Small 2013 Social Security benefit increase likely

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by Laura Matovina

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Social Security recipients won't be getting big benefit increases next year, but the small raises they will get are playing an important role in helping seniors grow their incomes. This comes as younger workers lose ground.

Preliminary figures show the annual benefit boost will be between 1 and 2 percent, which would be among the lowest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. Monthly benefits for retired workers average $1,237, meaning the typical retiree can expect an extra $12 to $24 a month.

The size of the cost-of-living adjustment will be made official Tuesday, when the government releases inflation figures for September.

How important is that adjustment? From 2001 to 2011, household incomes in the U.S. dropped for every age group except one: those 65 and older.

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