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Retirement Reality Check: The Decreasing COLA Impacts Social Security Beneficiaries!


CNS NewsIn the complex dance of economics, inflation’s ebb and flow directly impacts Social Security recipients, particularly through the mechanism of the Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). In years of high inflation, the sting of diminished purchasing power is somewhat alleviated by increased Social Security payments due to higher COLAs.

Conversely, when inflation slows, while it eases the immediate burden of living costs, it heralds smaller COLA increases for the following year. 2025 appears to be leaning towards the latter scenario. Early indicators, particularly the January inflation report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, suggest a moderation in inflation rates.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) saw a 2.9% year-over-year increase in January, a figure that plays a crucial role in determining the annual COLA. This rate, though subject to change, already signals a potential downtrend from the 3.2% COLA adjustment of the current year, and even more so from the substantial 8.7% increase of 2022.

Retirement Reality Check: The Decreasing COLA Impacts Social Security Beneficiaries!

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Update on the Social Security COLA for 2025 as Seniors Get Bad News!

The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a bipartisan advocacy group for senior citizens, projects a modest COLA of 1.75% for 2025 based on these early figures. This forecast, albeit preliminary, is a significant point of discussion as it stands higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s prediction of a 2.5% COLA for the next year.

The difference in projections stems from varied methodologies but underscores a common expectation: a dip in inflation rates leading to a smaller COLA increase. While the final figure will depend on inflation trends over the upcoming months, this forecast sets a cautious tone for Social Security recipients who may face tighter financial conditions in 2025 due to a smaller increase in their benefits.

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