Retirees should not expect anything but very average Social Security COLAs for years to come. It will be a struggle to reach even 3% in most years

The Social Security COLA is a reflection of overall inflation although it is based on the Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners, the CPI-W. There can be some, but not much variance among the various inflation measures.

In any case, as you can see below the Congressional Budget Office predicts rather low inflation for many years in the future. If you are retired or about to be, planning your budget, expenses or income growth should not include overly optimistic growth assumptions. It’s better to be surprised and happy than disappointed and in financial trouble.

It is essential that your retirement planning include a strategy that allows you to offset the impact of inflation over your entire retirement. For most people relying on Social Security alone will not get the job done.


  1. George Will’s May 6th column has this line after speaking of the impending debt projection by the CBO, ” But the COB is required to pretend that Congress will not make matters worse. ”

    CBO projections? Please pass the salt shaker.


  2. I could be wrong but, I think we will see COLAs above 3% in the next few years. Rents, food, fuel are all going up faster than anyone could of predicted. Once the FED raises interest rates more, prices will follow. Oil just hit $70, it will not be long before gasoline is over $3 nationwide. Since everything is delivered by truck, as diesel fuel increases in price, so will everything we buy.

    I have said it before, in retirement you need to have zero debt and only buy what is needed, nothing more. I only have a cell phone when I travel. Straight Talk, I only pay for the months I am away from home. My cable provider has a low income, phone and internet service for $34.98 per month. I get all my TV from an antenna and HULU streaming with Showtime for $21 per month, not the $75 per month before retirement.


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