While the recent announcement of an almost certain COLA increase in Social Security payment for 2012 was taken as nothing other than hugely welcome by some, others have already thrown in their own two-cents and suggested very little will change for millions of US seniors.
If Social Security existed in something of a vacuum it would indeed be easy to fix, with small additional offerings augment general cost if living increases as and when they come about. Sadly, we all know that this is far from the case and in the latest example, it seems as though Medicare is once again likely to prove the thorn in the side of an otherwise helpful move.
As it stands, it has been three years since the last Social Security increase was seen in the US, which has left millions of retirees with exactly the same in their pockets since 2009, despite increases in daily costs and the like across the board. Should the recent predictions prove accurate, the increase in monthly payment for 2012 would be no more than a couple or few percentage points, equating in most cases to an additional $40 per month – which is modest but welcome nonetheless.
However, it has also been exactly the same three years since Medicare Part B premiums saw an increase, which are almost guaranteed to rise in 2012 if the Social Security increase goes ahead. This effectively means that the additional income of millions cold be mostly or entirely swallowed up by their increased premium payments, leaving them to once again fund their lives with the same allowance as that of 2009.