Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Seniors on Social Security squeezed by rising prices

Social Security Poster: old man

To keep pace with the rising cost of living, the Social Security Administration announced a 1.7% benefits increase for 2013. This will give a $19 boost to the average benefit of $1,130 a month. For some of the 56.3 million people who get Social Security -- either because they are retired or disabled -- the increase may not be enough to keep up with rising expenses.

"We're grateful for any small increase [in Social Security benefits], but believe me, any small increase doesn't begin to cover the major increases we're seeing in things like vegetables, fruits, bread and milk," said Mason.

Part of the problem is a disconnect between the official inflation figure and what seniors actually pay, experts and seniors say. The inflation number used to calculate the cost of living adjustment is based on spending patterns among workers of all ages and across hundreds of items. A more accurate calculation would put more weight on the items that seniors purchase most frequently -- like food, gas and medical care, according to the American Institute for Economic Research. Read more >>

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