Social Security Benefits Are Losing Buying Power

Where does that leave you?

Have you had your Social Security benefits verified lately? Are you getting close to where that might become important? If you’re getting closer to eligibility, realize that there are a few things to consider before you would collect Social Security.

Everyone’s personal situation oftentimes supersedes what you read and hear in various periodicals about how you should be utilizing your Social Security. If you’re married or not is one major factor. Whose earnings have been higher? How much are your Social Security benefits? What are your income needs, both today and potentially in the future?

The other problem with Social Security is that much of its benefits have lost buying power because of high inflation. It’s estimated that over 40% of the buying power has been lost since 2000 and recently - even though Social Security benefits have increased by 64% since 2000 - the annual cost of living adjustment that raises the benefits amounts have not been able to keep up with the breakneck pace of inflation.1

In that same time period, the cost of goods and services that retirees purchase have risen by 130%, which is more than twice the rate that benefits have increased. Just last year, Social Security purchasing power dropped an additional 10% from 30% in March of 2021, to a 40% loss in March of 2022. 1

This deep decline was the largest ever recorded. And while Social Security is ex pected to rise 8.6% to meet the cost-of-living- adjustment number in 2023 (this was the highest increase that Social Security has incurred as far as benefits to Social Security users since 19811,) research suggests that this even might not be enough to curb the loss of purchasing power.

So what are retirees doing? We look at trying to “inflation-proof” retirement income here at Action Financial. These deep increases in inflation have caused many of our clients to consider sources of income that will close that gap with what Social Security offers and what they need.

Some inflation-resistant income in retirement is part of the reason why many annuity products have marked their highest sales in more than a decade.1 Economic turmoil is also proven to spur annuity sales, which gives guarantees to income and can protect from exposure to market volatility. 2 Recently, Barrons talked about the “Best Annuities for Income and Growth.” New York Life was one of the annuity providers in there listed as one of the top providers for annuities in today’s marketplace.3

If you find that Social Security is hard to navigate, and you’re getting close to making a decision; if you’re concerned about keeping up with inflation and the cost of living in your retirement years, it would be good to review and update exactly what is available to you based on your financial condition as you approach these very important decision-making times of your life.

headshot of Brian

Brian Ruh Owner, Financial Adviser

2 All financial product guarantees are backed by the claims paying ability of the issuing company.

This material is for general informational purposes only and was produced by Action Financial Strategies, LLC.