High inflation this year meant the biggest annual cost-of-living adjustment in decades for Social Security checks — an 8.7% increase.
So what’s on tap for 2024?
That’s still a moving target. The Social Security Administration uses third-quarter data to make the call, so we won’t know until mid-October how big a bump people’s checks will receive.
But experts say it’s likely that next year’s increase will be less than half what millions of beneficiaries received this year as inflation gradually eases.
Current data suggest that next year’s cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, will run between 3% and 3.5%.
The average monthly check is now about $1,800. So a 3% boost would add about $60 to that amount (or as we say in my household, two pizzas).
This is a mixed bag for seniors.
On the one hand, an extra 60 bucks won’t go far. On the other, a roughly 3% COLA would be a definitive sign that inflation is waning, which is a boon to people living on fixed incomes.
And in case you’re wondering, a possible government shutdown this week won’t delay people’s Social Security checks.
That’s because payments are funded through permanent, rather than annual, appropriations. So they’re lawmaker-proof.