Friday, October 17, 2008

Social Security retirement benefits to increase 5.8% in 2009


Some good news for many retirees came out today. The Social Security Administration, starting in January 2009, will increase social security retirement benefits by 5.8%, the largest cost of living increase since 1982.

The increase is significant. It will help retirees with living expense and with maintaining principal in their retirement assets (by adding more to it). I believe this occurs with the January 2009 payment, even though in theory that payment represents December’s benefits. It may help retirees living alone on social security qualify for senior apartments in many parts of the country (generally, the south or midwest and regions away from the largest cities have the more affordable apartments).

Retirees with Internet access can check their benefits online after setting up a free SSA account with password. Retirees can order proof-of-income letters from SSA through the Internet. SSA personal information access is often unavailable at night or on many weekends during system maintenance.

The AARP bulletin story is here.

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