Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

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Sheepdog
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Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:16 am

Just in https://www.marketwatch.com/story/socia ... op_stories
Retired Americans who collect Social Security can look forward in 2019 to the biggest increase in benefits in seven years.

Retirement benefits are slated to rise 2.8% next year, based on the formula that determines annual cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security. It’s the biggest gain since a 3.6% advance in 2012.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

sport
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by sport » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:53 am

Do we know what the Medicare Part B premiums will be?

protagonist
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by protagonist » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 am

Social security benefits are indexed to inflation.

Thus I assume a 2.8% increase is actually a zero increase in "real terms". "Look forward to" is misleading, unless your expenses are inflating at below the index level.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:25 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 am
Social security benefits are indexed to inflation.

Thus I assume a 2.8% increase is actually a zero increase in "real terms". "Look forward to" is misleading, unless your expenses are inflating at below the index level.
Many retiree's inflation is less than the CPI. Mine has been much less than the CPI, for example, in the last 20 years.. Many do not buy as much "stuff" in old age...new autos, new houses, electronics as much. Some do, but I can't imagine that the percentage is higher. Healthcare, yes, but not total. My history shows less spending than the CPI:

Our annual in-retirement spending and charitable donations history, not including income taxes:, 1998 thru 2017. I didn't include taxes in this report as they were much less after retirement.

1998 last year employed, $57,831
1999-2003 (5 years average) $57,850 (1 auto purchased)
2004-2008 (5 years average) $59,019 (0 auto purchased)
2009-2013 (5 years average) $67,514 (2 autos purchased)
2014-2017 (4 years average) $64,334 (0 auto purchased)
(I show autos purchased as they affect the averages so much.)
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

jebmke
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by jebmke » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:29 am

protagonist wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 am
Social security benefits are indexed to inflation.

Thus I assume a 2.8% increase is actually a zero increase in "real terms". "Look forward to" is misleading, unless your expenses are inflating at below the index level.
Yes; or, if someone has a non-COLA defined benefit pension (or purchased annuity), even if this adjustment represents some protection for their SS income, they may be worse off on a net basis if inflation is eating up the value of their pension/annuity.

Like many things financial, one needs to look at the total picture.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by robertmcd » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:37 am

Sheepdog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:25 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 am
Social security benefits are indexed to inflation.

Thus I assume a 2.8% increase is actually a zero increase in "real terms". "Look forward to" is misleading, unless your expenses are inflating at below the index level.
Many retiree's inflation is less than the CPI. Mine has been much less than the CPI, for example, in the last 20 years.. Many do not buy as much "stuff" in old age...new autos, new houses, electronics as much. Some do, but I can't imagine that the percentage is higher. Healthcare, yes, but not total. My history shows less spending than the CPI:

Our annual in-retirement spending and charitable donations history, not including income taxes:, 1998 thru 2017. I didn't include taxes in this report as they were much less after retirement.

1998 last year employed, $57,831
1999-2003 (5 years average) $57,850 (1 auto purchased)
2004-2008 (5 years average) $59,019 (0 auto purchased)
2009-2013 (5 years average) $67,514 (2 autos purchased)
2014-2017 (4 years average) $64,334 (0 auto purchased)
(I show autos purchased as they affect the averages so much.)
That is true, and you are doing the right thing. But just because you are frugal and spending less does not mean that you are earning a real return. If I switch from steak to hamburger meat because both prices went up, I don't dodge inflation.

protagonist
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by protagonist » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:43 am

Sheepdog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:25 am
protagonist wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:59 am
Social security benefits are indexed to inflation.

Thus I assume a 2.8% increase is actually a zero increase in "real terms". "Look forward to" is misleading, unless your expenses are inflating at below the index level.
Many retiree's inflation is less than the CPI. Mine has been much less than the CPI, for example, in the last 20 years.. Many do not buy as much "stuff" in old age...new autos, new houses, electronics as much. Some do, but I can't imagine that the percentage is higher. Healthcare, yes, but not total. My history shows less spending than the CPI:

Our annual in-retirement spending and charitable donations history, not including income taxes:, 1998 thru 2017. I didn't include taxes in this report as they were much less after retirement.

1998 last year employed, $57,831
1999-2003 (5 years average) $57,850 (1 auto purchased)
2004-2008 (5 years average) $59,019 (0 auto purchased)
2009-2013 (5 years average) $67,514 (2 autos purchased)
2014-2017 (4 years average) $64,334 (0 auto purchased)
(I show autos purchased as they affect the averages so much.)
I believe that is true for myself as well. I haven't checked but I assume the major component of the CPI is housing cost...particularly rent and real estate prices. Plus health insurance, which is manageable on Medicare. I own my home, and though my RE taxes have nearly doubled in the past 10 years the amount is trivial compared with how much more I would be spending if I were renting or needed to buy a home. Plus I drive a lot less and spend less money in general. I think the biggest catch for elderly retirees could potentially be unexpected health care expenses not covered by insurance, which I would guess are increasing at levels above the CPI, possibly dramatically so.

Nate79
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by Nate79 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 12:48 pm

Here you can find various links and information on CPI:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

This one has the breakdown by category:
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.t01.htm

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GerryL
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by GerryL » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm

sport wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:53 am
Do we know what the Medicare Part B premiums will be?
We should be learning that in a few more days/weeks, but the word is that the $134 basic premium is likely to remain stable. That means that only the folks not yet paying $134 (non IRMAA) premium would see their SS raise reduced.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 pm

robertmcd wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:37 am


That is true, and you are doing the right thing. But just because you are frugal and spending less does not mean that you are earning a real return. If I switch from steak to hamburger meat because both prices went up, I don't dodge inflation.
I know what my spending history and for what purposes.....to the closest dollar. Do you? My standard of living has not decreased at all. When I said my cost of living increased less than the CPI, I have suitable backup. It is not because I eat hamburger instead of steak. To the contrary...

Look at my spending history below for a couple of years back then compared with the last two.
My standard of living has not changed. Yes, I am frugal (but not cheap) ...... I was then too. No difference. I have lived in the same house and maintained it, I love entertainment and my select expenses show that increase. Vacation expenses were down on the 2 year comparison. And,I give away so much more now.

SPENDING (Select items)............................2000...2001xxxxxxxxx2016...2017
Groceries...............................................4024...4208............6085....5939
Entertainment.........................................2946...2659............4025....3606
Restaurant.............................................2411...1729............3533....3878
Charities................................................2317...2417............8750....8980
Real Estate Tax.......................................1509...1438............1069....1091
Out of pocket medical, incl insurance,..........7189...7712............6897....8238 (Medicare Advantage saves)
Vacations..............................................9774...4453............3157....3483
TOTAL ALL SPENDING...............................57005..44900.........52662..61382 (does not include income tax)


MY inflation was less than CPI and I DO believe that most seniors show similar. ALL of the seniors I know agree with this. Inflation? yes, Less than CPI? Yes. Sure, those seniors which are snowbirds, support their adult children and grandchildren would spend a heck of a lot more than us.
If you wish to say something again,please PM me.
Last edited by Sheepdog on Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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dm200
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by dm200 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:03 pm

I do not track our expenses to be able to compare.

However, since we are homeowners - our mortgage payment stays the same every month. We also get real estate tax relief/deferral. So far, it seems that our Medicare cost increases (Kaiser Medicare plan) are modest and we have not had any significant/expensive medical or drug expenses. Grocery prices seem to be going up, though.

protagonist
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by protagonist » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:49 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 pm
robertmcd wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:37 am


That is true, and you are doing the right thing. But just because you are frugal and spending less does not mean that you are earning a real return. If I switch from steak to hamburger meat because both prices went up, I don't dodge inflation.
I know what my spending history and for what purposes.....to the closest dollar. Do you? My standard of living has not decreased at all. When I said my cost of living increased less than the CPI, I have suitable backup. It is not because I eat hamburger instead of steak. To the contrary...

Look at my spending history below for a couple of years back then compared with the last two.
My standard of living has not changed. Yes, I am frugal (but not cheap) ...... I was then too. No difference. I have lived in the same house and maintained it, I love entertainment and my select expenses show that increase. Vacation expenses were down on the 2 year comparison. And,I give away so much more now.

SPENDING (Select items)............................2000...2001xxxxxxxxx2016...2017
Groceries...............................................4024...4208............6085....5939
Entertainment.........................................2946...2659............4025....3606
Restaurant.............................................2411...1729............3533....3878
Charities................................................2317...2417............8750....8980
Real Estate Tax.......................................1509...1438............1069....1091
Out of pocket medical, incl insurance,..........7189...7712............6897....8238 (Medicare Advantage saves)
Vacations..............................................9774...4453............3157....3483
TOTAL ALL SPENDING...............................57005..44900.........52662..61382 (does not include income tax)


MY inflation was less than CPI and I DO believe that most seniors show similar. ALL of the seniors I know agree with this. Inflation? yes, Less than CPI? Yes. Sure, those seniors which are snowbirds, support their adult children and grandchildren would spend a heck of a lot more than us.
If you wish to say something again,please PM me.
This is interesting.
I think my expenses have been creeping up since I retired in 2008....largely because I am spending more liberally now. Since I retired at 55 the year of the crash, I felt much less financially secure than I do now. This year I have spent much more than usual- my daughter started grad. school and I paid a large chunk of her expenses, plus I needed a new car. But , with the exception of this year, my total spending is about the same as yours.

2015
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by 2015 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:28 pm

Sheepdog wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:46 pm
robertmcd wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:37 am


That is true, and you are doing the right thing. But just because you are frugal and spending less does not mean that you are earning a real return. If I switch from steak to hamburger meat because both prices went up, I don't dodge inflation.
I know what my spending history and for what purposes.....to the closest dollar. Do you? My standard of living has not decreased at all. When I said my cost of living increased less than the CPI, I have suitable backup. It is not because I eat hamburger instead of steak. To the contrary...

Look at my spending history below for a couple of years back then compared with the last two.
My standard of living has not changed. Yes, I am frugal (but not cheap) ...... I was then too. No difference. I have lived in the same house and maintained it, I love entertainment and my select expenses show that increase. Vacation expenses were down on the 2 year comparison. And,I give away so much more now.

SPENDING (Select items)............................2000...2001xxxxxxxxx2016...2017
Groceries...............................................4024...4208............6085....5939
Entertainment.........................................2946...2659............4025....3606
Restaurant.............................................2411...1729............3533....3878
Charities................................................2317...2417............8750....8980
Real Estate Tax.......................................1509...1438............1069....1091
Out of pocket medical, incl insurance,..........7189...7712............6897....8238 (Medicare Advantage saves)
Vacations..............................................9774...4453............3157....3483
TOTAL ALL SPENDING...............................57005..44900.........52662..61382 (does not include income tax)


MY inflation was less than CPI and I DO believe that most seniors show similar. ALL of the seniors I know agree with this. Inflation? yes, Less than CPI? Yes. Sure, those seniors which are snowbirds, support their adult children and grandchildren would spend a heck of a lot more than us.
If you wish to say something again,please PM me.
Thanks for posting Sheepdog! Always good to see a real life example. I have a strong distaste for theory as theory always gets a bruised head when it smacks into the brick wall of reality.

I'm finding the same thing, too, in that expenses in some categories have fallen and others have risen. Much of this is because I just moved so everything has changed now, but even before the move, some spending categories began to fall and other rose. I second the idea that my standard of living has not fallen. If anything, it's risen as I will very shortly be spending mucho dollars on furnishing a new place and vacation budget has increased substantially as well.

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GerryL
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by GerryL » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:02 pm

GerryL wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm
sport wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:53 am
Do we know what the Medicare Part B premiums will be?
We should be learning that in a few more days/weeks, but the word is that the $134 basic premium is likely to remain stable. That means that only the folks not yet paying $134 (non IRMAA) premium would see their SS raise reduced.
New Medicare rates are out:
Part B premium will go up $1.50 to $135.50
Part B deductible up $2 to (I think) $185.
Part A deductible up $24 (I think, doing this from memory).

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dm200
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:10 pm

GerryL wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:02 pm
GerryL wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm
sport wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:53 am
Do we know what the Medicare Part B premiums will be?
We should be learning that in a few more days/weeks, but the word is that the $134 basic premium is likely to remain stable. That means that only the folks not yet paying $134 (non IRMAA) premium would see their SS raise reduced.
New Medicare rates are out:
Part B premium will go up $1.50 to $135.50
Part B deductible up $2 to (I think) $185.
Part A deductible up $24 (I think, doing this from memory).
Interesting. I could have sworn that I read somewhere, a while ago, that it would stay at $134 Part B. Still, that is a small increase - only about 1% :)

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GerryL
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by GerryL » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:56 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:10 pm
GerryL wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:02 pm
GerryL wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:52 pm
sport wrote:
Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:53 am
Do we know what the Medicare Part B premiums will be?
We should be learning that in a few more days/weeks, but the word is that the $134 basic premium is likely to remain stable. That means that only the folks not yet paying $134 (non IRMAA) premium would see their SS raise reduced.
New Medicare rates are out:
Part B premium will go up $1.50 to $135.50
Part B deductible up $2 to (I think) $185.
Part A deductible up $24 (I think, doing this from memory).
Interesting. I could have sworn that I read somewhere, a while ago, that it would stay at $134 Part B. Still, that is a small increase - only about 1% :)
Ha ha. Key word was "likely." Nothing sure until official announcement.

Ron
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by Ron » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:54 pm

Regardless of if the COLA covers your personal COL, it's still a couple of thousand $$$ extra income for wife/me; more than a few extra steak dinners (even after taxes and Part B increases) next year :happy :happy :happy

- Ron

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dm200
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by dm200 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:57 pm

Ron wrote:
Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:54 pm
Regardless of if the COLA covers your personal COL, it's still a couple of thousand $$$ extra income for wife/me; more than a few extra steak dinners (even after taxes and Part B increases) next year :happy :happy :happy

- Ron
Good for you! :sharebeer

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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by joe8d » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:34 pm

Yippie !!! :moneybag
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by tennisplyr » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:54 am

We'll take it :thumbsup :thumbsup
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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:19 am

I just received an email from Social Security titled "See your COLA notice online!". Even though I can see the link in the email is from ssa.gov (OK), I never click on links in an email.

Logging into my account, nothing was obvious on how to configure my account for the COLA notification. However, it's in their blog. See: New Online Social Security COLA Notices

At this time, I couldn't access the Message Center due to a timeout.
504 Gateway Time-out
The server didn't respond in time.
My guess is either (1) weekend maintenance or (2) the emails have triggered a larger amount of traffic than expected. I'm guessing it's (1).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

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Re: Social Security benefits up 2.8% in 2019

Post by antiqueman » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:15 pm

Will the increase apply to those who are beginning SS on January 1,2019.

For example, will a person who presently expected to receive a $1000.00 a month, have the $1000.00 increase 2.8 percent in January when they begin receiving the benefits?

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