Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Local financial expert says Social Security COLA for 2024 will still leave some seniors struggling to make ends meet

Calculating money and bills.
Image by Karolina Grabowska

Social Security recipients will get a 3.2% cost of living adjustment next year.

Social Security recipients will get a cost of living adjustment or COLA of 3.2% next year – that’s compared to an 8.7% increase last year.

The announcement last Thursday came as inflation continues to increase. In September, theConsumer Price Index increased 0.4% and rose 3.7% over the last 12 months.

The Senior Citizens League issued a statement Thursday that said, while the COLA is well above the 2.6% average over the past 20 years,a new retirement survey it conducted indicates that older adults are pessimistic about their finances in the coming months.

"Social Security recipients are going to get 3.2% while they're telling us that the Consumer Price Index has risen 3.7%, but that core inflation, which takes out the cost of food and gas, has actually increased by 4.1%," said J. Barry Watts, a financial professional with WealthCare Corporationin Springfield. "So, what they're saying is, 'hey. It costs four percent more to live each year, but we're only going to give you 3.2% more in income,' so who makes up that .8%? It's got to either come out of your savings or else you have to reduce your lifestyle."

Watts predicts more social security recipients will return to the workforce to make ends meet.

Fifty-six percent of those who responded to the survey by TSCL said worry that retirement income won’t be enough to cover the cost of essentials in coming months is a top concern.