America’s 65 million Social Security beneficiaries will receive a 0.3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2017. That translates to a less than desired increase of about $5 to $1,360 per month for the average retiree.
It will mark fourth time in the last seven years that Americans receive a bump in their Social Security payments. It is the smallest adjustment since the mid-1970s, when COLAs began.
For many, the increase will be offset by much higher Medicare premiums, which are projected to jump 22%, according to the Medicare Trustees Report. This includes 30% of the nation’s 56 million Medicare beneficiaries—or those enrolling in Part B for the first time next year, those enrolled in Medicare but not taking Social Security benefits and current enrollees paying a higher premium related to their income.
The record low growth in COLAs in recent years is causing budget concerns for some 31 million Americans aged 65-plus. Over the last 16 years, seniors have been losing ground when it comes to their buying power.