No Social Security COLA increase for 2010

If investors need another sign of the changed economic landscape, they need look no further than Social Security.

For the first time in more than three decades Social Security recipients will not receive a benefit increase, formally known as a cost of living adjustment (COLA), in 2010, federal forecasts show, The New York Times reports.

COLA is determined by a formula set by federal law, and it roughly parallels the consumer price index, though the two formulas are not identical. Senior citizens can get a ballpark estimate of their likely annual benefit increase from the consumer price index's rise.