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COLA adjustment for 2019 will be 2.8%

For the first time since 2012, Social Security’s Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will exceed 2%. And while some retirees are left wanting more, it is instructive to note that since 2010 the COLA’s have included:

• 3 increases of Zero %
• 4 increases of 2% or lower

Since 1998, only 5 increases have exceeded the 2019 increase. So, there is reason to be thankful.

One of the more concerning numbers is that the Social Security Administration’s average retiree check is only $1,461 monthly or $17,532 annually. And for many Americans, this is their largest source of retirement income. This low starting number further reinforces the need to self-finance the bulk of your retirement.

Social Security claiming is still part Art and part Science. Despite recent elimination of advantageous claiming strategies for couples, there are still opportunities to maximize the funds you receive based on your personal situation. Choosing the wrong course can cost hundreds of thousands in lost retirement income. Please reach out to your advisor to assist in this planning.