COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- An increase of nearly 6% in next year's cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security recipients would seem to be a welcome development for senior citizens struggling to make ends meet with higher inflation and increased costs from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The adjustment increase is five times more that it was last year, and would raise the monthly benefit by around $90.
But on Thursday at the Colorado Springs Senior Center, seniors said that they doubt being able to spend any of that money because the cost of their Medicare premiums and deductibles also will rise, to offset higher costs there.
"After Medicare and prescription drugs go up, and insurance and other things go up, we're really not getting anything," said Eva Rodriguez, 70. "It's hard to cut back on anything when you're retired and on a fixed income."
t's also unclear whether the adjustment increase will last beyond next year.
"I wish we could get more money in our pockets, more we can actually spend," said retiree John Lopez. "I'd rather have another stimulus check."
Angela Cortez, a representative of the American Association of Retired Persons' (AARP) Colorado office, confirmed the dilemma Thursday.
"It's good news but it's not necessarily great news," she said. "I think the biggest factor is the rising cost of prescription drugs. We're working with Congress to do something about that. We have to get our leaders to agree to it and pass the legislation. Can that happen next year? I hope so."
According to the AARP, Social Security is the largest source of retirement income for most Americans and provides 90% or more of the income for a fourth of seniors.
"Social Security was never intended to be a primary source of retirement income," Cortez said. "It was created to supplement retirement income. AARP is working with younger adults to educate them about the importance of investments and retirement plans."
Unfortunately, that won't help current seniors who are struggling to get by -- made more difficult by the pandemic.