Social Security Ups and Downs

New for 2012 Social Security recipients will be receiving more money in 2012, thanks to a 3.6% cost-of-living adjustment. This is the first boost in payments since 2009, when the increase was 5.8%. The maximum Social Security benefit for workers retiring at full retirement age is $2,513 per month, compared with $2,366 in 2011, although the average monthly benefit for all workers is 1,229, an increase of $43. The COLA means that workers will continue paying into the system until earnings reach $110,100, an increase over this year’s limit of $106,800. Social Security recipients under age 66 who continue working will lose $1 of benefits for every $2 of earned income over $14,640 in 2012. In 2011, the earnings limit is $14,160.