Alexandria, VA: A new poll by The Senior Citizens League had surprising results. When asked – "What retirement cost is hardest for you to cover?" – just as many respondents said healthcare and prescription costs were most difficult, 40% – as those who said housing, heat and utilities, another 40%. Sixteen percent said nourishing food, and 4% said transportation, was their most difficult cost.
"This poll is important because it illustrates the significance of healthcare costs on the budgets of retirees and disabled Social Security beneficiaries," says TSCL Chairman Ed Cates. "People planning retirement often have a difficult time figuring out what to budget for healthcare," Cates says. "TSCL recommends considering a healthcare budget that increases with age, especially by mid 70's to 80's, that could equal what you would pay for rent or homeowner's costs," Cates advises.
"People should not make the mistake of thinking that annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will protect them from rising healthcare costs," Cates warns. Medical costs tend to increase several times faster than benefits, consequently taking a bigger share of Social Security benefits over time.
TSCL supports measures that would provide better Social Security retirement benefits by using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) to calculate the annual boost. TSCL believes this can be paid for by lifting the maximum taxable wage limit on Social Security so that people with high earnings over $118,500 pay taxes on their incomes throughout the year like the majority of workers do.
What do you think? The Senior Citizens League is conducting a survey of Social Security recipients to better understand what they would support to fix Social Security’s financing and provide more adequate benefits. Take the survey today.
With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of TREA The Enlisted Association. Please visit www.SeniorsLeague.org or call 1-800-333-8725 for more information.
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