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SSA COLA Estimates for 2018!
Old 09-16-2017, 01:15 AM   #1
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SSA COLA Estimates for 2018!

I see the COLA estimate for 2018 is 1.7 % on the low side and 2.2 % on the high side. Works for me (better than .3% in 2017!) .We'll all know for sure by mid October as the final month stats will be in by then. The same COLA applies to fed retirees and military retired! I found the info in Benefit Professionals, Inc. - Building a better future, together. website.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:22 AM   #2
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MOAA is usually pretty good in estimating, and they say it looks like 1.8%

Screen Shot 2017-09-16 at 6.21.09 AM.png
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:57 AM   #3
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Here's a better link to the site with the estimated social security/fed/military retiree increase for 2018:
http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/09/1...urn=1505570128
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:39 AM   #4
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The next step in most COLA discussions, is for someone to mention that the increase isn't enough, or is barely enough, to cover health premium/Medicare premium increases.

Well, is it? Just wondering.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:05 AM   #5
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The next step in most COLA discussions, is for someone to mention that the increase isn't enough, or is barely enough, to cover health premium/Medicare premium increases.

Well, is it? Just wondering.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:08 AM   #6
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Watch out you guys you're turning to the dark side..SS COL and Medicare costs are two different subjects....
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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Watch out you guys you're turning to the dark side..SS COL and Medicare costpremiums are two different subjects....
But they are tied together, no? Consider that the SS can make up on lost Medicare premiums based on the hold harmless feature, if previously applied. It could take mean that some or all of an individual's SS COLA increase. As always, YMMV.

To the other question about whether the COLA will be offset by Medicare premiums depends a lot on an individual's SS benefit level, since one is a fixed amount increase and the other is a percentage.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:27 AM   #8
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https://www.urban.org/sites/default/...djustments.PDF

This is a 2011 paper on how they are tied. It get's a little deep, but it clearly shows the relationship between the two, and how many SS recipients would not see much of an increase, if any at all.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:31 AM   #9
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I don't have a good handle on the relationship, so I operate on the assumption that the dollar amount of SS I get in the year I turn 65 less the initial premium is the static dollar amount of SS I will receive in the future. IOW, effectively there is no COL increase after that.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:58 AM   #10
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I'll be getting more of an increase than just 1.7%-2.2%. How, you may ask?

Right now I am getting 1/2 of my ex's SS, which I claimed at my FRA, age 66. Although the law has been changed, I got in "under the wire" so theoretically my own SS has continued to increase between then and now, as though I wasn't getting SS.

So, next year I turn 70, and I plan to switch from 50% of his, to 100% of mine. If all of this works out as I had planned, and I don't get caught in some unforeseen "gotcha", I might get about a 49% increase.

If I can't pull this off, I will still be OK. Still, after all those FICA deductions from my paycheck when I was working, I'd love to see more coming back to me in my old age.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:05 AM   #11
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But they are tied together, no? Consider that the SS can make up on lost Medicare premiums based on the hold harmless feature, if previously applied. It could take mean that some or all of an individual's SS COLA increase. As always, YMMV.

To the other question about whether the COLA will be offset by Medicare premiums depends a lot on an individual's SS benefit level, since one is a fixed amount increase and the other is a percentage.
Yes if you are 65 or older, but talking about the rising cost of health care can turn political in a New York minute...
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:49 AM   #12
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Good point, and wasn't my intention. Also nobody in my household is on Medicare; I was thinking of FEHB premiums.

It's just that I've noticed a pattern whenever COLA's come up in online discussions (not necessarily here), and wanted to get it over with

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Yes if you are 65 or older, but talking about the rising cost of health care can turn political in a New York minute...
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Old 09-16-2017, 12:16 PM   #13
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Good point, and wasn't my intention. Also nobody in my household is on Medicare; I was thinking of FEHB premiums.

It's just that I've noticed a pattern whenever COLA's come up in online discussions (not necessarily here), and wanted to get it over with
Someone has to be first!
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:55 PM   #14
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So, next year I turn 70, and I plan to switch from 50% of his, to 100% of mine.
This is also the case for my DW. Does anyone know if the switch from spousal to her own benefit at 70 is automatic, or does she have to file an application for it? I could ask SS, but their answers tend to be kind of random depending on who you ask.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:04 PM   #15
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This is also the case for my DW. Does anyone know if the switch from spousal to her own benefit at 70 is automatic, or does she have to file an application for it? I could ask SS, but their answers tend to be kind of random depending on who you ask.
I assume that you have to apply for it. I am not sure if it can be done online, like a regular SS application, or if it is necessary to go into the local SS office (which I'd rather avoid, since it is apparently very crowded and unpleasant from what people tell me).

When she is ready to do it, maybe she could call the local SS office and ask.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:41 PM   #16
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This is also the case for my DW. Does anyone know if the switch from spousal to her own benefit at 70 is automatic, or does she have to file an application for it? I could ask SS, but their answers tend to be kind of random depending on who you ask.
You WILL need to apply for it. We just went through this with DH's SS. He was on my spousal, turned 70 early this year and applied for his. Due to illness and death in family, we were late in taking care of this so he got a nice big chunk of change when it went through.

I would suggest you follow up though. SS had a real hard time with this and it kept sitting on someone's desk. We kept getting told 2 more weeks, 2 more weeks, until finally we had had enough and insisted on speaking to a supervisor who got it moving.
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Old 09-16-2017, 05:44 PM   #17
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I assume that you have to apply for it. I am not sure if it can be done online, like a regular SS application, or if it is necessary to go into the local SS office (which I'd rather avoid, since it is apparently very crowded and unpleasant from what people tell me).

When she is ready to do it, maybe she could call the local SS office and ask.
DH tried to do it online, w/o success. Called and was advised he had to have an in-office or phone appointment so we elected to go into the office and take care of it.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:45 PM   #18
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DH tried to do it online, w/o success. Called and was advised he had to have an in-office or phone appointment so we elected to go into the office and take care of it.
I wanted to add that DH could not apply with a drop in appt. He had to make an appt. When he discovered he could not apply online, we went to the local office, waited 1.5 hours only to be told he had to make an appt and come back another day .
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:39 AM   #19
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I wanted to add that DH could not apply with a drop in appt. He had to make an appt. When he discovered he could not apply online, we went to the local office, waited 1.5 hours only to be told he had to make an appt and come back another day .
Thank you. That's a very valuable bit of info. I've had good luck with drop in visits to the local office, but I kind of suspected this would be trickier.
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Old 09-17-2017, 10:49 AM   #20
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The next step in most COLA discussions, is for someone to mention that the increase isn't enough, or is barely enough, to cover health premium/Medicare premium increases.

Well, is it? Just wondering.
After 15+ years of military pension COLAs, it's risen nearly 40%... and that's with a few years of zeroes in the calculation.

I'd rather live in a Goldilocks world where the COLA is calculated to be 0.0%.

Getting more COLA due to higher inflation is analogous to spending more money to get a bigger tax deduction.
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