Ask Larry

Are COLAs Reflected On My SS Statements?

I have planned to wait to take my Social Security benefits until I turned 70. I'll start taking benefits on 6/1/23, but I'm thinking I might accelerate that date to 12/1/22. I looked at my SS statement and if I take the amount projected in December my benefit would increase by $265 in January, due to the 8.7% COLA. If I wait until June the SSS statement change is just $79. Seems like I would be missing out on $186/mo.
I understand that starting at age 62 the SSA starts keeping track of COLAs for those that wait to take their benefits. Here are my questions.
Are those COLAs reflected on my SS statements? It doesn't appear that they do.
How and when are those COLAs applied?
I run my own speadsheet to track my benefits and would like add the COLA adjustments to see if I should wait until 6/1/23 to take my SS benefits.
I know this is late in the game to ask this question, but . . . Thanks for any help that you can provide. Another Larry

Hi Larry. My understanding is that Social Security statements reflect all past COLAs but no future projected COLAs. I don't know when they will update statements to include the upcoming 8.7% COLA, assuming it hasn't already been done. If you have questions about what's shown on your Social Security statements, you'll need to check with Social Security.

What I can tell you for sure is that you don't need to start drawing your benefits early in order to receive credit for the upcoming 8.7% cost of living (COLA) increase. Social Security COLAs are added to the Social Security retirement benefit rates of all people who have reached age 62, regardless of whether or not they have started drawing benefits. Thus, everyone born prior to January 2 1961 will have the 8.7% COLA added to their Social Security retirement benefit rates, even if they haven't yet applied for benefits.

Annual Social Security COLAs become effective with the December Social Security benefits that are paid in January.

You should strongly consider using our software ( to fully compare and analyze all of your options so that you can determine your best strategy for maximizing your benefits. The software includes a Social Security benefit calculator that would allow you to determine your correct benefit rates.

Best, Jerry

Nov 3 2022 - 3:56pm
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