Has the 2024 Social Security COLA Backfired for Some Seniors?


Here at the Council for Retirement Security, we believe seniors are entitled to every penny they get from Social Security. After all, we’ve all paid into and propped up this program.

But the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), at only 3.2 percent, is far less than last year’s 8.7 percent. And when you factor in other changes, this COLA could leave retirees worse off in some ways.

Sure, all increases are welcomed and deserved given the state of the economy. But for some seniors, this 3.2 percent boost also boosts their income and the costs that come along with earning more.

Did the 2024 Social Security COLA Change Your Tax Costs?

Seniors should never have to pay back money because they receive the Social Security they deserve. But for some retirees, this is exactly what has happened.

Some benefit increases could push recipients into a higher tax bracket, and the costs could outweigh the increases. A big part of this problem could be how the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) is calculated, which doesn’t truly represent the needs of modern seniors.

Other costs are also high, and seniors may see fewer subsidy and assistance opportunities as a result of their boosted income. As Medicare Part B premiums go up, seniors may have more medical costs to pay.

What’s the solution? There are many ideas. Changing the earnings test could help. The same could be said for removing taxes on Social Security.

As for us? We vote for higher COLAs — after all, seniors have earned them. Want to make your voice heard? Sign our Social Security Lock-Box Petition to secure higher benefits for all.


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