Question: Because of financial considerations, I had to take early retirement at age 62. My monthly Social Security benefit is $1,170. I was born in 1950 and my full retirement age is 66. If I had been able to wait until 66, it would have been about $1,600 per month, and at 70 about $2,100 per month. The problem is that my net amount hasn't gone up in three years. If there is any increase at all, it's offset by the same amount for Medicare Plan B. Any light you can share would be welcome.

Answer: Andy Landis, founder of Thinking Retirement, says, "Sorry you're feeling 'stuck' with Medicare increases gobbling up your Social Security raises. Here's the deal: By law, your payment can't decrease because of Medicare costs. The 'glass half-full' view is that your Social Security is covering your rising Medicare costs."

In addition, Landis notes that for most people, their Social Security goes up more than the Medicare premium, so they get a net raise.

Read about your Medicare Part B costs

Read about the hold-harmless provision for increases in Part B premiums

Read about Social Security and cost-of-living adjustments

Cathy Gearig, a CFP with LifePlan Financial Advisory Group, LLC, also acknowledges your frustration. "Sadly, this is a trend I expect will continue," she says.

Healthcare costs are continuing to rise at a higher rate than normal inflation and the reality is more individuals are experiencing increases in both premiums and out-of-pocket costs in the individual, employer, retiree, and Medicare arenas, Gearig says. In her financial planning practice, she starts the retirement healthcare cost discussion early with her clients. The longer they have to plan, the better.

She notes that Medicare Plan B premiums are now based on income, so the wealthier retirees are paying a greater amount. While this doesn't solve the issue, it makes some feel there is an attempt at equality.

Boomers represent a huge percent of our population, Gearig says. "Perhaps you should try and engage a bigger voice, such as the AARP, on the issue. There is more potential to get the attention of the representatives. Squawk, and squawk loud!"

Healthcare is certainly not a fun way to spend money. And the net effect on people on a fixed income has long-term consequences, Gearig said. There needs to be more awareness.

Question: Because of financial considerations, I had to take early retirement at age 62. My monthly Social Security benefit is $1,170. I was born in 1950 and my full retirement age is 66. If I had been able to wait until 66, it would have been about $1,600 per month, and at 70 about $2,100 per month. The problem is that my net amount hasn't gone up in three years. If there is any increase at all, it's offset by the same amount for Medicare Plan B. Any light you can share would be welcome.

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