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Homenew road to retirementWhy one group is calling for fourth stimulus checks to help retirees...

Why one group is calling for fourth stimulus checks to help retirees stave off rising costs

  • Next year's Social Security cost-of-living adjustment could be the highest it's been in years.
  • Boosting retiree income could mean they will face additional costs in other areas.
  • Now one senior advocacy group plans to petition Congress to step in and help.

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The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for 2022 could be the highest it has been in decades.

The latest estimates from The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan senior group, point to a possible 6.2% increase for next year based on the latest Consumer Price Index data. In comparison, this year's bump to benefits was just 1.3%.

Yet next year's prospective increase comes as seniors are already facing rising costs. Moreover, higher Medicare Part B premiums and taxes on benefits could also eat away at that adjustment.

Now, The Senior Citizens League is hoping to do something about it.

Last week, the organization sent an email to supporters informing them of its plans to petition members of Congress for new $1,400 stimulus checks just for seniors.

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"We have really hit a nerve with that first email," said Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at The Senior Citizens League. "It was an immediate response of support for the idea."

The group received more than 100 replies from seniors who shared their stories.

More than 50 of those messages mentioned having to cut down to one meal a day or trouble affording groceries, Johnson said. Many of the seniors who responded also said they were cutting back on prescription drugs.

While next year's COLA could be the highest it's been in years, for many seniors that is cause for concern, Johnson said.

A big COLA makes low-income seniors nervous that they are going to be facing adjustments to their Medicare costs, to food benefits, rental subsidies and that sort of thing, Johnson said.

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