I have my own doubts about the credibility of the TSCL, and their surveys, nevertheless they receive a great deal of publicity even after continuously overstating the 2033 Social Security COLA throughout 2022.
Today The Senior Citizens League is reporting that from January through December, the 5.9% COLA fell short of actual inflation every month by 46% on average and left the average Social Security benefit of $1,656 short by more than $42 per month and more than $508 for the year.
Prices in November were up 7.1% compared to a year ago as measured by the latest Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), the index used to calculate the annual COLA, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, Social Security benefits in 2022 were only increased by 5.9%.
The result is that many retirees have been forced to spend through savings far more quickly than planned, TSCL says, and those without savings have turned to food pantries and low-income assistance programs in higher numbers.
Recent surveys of adults aged 65 and up by TSCL found that 33% of survey participants reported applying for food stamps or visiting a food pantry over the past 12 months versus 22% in 2020. The survey also found that 17% have applied for assistance with heating costs compared to 10% in 2020.401k Specialist
“Forced to spend savings more quickly than planned.” If one had planned, then periods of high inflation would be accounted for. Curious how such a high level of self reported food assistance is needed. In 2021, the national poverty rate for people ages 65 and over was 10.3%, significantly lower than the poverty rate for all people and the child poverty rate.
Except for those in poverty all their lives, I find it increasingly hard to be empathetic toward seniors who had a lifetime to plan for retirement. Most of the federal budget subsidizes seniors, not counting the tax advantages available for retirement savings. I just don’t think we seniors deserve more at the expense of children and working families.