Are Social Security benefits enough for retirement? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Are Social Security benefits enough for retirement?

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The average senior will see a $22 increase in their Social Security checks starting next year, which is a 1.7 percent increase.

In 2015, the average worker will receive about  $1,300 a month or $15,000 a year, according to the Social Security Administration. Many senior rely heavily on Social Security. 

"It's better I guess than nothing," said Erma Hall, who retired in 2005. 

The slight increase in Social Security is tied to the Consumer Price Index, which shows prices were up 1.7 percent in the past year. Next year's cost of living increase is less than 2012's increase of 3.6 percent.

"It's really kind of a struggle even though I'm by myself, thank God I was able to get this part-time job and supplement my check, so I'm okay," Hall said. 

But some seniors are not as lucky. For many seniors,  Social Security is their main source of income. Nearly 10 percent of people 65 and older live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,

"Every $5 makes a difference, two weeks of meals here you know and it really makes a difference in a lot of people's lives," said senior and former state senator, Gene Roebuck. "I would have liked it to be 10.8  you know we all would have but the economic situation being as it is, I feel like it was a really good compromise."

Roebuck said social security has done a lot for our country. He said the number of people living in poverty would be much larger. Tom Brown is a retired teacher so he uses Social Security to supplement his income.

"It's pretty difficult to save when you're raising a family but I remember when I started teaching in Arkansas we were covered my Social Security when I was not in Missouri," he said. 

Seniors advise people to start saving as soon as possible. ASU Economics professor Randall Kesselring said this increase will not benefit everyone. 

"Very few people are average and so there are always going to be people whose expenses increase more than 1.7 percent," he said. "It's not a big impact but the reason that it's not very big because the U.S has not experienced much inflation over the past year."

The 1.7 percent cost of living adjustment is up slightly  from 2014's 1.5 percent increase. 

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