Thursday, October 16, 2008
According to this report in the LA Times, the U.S. government is about to increase social security payments by a whopping 5.8 percent come the first of the year.
While this may not seem like a lot, for those on fixed incomes, every little bit helps and, now that energy prices are falling, things might be appreciably better for senior citizens in the months ahead relative to earlier this year.
Of course things were just awful earlier in the year and, unless food prices and medial expenses start going down along with energy prices, 2009 may not be all that much better than 2008 for retirees.
The increase is the largest since a 7.4 percent jump in 1982 and is more than double the 2.3 percent rise that retirees got in their monthly checks starting in January of this year.For those senior citizens who don't care about the price of their home because they don't have to borrow against it (a much smaller number than a year or two ago) and for those who heeded conventional wisdom of a bygone era in eschewing equity investments in their golden years, next year could be markedly better than this year.
The typical retiree's monthly check will go from $1,090 currently to $1,153.
But the fatter Social Security check may still seem puny to millions of retirees battered this year by huge increases in energy and food costs who have also watched helplessly as their retirement savings have been assaulted by the biggest upheavals on Wall Street in seven decades.