If you aren't already receiving Social Security checks each month, you may want to bypass this week's column. If you are receiving such payments or will be in the near future, or simply want to know what's going on and what it may mean for you in the future, then read on.  But, I caution you, it may get depressing.

Starting in January of next year, some 47 million Americans will see a 2.7 percent increase in their Social Security checks, which translates to about $25 per month more on average. Not exactly the start of an empire but although it's better than nothing, consider that at the same time a lot of that increase will be offset by higher Medicare premiums.

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