After two years without an inflation adjustment, the Social Security Administration is expected to announce a 2012 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of more than 3 percent next week. That would be a sizable raise in this economy, and very welcome news to seniors hit hard by rising costs, slumping home equity and very low returns on fixed-income investments.
If you’re a senior on Medicare – or if you help out aging parents with their money matters – it’s time to get ready to shop. The annual enrollment period for Medicare prescription drug and Advantage managed care plans is about to begin, and it’s one of the best opportunities of the year for seniors to save money.
Last year, Henry D’Aloisio needed to adjust his Medicare coverage to pay for doctor’s visits. He thought the changes would be simple, and that decades of administrative experience would have prepared him adequately for the paperwork and small print.
“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” wrote George Orwell in 1984. And so it is with a mangled word that is central to the 2012 presidential race and the work of the Congressional deficit-cutting Super Committee: entitlement.
Social Security and Medicare will be in the sights of the Congressional “super committee” that will be looking for $1.5 trillion in federal spending cuts under the terms of the debt ceiling agreement. That means the financial security of seniors and Boomers nearing retirement will be on the line, so let’s consider the outlook for these vital programs as the negotiations get underway.
The following is a guest post by Brad Allen. The opinions expressed are his own.
Social Security and Medicare dodged a bullet in the debt ceiling battle, but beneficiaries still have plenty to fear from the next phase of the deficit reduction war.