Understanding COLA and Retirement

Retirement COLA
Via Pixabay

For Americans who rely on Social Security, low benefits can be hard to get around. As inflation drives prices higher, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) becomes more important. Unfortunately, COLA increases don’t go far enough.

What is COLA and How Does it Work?

The annual COLA factors in the anticipated rate of inflation for the following year and adjusts Social Security benefits accordingly. The amount is based on a percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) over the previous year. Read more about how this number is calculated here.

How Low COLAs Impact Seniors

A cost-of-living increase, of course, should provide sufficient income to live on. However, the typical adjustment does not. A significant number of seniors struggle to pay their bills each month. This is not how it should be for people who already did their part. These people have earned more than they are receiving in retirement.

Essential needs like food and heat get more expensive every year. The price of internet and phone services we all rely on to stay connected continues to climb. Furthermore, healthcare costs are an ongoing challenge for many older Americans. Social Security benefits fail to keep up with these increases. Something needs to change!

Seniors Need This One Important Change

Clearly, the system isn’t working. We support the legislation we call The Greatest Generation Benefits Act. While so many Americans are struggling, this congressional bill offers a solution. Under this act, those 82 and over would receive an additional $85 per month and 4 percent every year. This would change everything. The bill, however, needs your help. Please sign our petition to tell Congress that it’s time to pass this vital legislation.