Social Security 2022: How the COLA Will Increase Benefits for the Average Senior Couple

Smiling active senior couple having fun  together in the park.
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In 2021, the average monthly Social Security benefit came out to $1,565. After a 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment scheduled to go into effect next year, the average benefit will rise to about $1,657 according to the Social Security Administration. This means that the average couple could see roughly $3,000 a month.

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The roughly $100 increase comes after a year of unprecedented inflation. Over the past 12 months, prices have increased 6% in nearly all major sectors, and especially important for seniors, in every major grocery store category. COLA increases in the past couple of years have been around 1-1.3%. This year’s adjustment is one of the highest COLA jumps in decades.

Forbes estimates that the increase in benefits will benefit nearly 62 million Americans who receive Social Security benefits in January 2022. Americans who receive Supplemental Security Income benefits will actually be able to see their increases a little sooner, beginning on Dec. 30. The SSA estimates that increased payments to SSI beneficiaries will reach approximately 8 million people next year.

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For those who receive SSI, this amount is expected to increase to $821 in 2022, up from $794 per month in 2021, according to Forbes. The $47 increase will especially benefit the nearly 3 million Americans who receive both Social Security and SSI benefits together.

Retire Comfortably

If you receive both SSI and regular Social Security payments in 2022, this could mean nearly $2,500 per month. In order to see a personalized estimate of how much you will be receiving after the COLA adjustment, head over to mySocialSecurity to use the SSA Social Security calculator. There, you will be able to input your personal information to receive a more accurate estimate as to how the COLA adjustment will affect you specifically.

If you are scheduled to be a recipient of benefits in 2022, the SSA will notify you via mail and online (through online mySocialSecurity accounts) beginning in December.

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All above figures are representative of retirees who have reached full retirement age (FRA). It is possible your payment could be lower if you begin distributions before your own FRA.

      About the Author

      Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 

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