The annual Social Security cost of living adjustment for 2019 could top 3%, according to a just-released estimate by The Senior Citizens League, boosting the average Social Security benefit of $1,300 by about $39 per month.
While the boost is welcome news, retirees continue to experience spikes in common household expenditures that are growing several times faster than 3%, the League reports.
The 2019 increase represents the highest COLA since 2012, when it was 3.6%. The COLA for 2018 is 2%, after no COLA in 2016, and just a 0.3% COLA in 2017.
The 2019 estimate is based on consumer price index data through April 2018.
“Our estimate could change, because we still have several months of CPI data to go before the COLA is announced in October,” Mary Johnson, The Senior Citizens League’s Social Security policy analyst, said in a statement.
Those living off of Social Security will not likely be “dancing in the streets” with the anticipated 3% COLA, Johnson said, despite the fact that over the past nine years the COLAs have averaged just 1.2%.
Why? Retirees, she said, “are experiencing cost increases in common household expenditures that are growing several times faster than 3%,” a trend that has been consistent over the past 8 years, and will continue into 2019.