Now You Know: Social Security recipients could see bump as inflation soars

Bonita-Estero Woman's Club funds a worthy cause

Will Watts
A hand holds an envelope with a Social Security check sticking out of the envelope

Social Security recipients whose checks haven’t kept pace with inflation this year could make up some ground in 2023.

The roughly 70 million people – retirees, disabled people and others – who rely on Social Security could receive an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, next year, according to an estimate by Mary Johnson, a policy analyst for the Senior Citizen League, an advocacy group.

That would be the largest increase since 1982.

For the average retiree who got a monthly check of $1,656 this year, the bump would mean an additional $144.10 a month in 2023, boosting the typical payment to $1,800, Johnson estimates.

“A boost by that much is certainly going to ease the (budget) squeeze” for seniors, she says.

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Inflation worries continue to mount, but now may be a good time to buy.

Median income flat

Median income for US households was flat in 2021 when adjusted for inflation, Census Bureau reports

The average American income was essentially flat last year at $70,784,  the U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday.  

The inflation-adjusted median U.S. household income fell 0.6% from the 2020 estimate of $71,186 but the change was deemed “not statistically different” by the Census Bureau. 

Income estimates are expressed in 2021 dollars to reflect changes in the cost of living due to inflation. Between 2020 and 2021, inflation rose 4.7 percent, the largest annual increase in the cost-of-living adjustment since 1990. 

Nine months into 2022, inflation is still a major concern for many Americans. Overall prices in August increased 8.3 percent from a year earlier, the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index reported Tuesday, a slight drop from 8.5 percent in July.

The BEWC Outreach Committee, from left, Kathy Brighton (Fort Myers), Jacquie McIntyre (Estero), Peggy Youseff (Estero), Marianne Schoenrock (Fort Myers), and Jalna MacLaren (Naples). Not in photo: Sue Briddel (Fort Myers).

New club, huge difference

The Bonita-Estero Woman's Club (BEWC) is a new branch of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs,

Club president, Josephine Guenther, wanted to share some club news.

The Bonita-Estero Woman’s Club was officially organized in October 2021 and is a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. The six goal-minded women who founded the club are all members of the GFWC Naples Woman’s Club. Five were past presidents and one was a former vice president.

With three of those six members residing in Lee County, they knew the community would benefit greatly from the good deeds of a GFWC Woman’s Club.  Once all six ladies were committed, they pressed forward and now are a fruitful, growing Club of 58 members. 

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The club saw a way to build a legacy by providing funding to a Fort Myers-based non-profit organization, Reflective Spaces Ministry, Corp., to purchase a “Tiny House” planned to house survivors of human trafficking, sexual violence, domestic violence or any woman in crisis.

 In June, the club made a gift of $40,000 to cover all costs for that tiny house. After the club made its first donation, some members, who call Toledo, Ohio home during the summer months, were so moved by the appreciation founder, Tammy Toney-Butler (a sexual assault nurse examiner and survivor leader), had shown at the generous gift, they decided to hold another fundraiser in Toldedo called a “Soiree for a Tiny House.” The soiree was held at the home of Jalna and Ken MacLaren (both of Naples and Toledo) where they raised an additional $35,000 to date for a second house.  Both tiny houses will be placed on the property owned by Reflective Spaces Ministries, Corp. and will provide shelter for those women in crisis that need a “hand-up” not a “hand-out.”   

Apple iOS 16 is available now

If you didn't preorder an iPhone 14, iPhone owners can still get the feeling of owning a new smartphone.

The reimagined Lock Screen in iOS 16 offers several new features, which compliments Apple’s decision to introduce an Always-on display on iPhone 14 Pro. Now users can glance at photos and widgets that offer helpful info while on the go.

Apple launched iOS 16 on Monday, delivering a suite of new features to most iPhones. The timing of iOS 16's launch was revealed last Wednesday along with the iPhone 14.

Preorders for the iPhone kicked off last Friday. The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will hit stores Sept. 16. The iPhone 14 Plus will launch next month.

Prices for iPhone 14 start at $799, topped by the iPhone 14 Pro Max at $1,099.

Here's everything you should know about the arrival of iOS 16.

Some Wisconsin quarters have an error

The rare coins could sell for far beyond 25 cents.

More than 17 years later, the revelation that some Wisconsin state quarters have a flaw (and could be worth more than 25 cents) has begun to make the rounds, thanks to a TikTok video.

Yellow circles indicate where the extra leaf flaw appears on some Wisconsin quarters. At top is the correct version.

The TikTok account @coinhub posted a video this week that points out the particular discrepancy in the design on the back of the coin, which shows an ear of corn alongside a cow and a wheel of cheese (obviously).

The flaw is almost unnoticeable: An extra leaf extends from the corn husk, in one of two variations.

The video points out that versions of the flawed coin have sold for in excess of $2,000.

But don't get too excited. When first wrote about this in 2011, most were fetching in the neighborhood of $500. CoinTrackers sets the expectations at around $250-$300.