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Social Security Cost-of-Living (COLA) for 2018 – Up 2%

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

November 20, 2017 — Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 66 million Americans will increase 2.0 percent in 2018.

The 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits)

The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $128,700.

The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $17,040. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $17,040.)

The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2018 will increase to $45,360. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $45,360 until the month the worker turns age 66.)

There is no limit on earnings for workers who are “full” retirement age or older for the entire year. Here is a SS Fact Sheet with more.

For further reading
It’s 2017: What You Thought You Knew About Social Security

Posted by Admin on November 20th, 2017


  1. With this increase for those who have Obamacare be careful not to exceed the income level to keep receiving Premium Tax Credits. One dollar extra can throw you over the income cliff and you will have to pay back. Here is the list for 2018 Federal Poverty guidelines.

    by Louise — November 21, 2017

  2. Also wonder where the government gets their figures. 2% won’t even pay for the increased premiums. I lose ground every year with SS.

    by Bob — November 24, 2017

  3. Bob, I think that 2% decision is unfortunately based on the Consumer Price Index which basically accounts for cost increases in staples like milk(?). Maybe staple for young families (milk, that is), but the items in the CPI don’t represent fuel and other common factors that make OUR cost of living skyrocket.

    We ran into that years ago (and today) because our subdivision Covenants also limit our ability to increase the HOA annual fee by the CPI. In our case, our major cost is road maintenance which is based primarily on fuel (transport, asphalt, heavy equipment, etc.). Our fees now lag behind so much that we barely break even each year and our reserve for repaving in a few years is about $30K while the anticipated cost is near $230K. Unfortunately, the Congress is not likely to change the CPI as basis any more that we have been able to get a 2/3 majority of owners to agree to a huge increase. For our subdivision, however, at least we can hope for intelligence to win over…

    by Rich — November 25, 2017

  4. Rich, one thing people who live in a community with an HOA can do is individually set aside what would be needed for an adequate reserve, as if they were paying it into their HOA fees. For example, if you think owners should be paying an extra $20 per month in order to keep the road reserve adequate to pay the ultimate $30,000 needed for repair, put that $20 into a savings account each month, so you won’t have to dig so deep when the inevitable assessment comes to fix the road since there’s not enough funds in the reserve. Easier said than done, but it at least protects YOU from that big hit.

    by Clyde — November 26, 2017

  5. If they don’t increase the monthly premium for Part B again (which took my entire Cola increase away last year before I ever saw it) I will have just enough out of this new Cola to be able to add dental insurance to my growing list of necessary insurances. I tried to get by without any dental insurance since retiring, but having to use up 3 months of income this year to pay for a dental emergency and operation that popped up very unexpectedly showed me the folly of my ways. Maybe if we get a Cola in 2019 I’ll have enough extra to be able to add Vision insurance…

    by Khem — December 2, 2017

  6. Isn’t it sad that our eyes and our teeth are not considered to be part of our bodies in most medical insurance policies? Just an example of how screwed up our “health care” system really is in this country.

    I was grateful to find a Medicare Advantage Plan here in Florida which includes coverage for both.

    by Linda — December 3, 2017

  7. Khem, you should be aware that most (or all) dental insurance companies require that you be on their plan for at least a year before they will cover major work such as you described. And most insurance also only covers about half of those major costs.

    Linda and others, the Medicare Advantage plans that I’ve seen usually do cover dental/vision. One of the big “advantages”. If you can live with the restrictions on location and approved providers, it can be a good deal.

    by Rich — December 4, 2017

  8. Rich, the Medicare Advantage Plan I had in Minnesota prior to moving to Florida did not cover dental. I had their cheapest version which cost me $60/month. The plan I have in Florida has dental and vision care and costs me $0/month. Love it! Ran up an $8,000 ER bill (including a $6,000 CT scan) when I tripped over a parking stopper on my return from evacuation from Irma. Cost me the $80 ER co pay. So I’m happy.

    by Linda — December 4, 2017

  9. Are the Medicare Advantage plans that you speak of setting a high deductible? The low or no premiums sound unbelievable…

    by SandyZ — December 5, 2017

  10. The deductibles or co pays are about the same as any other plan. The MAPs vary from state to state. You have to check out what is available to you locally.

    by Linda — December 5, 2017

  11. Linda –what specific plan is this that you are using? Many of us would love to know.


    by Jennifer — December 5, 2017

  12. It’s a Humana MAP offered to residents of SW Florida. I can’t remember if it is offered statewide or not. You could get the details from Humana.

    by Linda — December 6, 2017

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