Social Security COLA Will Rise 5.9 Percent in 2022

The Social Security Administration announced today (October 13) that its annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) will rise by 5.9 percent next year – the largest one-year boost since 1982. The increase will add $92 to the program’s average monthly benefit, which will rise to $1,657 from $1,565. The…

Medicare Drug Pricing Rules Under the Microscope

Here’s background to help you keep track of two ongoing processes – one by Medicare and one in the courts – that could lead to big changes in the way Medicare charges you for expensive drugs. You’ve likely heard of one but perhaps not the other. Under Medicare’s complicated rules for Part…

What Does Successful Aging Mean to You?

Until the end of my career or life, whichever comes first, my journalism beat is going to be Successful Aging. Since beginning my first reporting assignment more than 50 years ago at The Charlotte Observer (I was the textile reporter), this is the first time I’ve been able to pick my own assignment.   I…

Drug Prices and Unintended Consequences

Who isn’t angry about high drug prices? Complaints to pharmaceutical companies often produce tone-deaf defenses. And when a $56,000 annual price for the newly approved dementia drug aducanumab (the brand name is Aduhelm) was described by its maker last week as reasonable, rational thought became more…

Later-Life Money Issues Dominated by Health and Bequests

At some point, everyone fortunate enough to still be around as they enter their eighth or even ninth decade will begin to think about their financial needs and resources in a different way. Until then, a top concern is not running out of money in retirement, and having enough to pay the bills and…

Employee Benefits Set to Expand

Employers are planning to sweeten their mix of employee benefits, according to a recent survey from workplace consultants Willis Towers Watson. The survey was based on polling done a few months ago, and it cited the pandemic as the cause. Since then, of course, the attractiveness of expanded benefits…

Inflation, Volatility, and Liquidity

Price increases at the wholesale and retail level – check out the numbers here -- have rattled investment markets, and with good reason. The widely forecast U.S. economic boom was expected to be fueled by continued low interest rates. That assumed people would return to the job market as employers…