You might have perked up when you heard about the 0.3% increase in Social Security payments next year.
Sure, it's the smallest increase on record. For the average retiree, it represents another $5 a month. But at least it's better than the 0% increase in 2016...
Not so fast.
For most retirees, Medicare Part B premiums (covering doctor visits, lab tests, and outpatient medical treatments) get deducted from Social Security payments. And those are going up.
So don't expect to see an increase in your monthly check...
The final numbers for Medicare premiums won't be released until later this month. But here's what to expect:
- The bad news: All retirees are likely to see premiums increase for most of the Part D prescription-drug plans next year. And Part B deductibles are expected to climb 23% to $204.
- The so-so news: Most retirees who are "held harmless" for Medicare costs increasing faster than Social Security benefits will simply see no increase in their monthly checks. It could be worse...
- The worst news: For certain groups of retirees (new folks enrolling in the program, people not yet receiving Social Security, and higher earners), Part B premiums are expected to jump as much as 22% to $149 a month.
In the meantime, the government is raising the maximum amount of income subject to the Social Security tax by 7%.
So if you've retired in the last 10 years... or are considering retiring in the next 10 years... you might be a little ticked off.
All told, this will affect about 65 million Americans... or about one-fifth of the country's population.
"Where'd mine go?" you might be thinking... especially if you compare your latest bill for the doctor's office or cable TV to one from this time last year.
This is why you cannot – absolutely cannot – trust the government to take care of you.
By law, the decision whether to raise Social Security benefits, called a cost-of-living adjustment ("COLA"), is set every October... and is based on the government's measure of inflation report in September.
As we detailed recently, food prices have been dropping this year. But other prices... especially health care... have been climbing.
A recent study by the Senior Citizens League found that Social Security benefits have lost more than 20% of their buying power since 2000, despite several COLA benefit increases.
And consider that nearly one in three Social Security recipients counts on government checks for 90% or more of their income, according to the Social Security Association. For these folks, the decrease in purchasing power is difficult... But any cut in real terms would be a disaster.
Here at Retirement Millionaire Daily, we're all about helping you live better on less than you imagined possible... and getting more of what you deserve.
As I've said before to my Retirement Millionaire subscribers, Social Security is an important "annuity like" factor of your retirement. And I don't think it's "going broke." Barring an utter collapse of the U.S. government, Social Security should still be around when you're ready to collect.
But it shouldn't be the only thing you're relying on. Ultimately, it's up to you to ensure your comfortable retirement.
So if you're on a fixed income – like a pension or Social Security – it is imperative to own shares of strong businesses that can keep up with future price changes and pass some of that growth back to investors.
And to make sure you can generate income in retirement, I believe that one investment strategy tops the rest.
It can generate thousands of dollars per year – the difference between a "budget" retirement and a "luxury" retirement. And it will help ensure that you never, ever run out of money in retirement... no matter what happens with Social Security.
Six years ago, I began publishing a service called Retirement Trader.
The goal of the service was simple: Teach regular folks how to safely create income in retirement by using the same investment techniques of Wall Street banks and traders.
Most of the mainstream press wants you to believe these techniques are "advanced" or "complicated." That's a trap. The more that folks depend on government and corporate interests, the stronger the Nanny State becomes.
These techniques are simple and easy to learn and put to work in your existing brokerage account. And they can drastically improve your investment results.
In fact, I believe that they form the greatest investment-income strategy in the world.
If you've ever struggled with key retirement-account decisions... or simply want a little help making the right investments... this strategy can be the difference between a retirement of wealth... or a retirement where you're just barely getting by.
If you're interested in how to make thousands of dollars more in retirement, please act soon.
You can get started on a path to generating safe and consistent income in retirement with my trading service, Retirement Trader. Right now, you can try Retirement Trader for 30 days, risk-free. Click here to learn how to collect $1,000s more in retirement.
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