HOUSTON - Seniors are getting a boost: the largest increase in Social Security in 40 years.
Seniors and people with disabilities will get a 5.9% increase in their Social Security checks in 2022. Retirees receive an average of $1,565 a month. This bump will add $92, increasing the average total to $1,657.
For seniors, it's a welcome raise. But many also say it's still tough to make ends meet on Social Security alone.
"Taking care of a house is a lot. I had to have a lot of maintenance on my house. It seemed everything started to fall at one time. I had to get a new furnace," said senior Linda Scurlock.
Scurlock says she lives on Social Security and her teacher's pension.
"I pinch pennies, I do coupons," she said.
It's an effort made tougher by inflation on groceries, gas, and higher utility bills.
"You pinch pennies wherever you can. As I said the water bill, Houston went up on the water bills," said Spurlock.
The Consumer Price Index was up 5.9% annually in September. The 5.9% boost to Social Security is meant to help offset that.
"Well, I got $95 more to spend. As I said, gas is up, I can see that," she told us.
The premium for Medicare Part B is projected to rise $10 to $158.50 a month, eating 11% of the increase in Social Security.
"When you are on a fixed income, that does not mean the costs around you are fixed. So we have to make sure cost of living adjustments are up to par," said former City Councilmember Amanda Edwards.
Scurlock says the extra $95 will help, but times will still be tight for many seniors.
"Those that only received Social Security, they’re going to have it hard, have it hard," said Scurlock.
Edwards is hosting her fourth annual seniors conference, The Empowered You: Texas Senior Citizens Conference, with AARP, on Thursday, October 14. The conference will feature inspirational speakers, information for seniors, home-delivered lunch and goodie bags, and activities.
"The goal is for seniors to have a place where they have a one-stop-shop for informative engagement and inspiration, empowerment of a variety of sorts," said Edwards.
The conference is virtual and runs from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Seniors can register through this link.
Those without internet can register to attend via tele-townhall here.