What, exactly, does "cost of living" mean — and how is it calculated?

May 28, 2024
There are many different metrics out there that may not be entirely applicable across locales.
Some employers use cost of living calculations to set salaries and benefits or to decide  whether to expand into a new area.
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AARP poll shows women 50 and over fear for their financial security. And they vote.

Feb 23, 2024
AARP found that they're the biggest swing voting block in the upcoming election: more than 60 million strong.
A recent AARP survey found that more than eight in 10 women age 50 and up want paid family leave for caregivers.
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More than 20 states ring in the new year with a higher minimum wage

Jan 1, 2024
The highest state minimum wages as of Jan. 1, 2024 will be Washington state at $16.28 and California at $16. But is that really enough to live on?
 A nationwide livable wage would be close to $25 an hour, says Amy Glasmeier, a professor of economic geography at MIT.
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As inflation moderates, so does Social Security's cost-of-living adjustment

Sep 14, 2023
The 2024 cost-of-living adjustment comes out to 3.2%, a pretty modest amount compared to past years.
The annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, is automatic and meant to stabilize the purchasing power of Social Security benefits.
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What is the cost of the American dream in different parts of the U.S.?

Jul 17, 2023
We looked at the cost of big-ticket items and expenses, including a house, a car and raising two children, in four different states: California, Michigan, Georgia and South Dakota.
A view of a house in a suburban area in the middle of the 20th century. For many Americans, housing has become unaffordable.
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Minimum wage gets a mini increase in some states

Jul 7, 2023
The federal minimum wage has been the same since 2009: $7.25 an hour.
Wage increases, even small ones, can be very impactful for low wage workers dealing with inflation.
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Western resort towns see record-breaking real estate prices — and housing woes

Mar 6, 2023
More wealthy people are moving to mountain communities, pushing up home values and pushing out some local workers.
Ariel Kazunas says she’s dealt with unstable housing for most of the decade she's lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For one season, she lived out of a vehicle.
Courtesy Joey Sackett

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Devonte and Cassie Bradford with their three kids, Damari, Kendrix and Jaylee.
Courtesy Bradford family

Will “wonky” fruit and vegetables help alleviate the U.K.’s cost of living crisis?

Nov 23, 2022
Historically, British supermarkets have rejected all imperfect produce, but that’s changing fast under pressure from rising food prices.
Ugly produce sales have been on the rise as the cost of living in the U.K. gets more expensive.
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For Social Security recipients, "there’s no keeping up" with rising costs

Aug 15, 2022
The program is expected to provide a large benefits increase in 2023. Until then, many on fixed incomes have to tighten their budgets.
Marketplace Senior Economics Contributor Chris Farrell outlines the benefits of this month's boost to government retiree benefits.
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