Some Arizona Residents Will Get More Money. But Is it Enough?
Inflation and the High Cost of Living
When eggs hit $7 a carton last spring, we realized our week was longer than our paycheck. This raised concerns for all Arizona consumers, but it was especially worrying for Arizona citizens on a fixed income.
Now congress is looking for ways to help seniors in Arizona and across the nation make ends meet. The question is, will this be enough to help in this economy?
COLA: Raising Income to Meet Expectations
Congress is planning to give seniors on Social Security a Cost of Living Adjustment, or COLA. They plan to raise Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to keep pace with inflation.
The plan is to raise benefits for nearly 70 million Americans on SSI by 8.7 percent by next year. In spite of this significant increase, a lot of people think this will not be enough to help seniors on a fixed income keep pace with rising costs.
For example, if someone received $10,000 in SSI benefits this year, next year they would get $10,870. When you break it down and compare it to the current rate of inflation, this might not be enough to make much impact.
Why the COLA Increase Might Not Be Enough:
- The cost of goods and services are rising much faster than the benefits
- Healthcare, insurance rates, food, and other daily costs are all increasing faster than the cost of living increases over the last few years
- Social Security beneficiaries have lost 32% of their buying power since 2000, and the gap continues to widen
Why Arizona Retirees Need More
Yes, the COLA raise will help seniors stretch their income, but if inflation keeps rising at the current rate, even this increase will fall short. A lot of Arizona seniors rely on SSI for daily living expenses. What will they do when their month lasts longer than their money?
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