News and Commentary

Social Security Announces Significant Cost of Living Increase for 2024 By Lee F. Hediger

The nation’s 71 million recipients of Social Security and/or Supplement Security (SSI) benefits are seeing those payments rise by 3.2 percent in 2024, a sharp contrast to last year’s 8.7 percent increase. According to the Social Security Administration, the 2024 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) represents an additional benefit of $50 per recipient each month.

The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the Consumer Price Index, as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, most individuals find that Social Security is out of step with inflation and is not sufficient on its own to pay for rising costs in retirement or the perpetual care of family members with disabilities or special needs. Instead, families at all income levels should work with professional financial advisors to employ a range of estate-planning strategies that meet their unique needs and goals.

A financial advisor can help assess your current financial circumstances and project forward the resources you may need in the future as the cost of living increases. For example, you may allocate savings to a tax-advantaged 401(k) plan or individual retirement account (IRA) to help prepare your finances to last through your golden years. You may also consider investing in an insurance policy that provides a death benefit to help your surviving family members maintain their lifestyles in the event of your passing, or you may fund any one of several types of trusts that also provide asset protection from creditors and legal judgments. Finally, if you have a child with disabilities or who requires unique care, a special needs trust can provide them with financial assistance from you without jeopardizing their eligibility for public assistance.

The professionals with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA) work with families across the globe and of various income levels to develop and implement comprehensive estate plans intended to build and preserve wealth for multiple generations. The firm provides complementary evaluations of clients’ financial lifestyles to identify potential issues and opportunities required to put financial houses in order while maintaining tax efficiency.

About the Author: Lee F. Hediger is a co-founding director with Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), an Independent Registered Investment Advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and a registered representative with PWA Securities, LLC. He can be reached at the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office at (954) 712-8888 or

Provenance Wealth Advisors (PWA), 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., 19th Floor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954) 712-8888.

 Lee F. Hediger is a registered representative of and offers securities through PWA Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.

 This material is being provided for information purposes only and is not a complete description, nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.

 Any opinions are those of the advisors of PWA and not necessarily those of PWA Securities, LLC. While we are familiar with the tax provisions of the issues presented herein, as Financial Advisors of PWAS, we are not qualified to render advice on tax or legal matters. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional. Prior to making any investment decision, please consult with your financial advisor about your individual situation.

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Posted on January 16, 2024