These past two years have been a wild roller-coaster ride. With COVID, mass vaccinations and a spurt in inflation, everyone has had to be on their toes.
Lately, though, another worry has surfaced for retirees: The costs of perennial expenses have risen, according to The Senior Citizen’s League.
Thus far in 2021, food has been one of the fastest growing expenses, the League reports.
The same survey also found that “nearly one out of five survey respondents, 19 percent, say they have visited a food pantry or applied for food stamps (SNAP) since the beginning of this year,” says Mary Johnson, Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League.
What else is being hit with inflation? Here’s a short list: Housing, up 24%; Medical, up 19%; Transportation, up 7%.
While many economists are attributing the price increases to short-term supply-chain disruptions due to the pandemic, it’s a concern since it hurts retirees’ standard of living.
Fortunately, since Social Security benefits are indexed to consumer inflation, its cost-of-living adjustment for next year may cover some (but not all) of the price hikes in everyday expenses.
Social Security recipients, the League predicts, “are likely to see the highest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in almost four decades. Johnson estimates that the Social Security COLA payable in 2022 will be about 6.2 percent if the current trends continue. That’s a huge boost, coming after COLAs have averaged a meager 1.4 percent over the past 12 years,” Johnson notes.
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