By Chuck Gibson
Good news was announced for retirees this week as the first time since 2009 Social Security benefits will be increased starting next year.
The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will be an increase of 3.6%. It will affect about 55 million Social Security recipients and another 8 million Americans who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). On average Social Security recipients receive $1,082 a month, or about $13,000 a year. The increase would add about $39 a month, or $468 a year.
When digging a bit deeper the modest increase may lose some of its luster as the expected increases in Medicare premiums (the exact amounts are expected to be determined next month) could offset the increase in its entirety. For those who are enrolled in Medicare, their insurance premiums are automatically deducted from Social Security checks.