Medicare

2019 Social Security COLA likely highest in several years.

The good news

😁 We are on track for 2019 to provide the highest cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits in quite some time

πŸ˜ƒ The Medicare Trustees project no increase in the Medicare Part B premium or Part B deductible

The bad news

πŸ˜”There is a reason for the higher COLA. Inflation is on the rise driven in part by rising oil prices which affect not only gasoline but many other oil related goods and services.

πŸ™ The amount of an actual net gain from a COLA is in doubt.

Lessons to learn

😒 You cannot plan a comfortable retirement relying primarily on Social Security

😒 You need your own income strategy to deal with inflation over many years

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17 replies »

  1. Our primary source of income is S/S augmented with some rental income (9%) and annuity/pension (16%). Since we were both professionals our S/S is significantly higher than the average. We have paid off all debts except a low house payment (10%) which will be paid off in 4 years. We have a cash cushion of $50k. By living below our budget we can travel locally (within 1,000 miles), eat out, afford lawn care and live a carefree life in FL. We do watch the grocery ads, get 35 mpg, and shop for bargains (it’s a bit of a game!). We never were able to save a lot while working but worked until 71 and saved a lot in the last couple years before retiring. By locking in our house payment at a low percentage of our income and not using credit cards, we are insulated from interest increases. I believe the key to our lifestyle is living below our income and having a nice cushion for emergencies. A nice COLA is always welcome and will be spent on fun stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just curious given your status as professionals with above average income, what caused the inability to save while working?

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  2. .

    I’ve been searching for it… where did you get the great info about no projected Medicare B premium increase ?

    Now more than ever [with rising inflation/interest rates], it’s important to be out of debt and have as much control over your spending as possible.

    .

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  3. The person to blame for the rising gas costs is Mr. Trump…why did the people elect this idiot as our leader..he has done nothing but screw everything up.. now pulling out of the Iran deal?? he is trying to make every country an enemy of America…this man should be impeached..get him out of the White house..stop him from ruining this great country…i pray that there is a good raise in the COLA..believe me..i could use it..i work PT and still cannot make it even with my SS check also..rent is high…car expenses..(have an old car)…need to necessities…..so..we need a leader who will stop making a mess and one who will work for the people..make things right

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    • My, My Linda. Have you forgotten That when Obama took office gas was priced at 1.85 a gallon and in 2011 we were paying 3.97. Did you forget that when Obama was president, we went 3 years without a cola raise. I myself am so glad to see President Trump in office. God Bless.

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    • Lindia, I have been voting for Dummycrats and Ripoffagains for 44 years and none of them has done anything to make my life better. That is my job and it is your job to do the same.
      I learned very early in life that choices you make, have way more to do with your quality of life than who the hell is President. Just do not get too excited about the “SPIN” politicians and the media put on everything that President Trump does or does not do, he is only one man.
      Just remember what Mark Twain said, “If voting made any real difference, they would not let us do it.

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  4. We definitely need a larger increase if it comes about. It seems as though every year when the COLA is calculated gas prices drop lower though than previous quarters! Also if any seniors are like me, having to use my credit cards to help, interest rates on credit cards are higher than ever in the 20’% if you have to carry a balance which really takes a chunk out of payments monthly. It seems like someone in the government needs to address the issue of high credit card interests and set a limit as to what interest can be charged as well (credit card interest rates and seniors having to deal with 20+ percent interest rates on them) if we have to use them which sometimes with a large expense it is necessary with being unable to save any money due to other rising costs. An increase in 2019 of the COLA would be a welcome help with rising costs of insurances, having to pay providers for services we could do when we were younger, and gas and repairs of our vehicles. I hope you are right that we may see an increase, however with the way it is calculated we can’t make that determination until October!

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    • America didn’t want Hillary. Now this is what we have to stomach. He was all there was. As of today, some people still won’t trust a women as president of this country. It is sad to say’ and why not? Women are doing more today. Good for them. But now look at us.

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      • Kevin, I would vote for any women who runs for office, if I think she is qualified. Hillary Rotten Clinton is not qualified. Her Russian Reset, and sale of our uranium to them, and many other things she did while Sec. of State to bring in millions to the Clinton Foundation, has made our country weaker.

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    • Dear Evelyn, Please consider living below your income until you pay off those credit cards and build up a cash cushion for emergencies. No retired person should ever have a credit card balance. Consider getting a no interest card, shifting all your balances to it and then paying them off before the free interest period ends. Good luck!

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  5. There will be a gain for me. Since I only buy 15 gallons of fuel per month and most of the COLA increase is driven by gas prices going up, it will be a win for me. I also, shop for discounts on almost everything I buy. I needed 2 new front wheel hubs for my 2006 VW Jetta. The local Autozone wanted $123.00 each. I found the same exact part number on EBAY for $26 each. That is $194 saved on just one purchase. Since I have plenty of time, being retired, I just love the internet and saving money. When I shop local, I look for everything I need, that is on sale. With the high cost of almost everything sold today, the only way to make it, is to shop for the best price. I only buy needs now, wants are not purchased unless I am saving hundreds off the regular price.

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    • .

      Because I live in an urban area where everything I need is within a couple of miles and I drive a Honda Civic, I use less than 15 gallons a month while still going on errands, shopping and eating out several times a week.

      Because I own my home free and clear, I don’t have to worry about ever increasing rent. However, my property taxes did go up this year. But I disputed the new valuation and reduced the higher taxes somewhat.

      .

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