Folks on Social Security and Fed. Retirees Are Getting a Raise

According to the Washington Post, both people on social security and federal retirees are getting a small cost of living increase for 2020. Both groups of people will get a 1.6 percent increase in the checks they receive from the government. The problem is, according to Yahoo Finance, the increase does not match real-world inflation that is faced by most seniors.

The government uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index to determine what the COLA will be for social security recipients and federal retirees. However, that consumer price index covers typical increases in expenses for clerical workers and urban employees. Senior citizens have to deal with increases in health care costs, including medications, which can be considerable as one grows older and is subject to more chronic health issues.

The paltry cost of living increase is against the backdrop of the impending insolvency of the entire social security system. Reason magazine notes that starting in 2020, the social security system will start paying out more money to retirees than it is taking in from current employees, thus starting to draw on the system’s surplus. Current projections suggest that the surplus will be depleted by 2035. Hence, the social security system will be unable to pay the full value of its benefits.

The problem is that the post-World War II baby bomb was followed by a baby bust. People are not having as many children as they used to. Hence, the number of workers paying into the system has declined from 5.1 for every retiree in 1960 to 2.8 per retiree in 2017. Something has to be done. Unfortunately, most of the options are unpopular.

Increasing payroll taxes is one idea. However, tax increases of any kind tend to be unpopular, even if they are designed to finance a benefit that all American citizens are expected to enjoy.

Another idea that has been floated is to increase the retirement age. The notion is beguiling. People are living longer and healthier. Indeed, when social security was first established in the 1930s, the average American life expectancy was 59.9 for men and 61.6 for women. In 2010 those figures had increased to 76.2 for men and 81.1 for women. With advances in medicine proceeding apace, the life expectancy is only bound to increase.

One problem, besides the tendency of seniors to resent proposals that they should stay in the workforce longer, is that work itself is more strenuous for some than for others. People who work in an office, say, might well be able to work until they are 70 or even 75. People who are employed, say, in manufacturing, not so much.

Reason suggests means-testing social security payouts as well as Medicare.

“When and if Congress gets around to doing anything, both programs should be restructured to ensure they take care of the truly needy, rather than being benefits for anyone who has reached an arbitrary age. As Reason‘s Nick Gillespie and Veronique de Rugy wrote in a still-very-relevant 2012 feature on the future of America’s entitlements, ‘Focusing on those truly in need instead of automatically shoveling out larger and larger amounts to well-off senior citizens is the best way to avert looming fiscal catastrophe and restore some morality to an indefensible system.’”

It should be noted that the increasing cost of entitlement programs is the main driver of the yearly federal budget deficit and the enormous national debt, the servicing of which has become a major expense. Reason naturally suggests that by reining in the cost of social security and other entitlements, the deficit could be turned into a surplus, hence the debt could be paid down as well.

In the meantime, most investment advisors suggest taking responsibility for one’s retirement into one’s hands. Younger workers should, by all means, invest as much as they can in IRAs and 401Ks. With polling suggesting that most millennials do not believe that social security will even be around for their declining years, such an investment strategy is only prudent. Then one will not have to stress the cost of living increase of social security because one’s nest egg will suffice for one’s declining years.

 

140 thoughts on “Folks on Social Security and Fed. Retirees Are Getting a Raise

  1. What would happen if the government would pay back the money that they borrowed, I think it would last a little bit longer. Almost 3 trillion dollars.

  2. They need to take the raises that Congress keeps giving themselves and pay decent S.S. raises to the people that really need the money. We can’t take vacations every 6 wks. or so for 2 or 3 wks. at a time on the governments money like they do. They don’t even work for that money.

  3. AS USUAL THE S.S. FOLKS WILL GET HALF OF A GRAPE WHILE THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES WILL GET A WHOLE BASKET FULL OD $’S
    I HOPE A/G BARR AND HIS TEAM GET THE WORD ON THE SCUM WHO LIED ABOUT SCOTUS KAVAANAH AND THEY GET PROSEDCUTED FOR LYING TO CONGRESS, BUT IF THE DEMO-RATS GET IN THE MIX, THE LIARS WILL GET MONEY FOR THEIR LIES, MAY GOD BE JUDGING ALL THE LIARS AND PUT THEM WHERE THEY WON’T BE COMFORTABLE.

  4. It is about time for these crooks to be caught and punished, why haven’t they put Hillary Clinton in jail for her crooked doings. Some of her crimes were damaging to our country.
    Thank god for president Trump and the Attorny Genral Mr. Barr for finally doing something to punish the crooks.

  5. Not to mention that Lyndon Johnson and his Democrat lackeys in congress, moved all that money from the Social Security trust fund, to the general fund, replacing it with IOU’s, so Johnson could fight the Vietnam war, and his “war on poverty,” without raising taxes.

    Not a nickel of that money was ever paid back. But if it had been left alone, Social Security would be solvent well in to the 22nd century.

  6. The increase in social security is pathetic and insulting! Hopefully you will readjust the the amount reflected?

  7. Social Security is not an entitlement. Both my employer and I paid into the Social Security system. Maybe if they didn’t pay benefits to illegal ailens there would be more money available to those who paid into the system.

  8. One thing would be for congress to repay the funds they took out of the trust funds for SS.

    And talk of raising the retirement age would work fine in the event a person could continue to work past age 65.
    But there are those who as a young fellow could do a real physical job but as the case was for me. I retired at the
    ripe old age of 55 because I could no longer tolerate the strenuous task that confronted me on an hourly bases.
    I was not unable to work so I retired I am now 81 years old and i still have problems just standing up.

  9. 1.6%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KEEP IT!! They raised my rent 2.3% ………………………………….. I’m still in the whole!!

  10. I and my employer paid into Social Security for 45 years. I also saved in a 401K. NOW I have to do a MANDATORY yearly withdrawal starting at age 701/2 yr. I had hoped to leave this savings in it’s entirety to my sons BUT as the rest of you retirees know, the Government since Johnson have put Social Security monies into THEIR general fund. That means that the Government gives us IOU’s in S. S. and makes us withdraw and pay taxes on our savings. S.S is NOT an entitlement. The Government hasn’t paid one penny into it for me and others , just take and leave IOU’s.

  11. Let’s get this straight once and for all. Entitlement means you are entitled to something. We are entitled to social security and Medicare because for all of our 50 plus years of working we paid into social security and Medicare. All of the rest of the government programs are give a ways and cherities. You may get them but you have done nothing to be entitled to them.

  12. When I was 61 years old I had a stroke, affecting my eyes and I couldn’t move as fast or lift as much as I could before. I kept getting laid off because I couldn’t work as fast as the other workers. I had to retire as soon as my 62nd birthday. I was cut over $500. A month for retireing early! This year my wife died and was denied death benefits because she didn’t have enough credits. She needed 40 and she had 36. And now we might get a 1.6 percent raise. I am now having to live on my social security check because my wife is gone and her income is gone also. Meanwhile illegals are being fed,with free health care,and free housing. They are not paying anything to social security or insurance. Is this fair? I think not! The hole system needs changed. Thank you

  13. Stop paying those that haven’t paid into it. I’ve worked since I was 15. I’m now 67 and can’t find a job and not receiving but $602.00 (after Medicare is taken out) a month.

  14. Social Security and Medicare are not entitlements for US citizens that have paid
    into this fund all of their working years and have EARNED it!!! Means Testing is outrageous and is a method to penalize productive workers. These dollars should only be given
    to those who have earned it.

  15. Actually this increase is insulting to seniors – so many of us are still working at part time jobs and contributing to SS…now watch Medicare and supplements, drug coverage all go up surpassing our 1.6 increase. Government’s gotta do better than this.

  16. Social Security is !! NOT !! an entitlement!!!! . It is something that all people who work, and pay taxes, pay into as a means to have some kind of “shelter” to fall back on when they retire! Now S.S.I. should,I believe, be more intensely monitored to make sure that only those who truly need it should get it! I know some people who pretend to to have “mental issues” so they can get S.S.I. benefits and really shouldn’t be getting them!!

  17. Social Security does not need to be fixed; it needs to be repealed outright. The problem is how to make whole all our citizens that had their funds stolen over all these many years. Yes stolen, what else would you call it when something is taken under duress? Don’t pay your FICA and see what happens. There is a simple way to get their money back, just abolish all items in the budget not authorized by the Constitution. This would give better than 90% of the budget available to give their money back with interest. It would have an added benefit of getting Big Brother out of our lives.
    How many people are aware that Social Security was the idea of Otto Bismarck and that Adolph Hitler refined it? Joe Stalin’s best friend FDR fits right in with these two great humanitarians. Bismarck made the retirement age 65 because most people did not live to 65. My father died at 62 and did not receive a dime that was stolen from him. I was self employed and put away in my own retirement fund approx. the same amount as FICA. I now receive a return about an order of magnitude (ten times) greater than Social Security. I retired at 57 and am now 74.
    If Social Security is such a great deal how come it is not voluntary? Did Bernie Madoff put a gun to anyone’s head and say give me your money? So how come he is in jail and our politicians are free? No one was ever forced to join a Ponzi Scheme, but Social Security is a different matter.
    Call Social Security by its proper names, “Stealing from your Children and Grandchildren” or “Bribing you with your own money”.
    Anyone know which Section of the Constitution authorizes Social Security.

  18. A NOTE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: IS THIS THE BEST YOU AND YOUR CONGRESS CAN DO FOR THE PEOPLE OF SOCIAL SECURITY WHEN YOU FOLKS IN WASHINGTON ARE GIVING MORE TO THE ILLEGAL ALEINS/IMMIGRANTS WHO DON’T DESERVE ANYTHING BECAUSE THEY DID NOT EARN IT AS WE DID……YOU FOLKS NEED TO GET YOUR ASSES OUR OF THE SAND AND START WORKING FOR THE LEGAL AMERICAN CITIZENS, PERIOD!!!!!!! AND NOW WE HEAR PELOSI AND HER DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO TAKE FROM SOCIAL SECURITY TO USE FOR THEIR NEFARIOUS AGENDA……GET OFF YOUR ASSES AND WORK FOR THE PEOPLE THAT PAY YOUR WAGES!

  19. I still don’t understand why the Bureau of Labor Statistics has anything to do with Social Security, after all these are the same idiots who say that a truck driver is unskilled labor but to driver a truck you have to pass all kinds if skills test and state and federal rules and regulations. Second of all social security would be financially stable and solid if the Dumb-as-craps way back in the 60’s wouldn’t have stolen millions and millions of dollars from the trust fund in the name of a loan that would be paid back with interest that has never been paid but the Dumb-as-craps keep taking money out of the fund.

  20. When is federal government going to pay back the billions it stole for Vietnam and the 7.3 trillion they stole under bush sr to invade iraj??? We the people aren’t as stupid as you people think. Payback our social security funds stolen then ,so there is money as there was.

  21. First of all, social security and Medicare are paid into employee benefits quite different than welfare who pay nothing but why do they blame social security instead of blaming welfare. Secondly, the average social security deficit, over past couple of years, is only $50b. Now divide $50b into $2.6t and we get over 100 years. The federal deficit impacted by social security is the fed’s responsibility in paying back the $2.6t so quit blaming social security for the governments stealing of our social security.

  22. The problem is that our brilliant “elected public servants” can always spent significantly more they they take in any number of various tax’s! So in their wisdom? These morons who we elected took our SSI payments (Those that they still collect month after month, year after year)
    they took in all out of an account which was earning interest & dividends and increasing in value from one year to the next! They took this massive SSI savings account, and Rolled it into the General Account where they can spent it freely without any questions period! Spend it they did and now there isn’t a prayer in hell they will ever make up those losses. But again it’s not their fault it’s because more people want their money back in the form of SSI monthly checks. But our elected nitwits don’t have it anymore,so they now blame it on the fact that more people have retired than are currently working so that tax will no longer make up for all of their waste over the years! Worse we now spent more than what we collect once more but our elected public servants want to spend money they don;t have on giving free Heath Care to Illegal Aliens & their families free schooling to their children free legal defense for when they are caught and free SSI to those who never put a nickle into the system!The socialist Democratic’s want to give FREE everything to everybody,but there is no money so they now ant to raise the tax’es on everybody as usual and also want to take from the rich even more money to make up for their stupid and assassin new green deal and all of those Illegal Aliens who need our support. Wow can anybody, anywhere, tell me why in God’s green earth ,would anybody, anywhere, ever Vote for a Socialist Democratic?

  23. Have congress put the money back they stole from us and neither of the chickenshit options above wouldn’t be necessary.

  24. 1 point 6 Per cent raise won’t even cover the cost increase in medicare or the taxes charged on SS . No one ever discusses the fact that we PAID into social security while employed , paid taxes on it then and now are being taxed again on our own money. There would be sufficient money to continue decent pay raises if they had not been taking funds from our earned benefits to cover budgets We earned the money, they are not GIVING us anything….

  25. Would like to see stuff offered to hard of hearing people or deaf people. Like a phone that is able to print out the other person comments. We get taking advantage of due to not understanding what is being said. Even today there is not many job hard of hearing or deaf people can work. But we still try to live off little bit of income social security administration say we quality for. But only to getpenalizes for having someone living with you that hear well.

  26. How much has Congress borrowed from the Social Security fund over the years? If that amount was put back into the fund plus a lot of recipients are on benefits for problems of their own doing such as drug problems and bull____ disabilities rather than go back to work and start over. A real problem is employers that pay cash to people that are on assistance and do not want to lose benefits by working a job that takes taxes and social security out.

  27. The social security system would be a blessing for the retirees if the politicians kept their hands off the S.S. funds,,, instead they have used it to open doors for people who do not deserve to have any kind of benefits,,,, these politicians of today are going to make our country a 3rd world country because of their greed and power for their parties,,, not to mention how they line their pockets under the table agreements.

  28. Hard to know what to think about this issue. We are living pay check to pay check even though we both have SS coming in plus he is working. We are both 72 years of age. He is saying to me he doesn’t know how much longer he can work, his health is failing and I am on disability. We are scared we might lose our home, can’t by scripts or much food. Our mortgage payments are $820 every month. We don’t go out for dinner or party with friends, etc. We stay home . Don’t waste money. Have no money saved, we tore up credit cards. I was just in hospital for 6 days and the bill is over $1000. We have one cara 2001, that the air stopped working and we live in Florida, it’s hot here most of the time. We cannot get it fixed.. so what about people like us? Are we going to have to lose everything and live in a cardboard box? He works for Disney and they are trying to get rid of all the older people this ls not a happy magical place to work..

  29. First of all Social Security and Medaicad are not Entitlements.That is our Money that We The People have Paid into for many years,so that we would have money to live on after Retirement.Its not our fault that they’re running out of money because of all those Greedy bastards in Congress who couldn’t keep there hands out of Our Money.That one Judge who stated that these programs are Entitiements should be Impeached from Office ASAP.

  30. You are absolutely wrong in your assertion that social security is an entitlement, it is absolutely not an entitlement, it is a fund paid into by American citizens that would guarantee an income at retirement that should have been funded based on a portion of worker income input also interest on this account over the years. The government has stolen from and mishandled this account over time, mismanagement by our elected officials has been and remains the glairing problem with this account. It is extremely disrespectful and harmful to claim this to be an entitlement.

  31. Stop giving SS benefits to immigrants especially illegals. Stop Congress from giving themselves a raise or gov retirees a raise. Seniors are the ones who built this country and paid into SS. Seniors deserve the raise that gov officials give themselves.

  32. How about the Government pays BACK the money it has taken FROM the Social Security Account/s to FUND their WARS…..??? Would be a step in the RIGHT direction…..It’s the “PEOPLE” money, NOT theirs to SPEND…..!!!!!

  33. the people in washington are to blame for it s going broke. in the 19709 or 1980 the took our ssi and put in a general fund so they could get their
    greedy hands on it, and the did. then they went wild and spent a lot of it. so here we are paying for it

  34. First of all, for most seniors like my self social security is not an entitlement. I have paid into the system since I was 16 years old, which is 55 years of payment into social security. Many of those years where paid at the maximum levels. If our government would not have stolen this money from the trust, currently there would be no problem. Tell you what pay me the amount paid in by both myself and employers for that time with compounding interest on the amount you can keep your entitlements.

  35. I suggest seniors don’t give up their day job…oh haven’ got one….well hurry-up and get one!!! never said this before and will never say it again!!!

  36. 1.6 % of $800 = $12.60 and you think I should be super happy….. That will not purchase a pair of shoes, or a Turkey for Thanksgiving, or a blanket for the bed…. You think this is a great and generous increase…… an increase of $30 would at least get me one thing I might need… Car insurance is $399 every 3 months. Sorry but I cannot get super excited over $12.80 a month increase.

  37. Do not allow congress to take out/borrow money from the SS reserves.
    Also make them repay all the money they took for their own special programs.
    This will allow SS to exist.

    1. I AGREE MILTON.
      WE WANT ALL THE MONEY STOLEN AS FAR BACK AS WHEN PRESIDENT JOHNSON AND THE DEMORATS STOLE FUNDS FROM SS TO PAY FOR HIS SO CALLED WAR ON POVERTY.
      WHICH WAS A CROCK OF BS.

    2. It could easily be repaid in full by taking the funds from Congressional and Senatorial Retirement fund. They should be placed in the Social Security Fund that everyone in the USA is tied too. They are no better than the rest of the country. They should also have the same healthcare benefits that the east of the USA has. No Special Treatment for the politicians.

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