Texans Should Get Ready For A Possible Increase In Social Security Payments

Matt Lillywhite

Texas retirees should expect the Social Security Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) to be around 3.1% in 2024...

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The Social Security Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) is expected to be around 3.1% in 2024, according to Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League.

The Senior Citizen's League is one of America's largest nonpartisan senior advocacy groups. It bases its estimations of future COLA increased based on data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Consumer Price Indexes. To be clear, that's the same data the Social Security Administration uses to determine its annual COLA increases, per The Hill.

The Cost Of Living Adjustment has proven to be vital for senior citizens over the past few decades. Social Security COLAs increased benefits by 78 percent between January 2000 and February 2023, averaging 3.4% per year, according to data published by The Senior Citizen's League. It's also worth noting the cost of goods and services purchased by typical retirees increased by 141.4% over the same period, averaging about 6.2 percent annually.

The Cost Of Living Crisis In Texas Is Making It Difficult For People To Afford Basic Necessities.

"Inflation is quickly raising prices for households in core areas of their monthly budgets — energy, food and housing," per CNBC. "That’s making it hard for consumers to avoid a financial hit, even as wages are also rising at their fastest clip in years."

Many retirees throughout the state of Texas are struggling to afford rising rent and mortgage payments. For example, the median rent of a house in Dallas is currently $2,688 per month. That's a year-over-year increase of $188 (compared to data from May 2022). The situation is similar in Houston. The median rent of a house is $2,200 per month, according to Zillow. However, that's an eyebrow-raising year-over-year increase of $250.

Groceries are another major source of of concern for retirees in Texas. "Nearly 700,000 North Texans are unsure of where their next meal will come from," said Jeff Smith, senior manager of communications at North Texas Food Bank during an email interview. "Access to nutritious food should never have to be a choice. Together with our feeding network, we are ensuring that our neighbors will not have to choose between buying food for their family or paying for other critical living expenses."

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Matt Lillywhite covers politics, the economy, and kitchen-table issues that matter.


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