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Here’s how your Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is calculated – and what it could look like in 2021

Here’s how your Social Security cost-of-living adjustment is calculated – and what it could look like in 2021

Finance
People line up outside the Social Security Administration office in San Francisco.Getty ImagesIf you collect Social Security benefits, you're probably already eagerly waiting to see what your cost-of-living adjustment will be next year.New, early estimates from The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior group, point to a possible 1.5% COLA increase for 2021.In 2020, Social Security recipients got a 1.6% increase. For retired workers, that meant their average monthly benefit increased to $ 1,503 per month, up from $ 1,479 per month.Meanwhile, Social Security COLAs have averaged 1.4% in the past decade.How those adjustments are calculatedThe Social Security Administration generally announces its COLA in October for the following year.The amount is calculated based on the percentage cha...
Half of single seniors can’t pay for the basics. Here’s why Social Security’s not enough

Half of single seniors can’t pay for the basics. Here’s why Social Security’s not enough

Finance
Sam Edwards | Getty ImagesRetirement is often called the golden years. Many elderly Americans probably wouldn't describe it that way.Recent research from the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging at the University of Massachusetts Boston found that many older Americans don't have enough money to get by.The report estimates that 50% of adults age 65 and older who live alone, and 23% who live in two-elder households don't have enough money to cover their basic needs.Those individuals have incomes that are below a measure the researchers have developed called the Elder Index.The Elder Index measures the basic costs households face and how well they are able to meet those expenses. That includes food, housing, health care, transportation and other necessities. It does not cover e...
Here’s a breakdown of the new income tax changes

Here’s a breakdown of the new income tax changes

Finance
Most people vow to start the new year off with a commitment to save more or spend less. This year, recent changes in the tax laws could help.The IRS has made inflation adjustments to a range of key figures, from the amount you can put in a 401(k) retirement plan to the individual income tax brackets that help you determine your tax rate.Here are your new tax brackets in 2020.The IRS also bumped your standard deduction for the 2020 tax year, which could reduce your taxable income.The current standard deduction is $ 12,400 for singles, up from $ 12,200 in the prior year, and $ 24,800 for married joint filers, up from $ 24,400 in 2019.Boosting retirement savingsIf you've resolved to save a few extra dollars in your retirement account at work, the IRS has raised the employee contribution limit...
Here’s what happened to the stock market on Tuesday

Here’s what happened to the stock market on Tuesday

Finance
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the morning that online image board Pinterest Inc. makes its initial public offering on April 18, 2019 in New York City.Spencer PlattDow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 pointsThe Dow slipped 36.08 points, or 0.13%, to end the day at 28,515.45. The S&P 500 fell 0.02% to 3,223.38. The Nasdaq Composite rose to a new all-time high of 8,952.88. The S&P 500 has risen 2.6% for December and 8.3% for the quarter. It is also on pace for its best annual performance in six years, up 28.6% for 2019. If the benchmark ends the year up more than 29.6%, it will score Santa rally period beganTuesday marked the official start of the Santa Claus rally period, which happens on the final five trading days of the year and the first ...
Here’s what happened to the stock market on Thursday

Here’s what happened to the stock market on Thursday

Finance
Specialist trader Michael Pistillo Jr. wears a dow 23,000 hat, after the dow briefly traded above 23,000, at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 17, 2017.Brendan McDermid | ReutersDow Jones Industrial Average rises 137 pointsThe Dow gained 137.68 points, or 0.49% to end the day at 28,376.96. The S&P 500 climbed 0.45% to 3,205.37. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.67% to close at 8,887.22. Stocks jumped to record highs once again as investors shrugged off President Donald Trump's impeachment and disappointing economic data.Trump impeachment? No problemWall Street was able to look past President Donald Trump's impeachment in the House since the odds of the Republican-led Senate convicting him are so slim. "It's fairly obvious that there just not going ...