The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to beneficiaries each fiscal year. You'd think that an adjustment would be made in parity with... cost of living. It's in the name, for goodness' sake.
But look at these numbers...
Social Security beneficiaries have lost nearly a fourth of their buying power in the last 15 years, according to the Senior Citizens League. Since 2000, housing costs for seniors have increased by 44%, heating oil by 159%, eggs by 117%, and gasoline by 76%. Meanwhile, Social Security's COLAs have averaged only 2.2% per year across the same time period.
The problem is that how COLA is calculated is a complete joke when it comes to actually adjusting to account for seniors' cost-of-living increases.