It sucks getting old. Just ask anyone who depends on Social Security payments to fund their life. For the second straight year recipients will not be getting a cost of living increase because, according to our federal government, the cost of living hasn't increased in two years. As a little exercise, go back to your checkbook or receipts from two years ago and tell me that things aren't more expensive now than they were two years ago. Take as much time as you need.
The average benefit is $1,072 per month. Try doing that for a year and let me know how you make out. I'm sure that the idea of giving cost of living increases to Social Security recipients (called COLA) sounded like a good idea when they instituted the plan in 1975. Next year would be only the second year that there has not been an increase. The first one was last year. Things like that always sound like a good idea when the numbers work. When the numbers stop working (as they always do) good ideas are suddenly horrible mistakes.
Perhaps it's the way the COLA is calculated that is the problem? Most of the stories I read include the price of gasoline in the calculation, which has decreased since its peak in 2009. Other things, like utilities, cable, sales taxes and property taxes have continued to increase. The odd thing is that the number of senior citizens who drive is probably less than the number who pay property taxes or have cable TV, so why is the price of gasoline figured into this number? Many of them are confined to their homes or dependent on public transportation - whose cost has also increased - so why can't we figure out the things that seniors use and base the COLA on that? Things like medical care, prescription drugs, heat and air conditioning.
It's too simple, and probably would actually help them, and God forbid we do that. Especially since the people making the rules are never going to depend on Social Security for their income after their lucrative political careers are over.
Which, if this sort of thing is any gauge, will be sooner rather than later.