July 12, 2024

Seniors Receive a Modest 3.2% Boost in 2024 Social Security Checks: Will It Be Enough?

Image Credits: Fox News

In a recent development, millions of seniors woke up to some welcome news on a Thursday morning—their Social Security checks would receive a modest 3.2% boost in 2024. This increase, known as the Social Security Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), offers hope for retirees facing rising living costs. However, for many, this boost alone may still not be sufficient to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, especially with the ongoing inflation challenges.

Suzanne Mencer, a 70-year-old senior, shared her perspective on the increase, stating that it wouldn’t be enough to sustain her independently. In her case, even the 2023 historical increase of 8.7% proved insufficient to keep up with the ever-rising cost of living.

Mencer, who continues to work full-time and has no plans of retiring, emphasized, “I have never retired, and quite frankly, the outlook is that I will never be able to retire.” She stressed that her Social Security check falls short of covering her bills and providing a comfortable life.

The Social Security Administration reports that almost 50 million retired Americans receive monthly checks, an average of approximately $1,848 in 2023. Mencer noted, “Somehow, that number of what it costs to live always stays ahead of what people have. I’ve been working on W2-type jobs since I was 16-years-old, and I’m amazed how it doesn’t add up after a while.”

Ajay Patel, a Finance Professor at Wake Forest, shed light on the situation. He explained that while the new COLA percentage reflects current inflation figures, there remains a risk that if inflation spikes again, the COLA might not keep up with the actual price increases in 2024, potentially impacting retirees negatively.

Despite the slight increase in their Social Security checks, many retirees are still struggling to cover their expenses. Mencer observed that more seniors actively seek employment to supplement their Social Security income. She commented, “There’s lots of seniors out there looking for a way to supplement their social security. No, it takes all the money you have to sit around and not work anymore.”

Seniors can expect to see the effects of the new bump in their Social Security checks starting at the end of December. The ongoing struggle to make ends meet in retirement underscores the importance of proactive financial planning and exploring additional income sources for many seniors.

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