If you're collecting Social Security, congratulations! You just got a raise. Your benefits are increasing by 1.6% starting in January 2020. For a recipient earning the average monthly benefit of $1,479, this means your check will increase to about $1,503 per month. This is an increase of $24 per month.
The Social Security Administration makes cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to counteract the effects of inflation. However, many senior citizens are concerned that actual costs are rising faster than COLA increases, making it difficult to keep up.
For most Social Security recipients, Medicare Part B premiums are automatically withheld from Social Security checks. And those premiums are also going up in 2020. They are increasing from $135.50 in 2019 to $144.60 in 2020, an increase of $9.10. This means your $24 Social Security raise is actually $14.90 more on your monthly Social Security check.
According to this article, "small COLAs coupled with rising healthcare and other costs have contributed to Social Security benefits losing a third of their buying power since 2000. Seniors are simply not getting big enough raises to maintain their standard of living."