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How It Affects Your Social Security Payments and COLA Adjustments



How It Affects Your Social Security Payments and COLA Adjustments

How It Affects Your Social Security Payments and COLA Adjustments. Recent Surge in Inflation: Implications for Social Security Payments Inflation’s resurgence, measured at 3.7% annually for the year ending in August, has raised concerns about its impact on Social Security payments. This marks the second consecutive increase following a year of declines, and it holds significant implications for both President Joe Biden and the Federal Reserve. In this article, we explore how this uptick in inflation could affect your Social Security income and purchasing power.

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President Biden Efforts and Inflation Trends

President Biden’s Inflation Mitigation Efforts President Biden has been actively emphasizing his efforts to mitigate inflationary pressures. However, recent data indicates an escalation in consumer prices, with gasoline prices playing a pivotal role in driving up headline inflation figures, rising by a remarkable 10% from July to August. We delve into the potential impact of these inflation trends on your Social Security payments and other sources of income.

Understanding Core Inflation

Core Inflation: A Closer Look To gain a better understanding of the inflation landscape, let’s explore the concept of “core inflation.” This metric excludes the volatile categories of food and energy and presents a different picture, showing a 4.3% rate for the year ending in August. This divergence between core inflation and headline inflation suggests that while some sectors of the economy experience price spikes, others remain relatively stable, which may offer some relief to the Federal Reserve.

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Federal Reserve Response to Inflation

Federal Reserve’s Response to Inflation The Federal Reserve has been actively raising interest rates for over a year in a concerted effort to combat inflation. These measures have had a noticeable impact, with inflation receding to some extent. The central bank’s target rate currently stands at 5.25% to 5.50%, and we discuss how the latest rate hike may signify the conclusion of the Fed’s tightening cycle. We also highlight the Fed’s upcoming meeting and their scrutiny of the recent report to assess the broader economic landscape.

Coping with Rising Inflation: COLA Adjustment

Coping with Rising Inflation: COLA Adjustment In light of the persistent high prices for goods and services contributing to the inflationary surge, Social Security recipients can expect a significant increase in their benefits starting in January. The Senior Citizens League forecasts a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 3.2% based on the August inflation figures. While this is lower than the announced 3.7% inflation rate, experts anticipate inflation to trend closer to the 3.2% COLA figure.

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SSA Determination of COLA

SSA’s Determination of COLA The Social Security Administration (SSA) traditionally determines the COLA for Social Security payments by tracking the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers from the third quarter of the previous year to the third quarter of the current year. As inflation has remained on an upward trajectory since 2022, recipients can expect their payments to rise accordingly. We note that the exact amount of the 2024 Social Security COLA will be confirmed on October 12, following the release of the final inflation data for the third quarter of 2023.

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