Weekend Reading: Social Security Checks on Track for Their Biggest Annual Boost Since 2009

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading social security checks market watch thumbnail Weekend reading social security checks market watch thumbnail
Weekend Reading

Listen up, Social Security recipients! You could soon see an increase in your monthly checks if current economic trends continue. Read the article from Market Watch below.


According to the Senior Citizens League, beneficiaries might receive a 4.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2022. While this is certainly exciting news for many, take this information with a grain of salt. The COLA is not necessarily meant to be seen as a “raise,” but more so as a way to maintain purchasing power.

How it’s calculated: COLAs are based on inflation and adjusted according to the typical shopping habits of working-age white-collar workers. However, they’re not always universal. A retiree in the Midwest most likely spends their money differently than a 30-something office worker in New York, which is why the government also tracks experimental index inflation for older Americans.

Inflation fears: Countless inflation-based articles are circulating the news, but keep in mind that calculations can be skewed; thus, your potential increase in Social Security benefits becomes complicated. Official figures are dominated by homeownership costs, and the calculation of those costs includes subjective numbers called “owner’s equivalent rent.” The government guesstimates what you might pay if you were to rent your home; however, differing factors based on your own housing situation might mean your inflation rate differs from the government’s.

Where we stand now: As for today’s inflation forecast, the author of this article advises keeping an eye on the bond market’s predictions. Although we can’t fully predict anything, bond traders are incentivized for making accurate forecasts, and as of now, those numbers are on the decline.

Stay tuned: Retirees have complained about lackluster Social Security COLAs for years; however, it’s easy to figure the double-digit adjustments of the past, and they may be right around the corner for you.