Increase in Social Security Disability and Retirement Benefits
Here's a piece of news that should sound fairly decent for social security recipients and social security disability beneficiaries. In 2009, recipients will see a fairly significant percentage increase in their monthly benefit checks, to the tune of a 5.8 percent hike.
Unfortunately, there's a downside to announcing this. Disability benefits and retirement benefits are indexed to inflation via the consumer price index. So...a nearly six percent raise in benefits also means nearly six percent inflation.
Well, we take the good with the bad. One rosier way to look at this, of course, is that if the economy recovers next year and we manage to pull out of a recession, that 5.8 % increase in monthly benefits will still exist. Notice, of course, that I didn't use phrase "if we manage to avoid a recession". According to reports issued by economic analysts this week, we already are in a recession.
Oh, forgot to mention this. According to Market Watch, the two biggest drivers of inflation are--bet you won't be able to guess this (not)--the cost of gas and the cost of food.
Thankfully, gas prices have gone down. And from what I see in the news this week, from Opec's point of view, the price per barrel is collapsing, sending them into a panic. Regarding food prices, though, I have yet to see relief at the grocery counter. I never would have thought I'd see a time when you couldn't buy a loaf of bread and and gallon of milk for five dollars.
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