The COLA is a Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Social Security beneficiaries. It’s also known as the raise, which helps offset rising living costs so that beneficiaries don’t experience a decline in their standard of living. Seniors spend more on utilities, housing, and healthcare than younger people. In some places, the increase in prices of goods and services isn’t keeping up with general inflation. This means that the cost of living in those areas is increasing faster than average inflation.
How is COLA Calculated?
COLA is calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures the average increase in prices of goods and services in the United States. The government determines the CPI in a given month. The CPI is calculated using the prices of many consumer products and services, including food and housing. The COLA is based on the previous year’s third-quarter CPI.
The cost of transportation is a separate component of the COLA calculation. The transportation component measures the change in the cost of commuting to work. Commuting costs are based on the change in the price of fuel. The price of regular unleaded gasoline measures fuel costs. However, gasoline prices are expected to drop during the year’s second half.
Consumer Product Price Index (CPI) And Expected CPI Change
The CPI is used to calculate the COLA for Social Security beneficiaries. The CPI is based on the average increase in prices of goods and services. The government measures the CPI in a given month. The CPI is calculated using the prices of many consumer products and services, including food and housing. There are two different CPI indices: CPI-W and CPI-U. The CPI-W is used to calculate COLA for most Social Security beneficiaries. The CPI-U calculates COLA for certain people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The CPI-W is expected to increase by 2.8% in the coming year.
Housing Costs and Expected CHA Change
Housing costs are expected to increase by 2.8% in the coming year. This is much lower than the housing cost increase in previous years. The average homeownership cost is expected to increase by 2.8% in the coming year. This includes mortgage payments, maintenance, and taxes. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is expected to increase by 2.8%. This includes the cost of utilities.
Food Stamps and Expected FBA Change
The cost of food is expected to increase by 2.8%. This is lower than previous years’ costs. This cost increase is expected most by people receiving food stamps. The cost of a $50 monthly food basket is expected to increase by 2.8%. This is based on the average increase in prices of food items. The change in the CPI, which measures the average increase in the price of goods and services in the United States, determines the COLA. In recent years, the price increase has been lower due to the state of the economy. However, in general, the cost of living has been rising. Social Security beneficiaries need a higher COLA to keep up with rising costs. The COLA is based on the previous year’s third-quarter CPI. The final COLA is announced by the third quarter of the year. If the CPI continues to increase, the COLA will increase in the coming year.
Always Be Outstanding and let’s make yesterday jealous of today!
Vincent A. Virga
President ~ PFS Wealth Management Group
Advisory services offered through Madison Avenue Securities LLC (MAS), a Registered Investment Advisor; MAS and PFS Wealth Management Group are not affiliated companies. MAS does not provide legal and tax advice. Seek competent legal and tax counsel for your specific needs.