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Author Topic: I thought we were going to get a slight social security increase  (Read 2683 times)

Dreamsend

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Re: I thought we were going to get a slight social security increase
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2017, 01:24:21 PM »

I have read and been told that the cost of living figure does NOT include the cost of food or fuel yet I see many citing the reduction in fuel prices as one reason we did not get more of an increase.


The COLA for SS is indeed based on the CPI "cost of a basket of goods and services across the country" and DOES include food, medical, and transportation costs among other things.  BUT, SS uses a subset of the CPI called the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, known as the CPI-W.  They take the overall CPI and then using statistics from the Bureau of Labor they calculate what the exposure to the changes in costs are for only a certain demographic - urban wage/clerical workers.  This demographic includes ONLY those households with at least 50% of the income coming from clerical or wage paying jobs and at least one of householders must have been employed at least 70% of the year.   Complicated, you bet, and you can most likely be assured that SS has finagled a way to use an "index" that gives the lowest COLA - IMHO.   I've read that the CPI-W represents about 28% of the population, whereas the full CPI covers 89%.   Go figure why the COLA is based on inflation exposure to a limited demographic.  (not being political!)

An annual SS COLA increase comes about only when the average of the July, August, and Sept. inflation numbers are annualized and then compared to the inflation rate in the last COLA adjustment year -- which could have been years earlier as recent history has been.  If the new CPI-W is higher than the third quarters in the last COLA year, then an increase is given.   I guess I'm just happy they don't LOWER SS when it isn't. 

Linda
Linda with kitties Sarah & Samson
2017 Ford F250 Lariat aka La Belle Beast;
(6.2L V-8, crew cab, 4x4, off-road, 4.3 axle)

BernieD

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Re: I thought we were going to get a slight social security increase
« Reply #31 on: February 13, 2017, 08:31:57 AM »
I would have to look at my statements but this is a true story;
My mother, who was head of accounting for a multi-million dollar research and develement company. once turned down a raise.. WHY.
Well it would have put her in a higher tax bracket and resulted in LESS money in the pay check.

To stay on topic. my Social Security check stayed the same, Marlene's decreased by a dollar.

To highjack it a little, John, that is an old fallacy, your mother should have taken another accounting course. Moving into a higher tax bracket is a marginal move. All the earnings above the increased bracket point is taxed at the higher level but all of the income below that level is taxed at the same old level. Since payroll taxes vary depending on exemptions claimed, it is hard to say what the exact tax withholding increase would be, but payroll taxes seldom exceed 30% and a salary increase would have only added another couple of points to the withholding. Your mother would have had an increase in her take home pay of at least 50% of the increased pay. She would have also increased her average income level for determining Social Security benefits. Taxable Social Security benefits is another issue and not addressed by this.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

dave54

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Re: I thought we were going to get a slight social security increase
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2017, 12:56:46 PM »
....  I have read and been told that the cost of living figure does NOT include the cost of food or fuel yet I see many citing the reduction in fuel prices as one reason we did not get more of an increase.  Along with practically nothing in interest on savings while the stock market thrives those living on fixed incomes  - not so much.  ...

From the BLS website:

What goods and services does the CPI cover?
The CPI represents all goods and services purchased for consumption by the reference population (U or W) BLS has classified all expenditure items into more than 200 categories, arranged into eight major groups. Major groups and examples of categories in each are as follows:
FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
RECREATION (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).
Also included within these major groups are various government-charged user fees, such as water and sewerage charges, auto registration fees, and vehicle tolls. In addition, the CPI includes taxes (such as sales and excise taxes) that are directly associated with the prices of specific goods and services. However, the CPI excludes taxes (such as income and Social Security taxes) not directly associated with the purchase of consumer goods and services.
The CPI does not include investment items, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, and life insurance. (These items relate to savings and not to day-to-day consumption expenses.)
For each of the more than 200 item categories, using scientific statistical procedures, the Bureau has chosen samples of several hundred specific items within selected business establishments frequented by consumers to represent the thousands of varieties available in the marketplace. For example, in a given supermarket, the Bureau may choose a plastic bag of golden delicious apples, U.S. extra fancy grade, weighing 4.4 pounds to represent the Apples category.


From the list you can see food and fuel is included.
I never get lost.  I just have unplanned adventures.

 

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