Local financial advisor shares expected impact of social security boost

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Social security checks will soon get a 5.9% boost.

It’s the biggest increase in almost 40 years and will amount to about $92 per check on average.

But Barry Bigelow with Great Waters Financial says more could still be done to help seniors.

"It’s great news in that it’s the biggest increase in 40 years. But you’ve heard of a day late and a dollar short. This is a year late and a few dollars short," he said. Social Security is not meant to keep up with inflation. And if prices go up this year and the increase comes next year, it doesn’t really help people pay their bills right now."

Still, he thinks it could make a big difference for folks on fixed incomes.

"It can be the difference between buying their medication and not being able to," Bigelow said.

The increase goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022. Bigelow said social security isn’t meant to make up more than 40% of seniors’ incomes. But many people do rely on it heavily. And from what he’s seen, it doesn’t go as far in our area.

"Minnesota’s state income is below average, so therefore the dollars that we pay in are below average. And therefore, the dollars that we get back out of Social Security are below average," he said. "And yet, the cost of living for things like milk, eggs, are no different than anywhere else in the country."

Before making any decisions about social security income, Bigelow suggests sitting down with a financial advisor to be sure you fully understand the nuances and the tax implications.