. She also withdrew money at one other point to try to save lots of her house, which had fallen into foreclosure — but she lost it anyway.

“That ended up throwing good money after bad,” said Ms. Hinojos, who tries to maintain her grocery bill under $200 a month and received some savings from a relative, which she has earmarked for medical care. “Lots of my 401(k) money got thrown out because of this.”

Social Security has been a stabilizing force. “With all of my ups and downs,” Ms. Hinojos said, “I don’t know what I might do without it.”

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