Newsflash: The cost of living for senior citizens is increasing. And, like, by a lot.
According to reports, the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for the 2022 calendar year could be the highest that it has been in decades.
How high? The non-partisan Senior Citizens League indicates that the increase could top 6 percent. Considering that the benefits bump for 2021 was just over 1 percent, that’s a pretty significant increase. The projected increase is a good news-bad news type of situation. While it’s good that adjustments are being made, the increase is really just indicative of rising all-around costs that could be straining the finances of America’s senior citizens. As a result, the aforementioned Senior Citizens League is hoping for a little bit more support. Specifically, it recently sent a letter to Congress lobbying for another round of $1,400 stimulus checks – but just for qualifying senior citizens.
Why the Push for Stimulus Checks?
While an increase in social security can help, any increase can largely be offset by taxes and price increases in other senior citizen programs. That’s where a stimulus check could come in handy. It doesn’t count as income – so it’s not taxable. It would simply represent additional spending money for senior citizens, particularly those who are low or middle income retirees.
Per feedback from The Senior Citizens League, many of its members have reported difficulty affording groceries, having to cut down meals per day, or having to limit prescription drugs based on financial difficulties made worse by universal cost increases. Furthermore, financial adjustments that senior citizens have had to make since March 2020 include spending emergency savings, changing investments or withdrawing money prematurely, or even turning to food pantries or food stamps to help with meals. The stimulus checks that the federal government has handed out to date have been widely popular among the American people, yet many Americans who needed the extra assistance reported that it wouldn’t likely last them for more than three months.
How Likely is this Push?
To be frank, it’s unlikely to happen. The enhanced federal unemployment benefits expired earlier this month and there was no huge push to extend them. It’s unlikely that any sort of additional stimulus check will be approved, even if it’s just for senior citizens. However, while any sort of senior-specific stimulus package is unlikely to pass, this action from The Senior Citizens League could go a long way toward raising awareness about some of the key challenges that senior citizens face when it comes to financial insecurity. This could in turn lead to future action from the federal government to correct some of the issues that are currently plaguing them.