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Retirees say Social Security increase won't go very far

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some retirees living on Social Security benefits say they're less than impressed with the 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their benefits next year. It will mean an average increase of $19 a month.

The increase is among the smallest since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. It's based on a government measure of inflation for the past year.

One South Carolina man says the small increase will make it difficult to keep up with his wife's medical bills.  Michael Hartzog says, "We'll probably need to reduce our spending even more."

And retired office worker Lance Colvin in Kirkland, Wash., reacted to the increase with a sarcastic "Whoop-de-do."

Some advocates for older Americans complain that the COLA, as it's called, sometimes falls short, especially for people with high medical costs.

Nancy LeaMond of AARP says the 1.5 percent increase announced today "will quickly be consumed by the rising costs of basic needs like food, utilities and health care."