As of July 2022, Palm Coast and Flagler County, Florida, had a senior citizen population comprising a substantial 31.4 percent, as reported by the United States Census Bureau. This is noteworthy in a community with a total population of 126,705. Our local economy and businesses greatly depend on this significant 31.4 percent for their services and local purchases..
Looking ahead to the COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) report for 2024, we find the anticipated increase falling short of expectations. It's essential to note that this increase typically coincides with rising Medicare costs. Consequently, the actual benefit may not be as substantial as initially indicated once all necessary deductions are taken into account.
In the upcoming year, over 71 million Americans will experience a boost in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments, with a less impressive increase of 3.2% compared to 8.7% in 2023.
In January 2024, the average Social Security retirement benefit will see a monthly increase of just over $50.
As of August 2023, the average check is $1,705.79, according to the Social Security Administration – but that amount can differ drastically depending on the type of recipient. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the 2024 standard Medicare Part B premium will be $174.20, up $9.80 from the current rate.
These enhancements in federal benefit rates are closely tied to the fluctuations in the cost of living, as determined by the Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). As inflation rises and the cost of living escalates, the CPI-W follows suit. The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) is instituted to counteract the subsequent rise in living costs.
Throughout December, COLA notices will be dispatched to recipients of retirement, survivors, and disability benefits, SSI beneficiaries, and representative payees. However, if you're eager to ascertain your updated benefit amount in advance, you can securely access your Social Security COLA notice via the Message Center within your account. This information will be available in early December 2023. Given that you will receive the COLA notice digitally or through conventional mail, there's no need to contact us for the revised benefit amount.
Should you prefer the digital route for your COLA notice instead of the traditional mail, you can log into your My Social Security account and change your preferences in the Message Center to opt out of the mailed COLA notice and any other online notifications. Notably, you can set up text or email alerts to promptly receive notifications when new messages are in your queue. This way, you'll always be in the know when important updates are waiting for you. If you still need to create an account, it's essential to do so by November 14, 2023, to ensure you receive the 2024 COLA notice online.
Acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi remarked, "Social Security and SSI benefits will see an increase in 2024, which will assist millions in managing their expenses."
In January 2024, various other changes will also take effect, driven by the national average wage index increase. These alterations include an increase in the maximum earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax for 2024 (PDF) and adjustments to the retirement earnings test exempt amount.
Please refer to the provided link for more detailed information regarding the 2024 COLA.
What are you thoughts on the increase? Tell us in the comments.