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Estimated increase in Social Security

By MATILDA CHARLES

Grab your calculator. Those in the know are making an educated guess about the amount of our Social Security increase for 2020. The Senior Citizens League estimates that the increase will be 1.6%, below the raise we got last year. This will mean an average net gain of $23.40 per month for those receiving the average $1,460 per month benefit. In 2019, that benefit amount netted an increase of $40.90 per month.

The Social Security Administration will come out later with the final number, but the Senior Citizens League has used the Consumer Price Index for 2019 up to the end of the third quarter for its calculations.

At the same time, says the Senior Citizens League, our Medicare Part B premium is expected to go from $135.50 to $144.30 per month. Doing the math, that nets the average benefit recipient an extra $14.60 per month. Some of us, however, are protected: If the Part B premium goes up more than the increased Social Security amount, the Part B premium will be adjusted to make sure there isn’t a net loss.

What about our other expenses though? If we have a drug policy or a supplemental Medicare plan, chances are that the two of those will see increases that exceed the extra $14.60 per month. Then there’s the small matter of the price of fresh vegetables, beef, fish, eggs, dairy and cereal. Based on the Consumer Price Index, expect an increase in those prices, even before we get to 2020. Those of us who pay rent generally see an annual increase, too. Is there any chance the landlord will skip a year?

To see all the things the SCL is doing for us, go online to seniorsleague.org.

(c) 2019 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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