Aging Options

Medicare & Social Security “Double Whammy” Facing Retirees

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What do you call it when your Social Security earnings remain stagnant – with no cost-of-living increase – but your premiums for some Medicare expenses rise more than 50 percent? A recent article on the NBC News website calls it a Double Whammy – and that, the article states, is what seniors are facing in the coming year.

This combination of zero-growth in Social Security benefits and an alarming rise in health care costs should give every senior a wake-up call. You can read the entire article here.

As the online article explains, the chief reason for the flat-line in Social Security benefits is declining oil prices. While lower costs at the gas pump (and for home heating oil) do benefit many retirees, these low prices create a double-edged sword by keeping inflation low. This reduced inflation caps any Social Security increase. Because of the way Social Security cost-of-living (COLA) increases are calculated (a method many consider unfair to seniors) the net result is that there will be no COLA increase this year.

At the same time, some Medicare costs will skyrocket. While it’s true that in the short term these costs will only affect about 30 percent of beneficiaries, the longer-term outlook points to an alarming rise in health care costs and accompanying premiums affecting just about everybody, suggesting that the period of zero-to-modest increases in health care costs is coming to a close.

Our clients have told us repeatedly that one of their greatest concerns is protecting their assets in retirement. For that reason, whether you are already retired or just starting to plan for your retirement future, we urge you to attend an upcoming Life Planning Seminar. We’ll share vital information that will help you put together a plan that takes all aspects of your retirement, including health care and finances, into account. Simply click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website.

(Originally reported at


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