Seniors suffer, younger generations benefit from no cost of living adjustment

Financial analysts predict this trend could last for a few years.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Seniors will not be getting an increase in their social security checks next year. Financial analysts predict this trend could last for a few years.

“The Golden Years are not what I thought the Golden Years were going to be like,” said Donald Lemoine of West Springfield. Next month, he’ll turn 78 years old. Like millions of others his age, Lemoine thought a lifetime of paying taxes would be rewarded with a comfortable social security check in retirement. Not quite in 2016. For the 3rd time since 2010, there will be no cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, in social security checks. That means the amount will be the same as in 2015.

Financial advisor Mark Teed of Raymond James and Associates said a drop in oil prices brought inflation down so much, the government didn’t have to boost benefits. Gas and oil prices may be low, but medical costs continue to increase. Some Medicare costs will also increase for those social security recipients.

“When you have to go to the hospital and you have to take an ambulance, 150 bucks, I mean, wow, where do they think the money grows? On trees?…We have to cut back, we have to do the best we can,” Lemoine said. He was grateful he has a retirement pension he can rely on as well. Social Security was never intended to be the sole source of retirement income.

While some seniors may struggle without the cost of living increasing this coming year, younger generations are welcoming this. It means they can save and spend more money.

“You’re able to do different things, you’re able to really start to peg things down the road and not have to worry about that insidious inflation that can really eat away at your income, so for the young people it’s great, the older people that live on fixed income that didn’t save, these are tough times,” said Teed.

He said there are proposals in the federal government to help people pay those higher Medicare bills, but that would all be at the taxpayer’s expense. Teed recommends younger generations start save any extra money they have now, so they’ll have it for their retirement.

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