Why Bigger Social Security Checks Felt Small in 2022

Must read

Pending Home Sales Improve In January As More Buyers Return

More demand from buyers and less supply from homeowners is holding prices steady. getty The housing market is showing early signs of recovery with...

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions To Protect Renters And Promote Rental Affordability

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a request for information exploring unfair practices in the ... rental market. getty The Biden-Harris administration announced...

A 5-Minute Fix for People Who Sit All Day

A growing body of research tells us that sitting for too long is bad for our health. It has been linked to obesity,...

8 Topics to Tackle If You Want to Survive Retirement With Your Spouse

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com This story originally appeared on NewRetirement. Before you got married, you probably discussed where you wanted to live, whether or...

Social Security recipients got a big boost to their monthly checks this year, but it still likely was not enough for millions of seniors.

The 5.9% cost of living adjustment (COLA) that was added to Social Security benefits in 2022 — which was the highest in four decades — fell short of the actual inflation rate by an average of 46% each month, according to an analysis by The Senior Citizens League.

That means average Social Security checks failed to cover the increasing cost of goods and services by $42 each month, or $508 for the year.

Even with recent signs that inflation might be moderating, the COLA still falls short of the mark, according to the league.

For example, the 5.9% adjustment was well below the 7.1% inflation reading for November, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

The Senior Citizens League says it recently surveyed adults 65 and older and found that inflation is creating hardship for these retirees. For example:

  • 33% say they have applied for food stamps or visited a food pantry over the past 12 months, up from 22% in 2020.
  • 17% have applied for assistance with heating costs, up from 10% in 2020.

The fastest-growing costs for seniors fall into 10 categories, according to the league. The increases are:

  • Home heating oil: Up 68%
  • Airfares: 42.9%
  • Flour and prepared mixes: 24.6%
  • Health insurance: 20.6%
  • Natural gas: 20%
  • Oil change and coolant: 19.1%
  • Canned vegetables and fruit: 18.7%
  • Soups: 17%
  • Turkey: 16.9%
  • Pet food: 15%

In a summary of the findings, Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League, says:

“If you are helping or gifting older family and friends this holiday season, these items are a great starting point for thoughtful giving that can make a big difference.”

The 2023 COLA already has been announced. At 8.7%, it is even larger than this year’s adjustment. Time will tell whether the COLA will be up to the task of meeting — or even exceeding — next year’s inflation rate.

If rising prices have left you struggling to make ends meet, check out “10 Sure-Fire Ways to Beat Inflation.”

More articles

Latest article

Pending Home Sales Improve In January As More Buyers Return

More demand from buyers and less supply from homeowners is holding prices steady. getty The housing market is showing early signs of recovery with...

Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces New Actions To Protect Renters And Promote Rental Affordability

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a request for information exploring unfair practices in the ... rental market. getty The Biden-Harris administration announced...

A 5-Minute Fix for People Who Sit All Day

A growing body of research tells us that sitting for too long is bad for our health. It has been linked to obesity,...

8 Topics to Tackle If You Want to Survive Retirement With Your Spouse

wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com This story originally appeared on NewRetirement. Before you got married, you probably discussed where you wanted to live, whether or...

How to Overcome the 8 Biggest Challenges of Remote Work

Arts Illustrated Studios / Shutterstock.com Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.Are you ready to dip your toes into the world of...