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Social Security benefits

From Yahoo News:

Buckle up for disturbing news - your Social Security check may well go down in 2017 - and that is despite a 0.2% projected increase in the Social Security benefit.

The minuscule Social Security increase is due to an annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). In 2016, recipients got no increase at all - the third time in four decades. In 2017, a person getting $1,000 monthly from Social Security will get about a $2 increase. On the average monthly benefit of $1,304, count on about $2.60 more, maybe enough for a small coffee at Starbucks.

As for why some Social Security checks will go down, blame that on a sharp boost in Medicare Part B costs. In 2015, Medicare Part B - which covers doctors’ bills, along with charges by some other providers - amounted to $104.90 per month. In 2016 that climbed to $121.80. In 2017 it will hit $149.