High inflation leads to the biggest raise in Social Security in more than 40 years
"I quit using my dryer today," she said. "I'm back to hanging up my clothes in my apartment. And I've heard rumors that it's going up again, and it was like, 'Good grief!'"
Consumer prices rose 8.2% for the 12 months ending in September, the
Relief might not be coming soon. On Tuesday, the
Rent on a two-bedroom apartment in a Tulsa senior community gobbles up much of Christophersen's monthly income. She's worried that before long she'll have to downsize.
"I just got my rent increase notice Tuesday," she said, noting that her lease expires in December. "It's another
The annual increase is automatic — pegged to inflation the previous July, August and September. Most years, when prices are stable, it's a trivial adjustment. Now though, with prices climbing rapidly, retirees can look forward to the biggest cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in four decades: 8.7%. That will boost the average benefit by
"Wow!" Christophersen exclaimed when told about the expected boost to her benefits. "That's huge. That will make a difference."
More than 65 million people will see the increased payments, including disabled workers and survivors as well as retirees. The jump is significantly more than the typical worker is getting.
"This is one way we can be sure that they can afford their housing costs and their food costs and other important necessities in their lives," said
Retirees, who don't have to commute every day, are typically less sensitive to rising gasoline prices than other consumers, but they do have to buy food. Grocery prices jumped 13% over the last 12 months.
"Now I'm eating canned tuna," Garcia said with a rueful laugh. "Or pasta and sauce. And then a piece of chicken that I've bought when it's on sale."
Garcia's retirement savings have also taken a hit from the falling stock market.
"As a result of the market we've had, it's been a downward spiral," she said.
List is hoping his buying power will be stronger in the year ahead.
"If we get a better-than-average increase in January this year and inflation at least doesn't go up any further, we should be OK," he said.
Many people are hoping to see inflation cool off soon. While prices for some things, like used cars, have come down, many prices continue to climb. And
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