Each year the Social Security Administration measures inflation and will generally increase benefits to account for an inclined rate. Benefits increased by 1.7% in 2015 and rose by under 2% in the three previous years as well.
This year the inflation rate decreased by 0.6%, so Social Security benefits will remain flat for the first time since 2011. Unfortunately for retirees, the way that the SSA measures inflation does not reflect the way that senior citizens spend their money.
The declined rate of inflation is largely due to lower gas prices, which saw a huge 30% drop this year. The average American who drives to and from work largely benefits from the reduced price of oil, but most senior citizens don’t. Healthcare and food make up a large portion of what retirees tend to spend their money on, both of which have become increasingly expensive.