Social Security Benefits to Rise 1.7% Next Year

Social Security benefits will rise by 1.7 percent starting in January, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday. That’s a tad higher than this year’s 1.5 percent increase. It’s also the fourth straight year that the cost-of-living adjustment was below 2 percent for nearly 59 million retirees, disabled workers and their families. The adjustment amounts to about $22 a month for those who receive the average monthly benefit of $1,302. >> See AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins’ statement on the COLA “The …

Is Your State a … Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to … New Hampshire. Actually, the magazine’s ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president’s annual State of the Union address. Here’s what Politico‘s Margaret Slattery has to say: Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is “strong.” Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, …

Social Security Checks to Edge Up in 2014

Social Security benefits will increase by just 1.5 percent next year - about $19 a month for the average retiree. The increase is one of the smallest since automatic cost-of-living adjustments were adopted in 1975. It affects Social Security benefits for some 58 million Americans, as well as benefits for millions of disabled veterans, federal retirees and people who get Supplemental Security Income. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter. “The COLA announced today is vital to millions, but at …

Shutdown Delays Announcement of Social Security COLA

Wondering what next year’s cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security will be? Keep wondering. The Social Security Administration was scheduled to announce the annual COLA adjustment on Oct. 16, but it can’t do so because it won’t have an inflation report for September from the Labor Department. The Labor Department announced on Oct. 10 that it won’t be issuing the inflation report because of the government shutdown that went into effect on Oct. 1. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters …

Chained CPI Petitions Delivered to Capitol Hill: 1.5 Million Say No

Fifteen cardboard boxes. Ten thousand pages. And about 1.5 million people who want to be heard signed their names on one or more petitions, for a total of 2.3 million signatures. A group of AARP volunteers – known as the Capitol Hill Strike Force – descended on the U.S. Capitol this morning to deliver their messages to the House Ways and Means Committee. “As members of Congress consider proposals to reform these vital retirement security programs, it’s critical that they …

Why Retiring Abroad Could Save You Money

In a previous blog post, I wrote about one of the key perks of living in Latin America – affordability. I wrote that you can live quite comfortably in Latin America on your Social Security benefits, despite the fact that those benefits have only risen 3.6 percent in the last three years. For a retiree in 2012, the average Social Security benefit is $1,230. One of my favorite treats, I mentioned, is that in Ecuador, I can afford to hire …