Jan 6, 2015 6:00 PM

Social Security checks bigger in the new year


More than 58 million people on Social Security are getting a little more in their checks starting this month, as a 1.7% cost of living adjustment kicks in. For the average person on Social Security, it means about $20 dollars more a month.

The Social Security Administration estimates the average Social Security check in 2015 will be $1,328 per month, up $22 from last year.

Twenty bucks! It really doesn't sound like much, and if you look back in history it isn't.

Social Security benefits have increased, on average, about 2.50% per year. Since 2000, the C.O.L.A. has surpassed the 3% mark four times. It even went up 4.1% in 2006, and 5.8% in 2009.

But it's not an arbitrary figure. The annual cost of living increase is tied to the annual increase of consumer prices - basically inflation. When the cost of everyday things like milk and eggs go up, your social security check should go up by about the same rate.

This year's low C.O.L.A. increase is an indication that inflation is in check.


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