Here’s what Washington calls a “minor technical change” in Social Security would mean to Cathy Kerns: $7,000 over the next 15 years.
Kerns, an Orlando-area widow living with two chronic illnesses and a disability, relies on her monthly Social Security checks for income. However, now the government is trying to dip into Social Security funding to reduce the deficit.
President Obama and some in Congress are proposing a plan called the Chained CPI – designed to make Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment fall a little behind inflation every year. Over time, it adds up. When Cathy went onto AARP’s online Chained CPI Calculator to learn how much the Chained CPI benefit cut would mean to her, she was surprised to see how big an impact it would have.
“That’s enough to buy one month of medicine, which keeps me alive,” she said.
She’s not alone. Doug Heinlen, the AARP Florida State President, could lose $9,000 to the Chained CPI if he were to live to the age of 87. Charlie Benz, another AARP volunteer fromTallahassee, could lose $15,000 over 20 years.
The Chained CPI works like this: the cost of living allowance (COLA) would be adjusted using a Chained CPI so that older Americans would actually be losing money over a period of time. This would be especially detrimental to women and Americans 80+. In other words, the longer you live, the more money you’ll lose because of a Chained CPI.
Veterans would take a double hit, because they’d see a reduction in both Social Security and veterans’ benefits.
Anyone who solely depends on Social Security will especially be hit hard. The Chained CPI will target those who make little income, which will lower them further into poverty. What’s worse is that as living allowance is adjusted (read: lowered), health care costs continue to rise. Those who rely on Social Security to help with medical bills will find it much harder to make ends meet.
To find out how switching to a Chained CPI could affect you, please visit: www.aarp.org/whatyoulose.
Here you can find a calculator to help you find out how much you will lose with a Chained CPI. You can also fill out your information and send a protest e-mail to your senator. You can even personalize the e-mail to tell your senator exactly how much you will lose.
If you would like to do more to protest against the Chained CPI, AARP Florida invites you to raise your voice. AARP Florida is recruiting Floridians who are willing to speak out on this issue. AARP will provide you with information on how the Chained CPI would work, research on Social Security and training on how to make others aware of this important issue. To learn more, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call: 1-866-595-7678.
But don’t wait on us -- you can make your own video detailing how the Chained CPI will affect and post it on YouTube. If you do, please make sure to tag AARP FL in the tag line.