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Good News for Retirees: Social Security Benefits to Increase by 3.2% in 2024

As the Social Security Administration gears up to send out Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) notices for 2024, early claimers can anticipate a much-needed boost in their benefits. 

This annual increase, set at 3.2% for 2024, aims to alleviate financial strains for seniors.  Early claimers can expect from the upcoming COLA and offer insights into managing finances for a secure retirement.

Early Claimants on Anticipated Benefits 

For early claimants who chose to receive Social Security benefits at the age of 62, the COLA represents a crucial factor in determining their annual increase. 

The government calculates the new benefit by applying the annual COLA percentage to the primary insurance amount (PIA), which is based on what the individual would have received at their full retirement age (FRA).

For those who claimed Social Security at 62, the estimated 2024 benefit can be approximated by adding the COLA percentage (3.2% for 2024) to the 2023 benefit. Using this method, the average 62-year-old claimer, with an average benefit of $1,275 per month in December 2022, could expect an increase to around $1,430 per month in 2024. 

This represents an approximate monthly boost of $44, factoring in the 2023 COLA of 8.7%. While the COLA provides a welcome increase, early claimers face a reduction in benefits due to their decision to start receiving payments before reaching full retirement age. 

Despite the boost, the monthly increase may be less than that of beneficiaries who claimed Social Security at later ages. For individuals concerned about the adequacy of their Social Security checks, there are additional steps they can take to secure their financial future. 

Exploring supplemental income from part-time employment or personal savings can provide extra financial support.  Moreover, investigating eligibility for other government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Medicaid, can further assist in managing various costs associated with retirement.

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Understanding Social Security COLAs

As the Social Security Administration gears up to send out Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) notices for 2024, early claimers can anticipate a much-needed boost in their benefits.

Some argue that the Social Security Administration should consider using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) instead of the current Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to calculate COLAs. 

A shift to CPI-E could lead to larger COLAs, providing additional financial relief for seniors. However, such changes are complex and typically require government-level decisions.

While awaiting potential changes in COLA calculations, individuals can take proactive steps to enhance their financial security.  Exploring alternative income sources, understanding eligibility for various government programs, and reaching out to the Social Security Administration with specific queries can contribute to a more comprehensive retirement plan.

As the 2024 COLA brings a welcome increase for Social Security beneficiaries, early claimers can anticipate a boost in their monthly benefits. While challenges persist for those who claimed early, exploring additional income sources and government assistance programs can contribute to a more financially secure retirement. 

With ongoing discussions about potential improvements in COLA calculations, individuals are encouraged to stay informed and take proactive steps toward securing their financial well-being in retirement.

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