Let's face it: There's a lot of dysfunction in Washington right now. From the battle over who will be the next speaker of the House to the looming threat of a government shutdown, it's easy to think the government isn't doing much for your family. But there is one mandatory change about to take place that will affect millions of retirees: A cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
If you're on Social Security, it's an announcement that matters because it dictates how much more you will get in benefits next year.
In 2023, retirees saw an 8.7% increase. On average, that was a $144 bigger check each month — one of the largest increases in decades.
The amount is based on the consumer price index, which measures inflation. For the moment, the Senior Citizens League nonpartisan prediction for 2024 is a COLA of 3.2% — or an average increase of $57 per month. That's a significantly lower amount than last year because inflation hasn't been as bad this year.
But the final COLA could potentially impact more than just the pocketbooks of those on Social Security. It could also have an impact on the 2024 election — as Americans of all ages and their view on the economy is on track to be one of the top issues at the polls.
If your family is counting every coin or every dollar these days, you aren't alone. A new Gallup poll found that just 20% of Americans think the economy is "excellent" or "good" for them right now — and it's leading to a lot of financial frustration.
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