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Footnote: COLA for Social Security should be around 1.6% in 2020

The year-over-year percent change of the CPI-W for the third quarter is used to calculate the annual cost of living adjustment (COLA) for social security payments starting in January of the coming year. The average for the third quarter 2018 was 246.352. For the third quarter 2019 to-date, the average is 250.174. This points to a 1.6% increase in social security payments starting in January 2020.

Of course it will not be final until the September data is available with the CPI report on Wednesday, October 10 at 8:30 ET. It looks like the increase in the COLA will be the smallest in three years, but at least it isn’t a zero or near-zero increase like 2015 and 2016.

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