Three Positive Changes for Social Security in 2019—and 1 Horrible Change You Don’t Need to Worry About

The Social Security Administration announced important changes for Social Security retirement benefits in 2019. Learn about the changes and learn why you should not panic over Social Security cuts in 2019.
October is a time for fall leaves, Sunday football, and Halloween. It’s also the time when the Social Security Administration announces upcoming changes to Social Security benefits. You will be happy to learn that there are no tricks this year. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has three “treats” in store for current—and future—Social Security retirement beneficiaries.

1: Social Security Administration Hands Out the Biggest Raise (COLA) since 2012

The SSA makes an annual determination on whether to award a cost-of-living-adjustment, or COLA, to beneficiaries. The purpose of the COLA is to ensure that yearly benefits keep pace with inflation. The “raise” or COLA allows the beneficiary to have the same relative amount of purchasing power year-over-year.The SSA uses the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earnings and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) to calculate the COLA. The CPI-W measures several factors, from energy prices to the costs of goods and housing expenses, to determine an appropriate increase to keep benefit amounts at the same relative level of buying power.2019’s COLA is a whopping 2.8%! That’s a full .8% increase over the 2018 COLA and .8% less than the 3.6% COLA of 2012.The relatively large increase is not the only good news: the fact that the SSA awarded a COLA is important, as the COLA is not guaranteed. Many people take the COLA for granted, but there have been three years—2009, 2010, and 2015—with no COLA increase.

2: Increased Earning Limits for Social Security Retirement Benefits

Are you working and collecting Social Security retirement benefits, or do you plan to keep working when you file for your Social Security retirement benefits? If so, you are not alone. It is not uncommon for retirees to continue to work in some capacity after filing for Social Security retirement benefits.The SSA imposes a limit on how much you can earn while working and collecting benefits. If you are under full retirement age (also known as FRA—learn more here) the SSA deducts $1 for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2018 the limit is $17,040. The new limit for 2019 will be $17,640, a $600 increase.In the year you reach full retirement age, the limit substantially increases. In 2018 the earning limit for the year you reach FRA is $45,360. The SSA deducts $1 in Social Security benefits for every $3 above the limit. In 2019 the amount will increase by $1,560 to $46,920.It’s important to understand that the full retirement age earning limit is ONLY for the year you reach FRA. After you reach FRA, there is no longer an earning limit.

3: Online Access to COLA notices

The SSA will give Social Security beneficiaries the ability to access COLA notices online through the mySocialSecurity account system. COLA notices are currently sent by mail. The ability to access notices online through the mySocialSecurity system is one of many incremental increases the SSA has made with online access to pertinent information and services.

The Looming Specter of Social Security Cuts: Don’t Worry About It in 2019

Every election cycle—and sometimes more frequently—special interest groups and politicians will invoke the boogeyman of Social Security’s deficit. This year that honor seems to belong to Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The media reported that McConnell blamed a rise in the U.S. budget deficit ($779 billion, a 77% increase from the $439 billion deficit of 2015) to an “unwillingness to address entitlement reform, and we’re talking about Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.”Pundits and political opponents flooded the internet and other media channels with pronouncements that McConnell was seeking to gut Social Security. Do not be alarmed! There is no indication that there are any plans to reduce Social Security retirement benefits in 2019 or the near future.

Denver and Loveland Social Security Class: November 13th or 15th

This free Social Security workshop will be held at 6:30 pm on November 13th and November 15th. The workshop will teach attendees the most common strategies and filing situations for individuals and couples. Registration is free, attendance is limited. A catered, full-service buffet will be provided.

 

Do Not Let a Fear of Future Social Security Cuts Unduly Influence You When Filing for Social Security Retirement Benefits

Many people make the decision to claim Social Security retirement benefits as soon as possible. They have an irrational fear of Social Security not being “secure” in the future. This emotional response to one of the most important decisions in a U.S. taxpayer’s life can result in a person losing thousands and thousands of dollars in earned benefits.If you are thinking about filing for Social Security, take an hour of your time to talk to a financial advisor or other expert with a background in retirement planning and Social Security. That one hour might very well save you from making a costly mistake.

Denver and Loveland Social Security Class: November 13th or 15th

This free Social Security workshop will be held at 6:30 pm on November 13th and November 15th. The workshop will teach attendees the most common strategies and filing situations for individuals and couples. Registration is free, attendance is limited. A catered, full-service buffet will be provided.

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The Presidential Wealth Management Social Security planning guide is filled with the core information we teach at our free educational workshops.

The guide is designed to explain the most common Social Security filing strategies and situations for individuals and couples.

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