The average Social Security retirement benefit payment is $1,613.77 per month. In most parts of the country, it isn’t enough to get by, but Social Security was never intended to be a retiree’s entire source of income.
However, for many seniors, Social Security is just that, with certain states’ costs of living not being covered.
If Social Security is your primary source of income, you might be able to get by in the cheaper 35 states, but GOBankingRates discovered 15 areas that retirees can cross off their list.
Here are the states where a Social Security payment alone isn’t enough to cover the bills, in order from best to worst.
New Hampshire is a state in the United States
109.9 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,209
The Laconia Daily Sun reported near the end of 2021 that retiring in New Hampshire costs an average of $1,180,933. Because of New Hampshire’s high cost of living, that’s $60,500 more than the average 65-year-old would spend.
127.1 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,100
The cost of life in Alaska, which is remote and import-dependent, is notoriously high. However, housing isn’t a significant factor. According to Zillow, the average property value in the state is around $311,000, compared to almost $326,000 countrywide.
Index of living costs: 101.8
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,344
Although the state provides substantial tax benefits to seniors, Kiplinger claims that Virginia is an unpleasant area to try to stretch a Social Security check — but that depends on where you live.
Northern Virginia’s crowded and expensive areas, particularly the D.C. Metro, push up the state’s average cost of living; instead, visit the Shenandoah Valley.
107.9 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,307
Because of its miles of beaches and closeness to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York, tiny Delaware has long been a retirement destination.
It’s not a place where you’d want to live on a fixed income, but the lack of a sales tax, together with all that coastline, is a significant lure.
105.3 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,341
Housing is one of the most significant costs for retirees and others living in Colorado. The average house there now costs over $545,000.
Index of living costs: 130.1
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,114
According to SoFi, the population of Oregon has increased by more than 10% in the recent decade. However, the state still has fewer than 1.81 million housing units, which explains much of the state’s high cost of living.
Cost of living index: 100.3
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,434 in January 2022
For centuries, Florida has been America’s top retirement destination, but life there isn’t cheap. There are obviously less expensive retirement options, but not in America’s most desirable seaside destinations.
In fact, retiring on the California or Hawaii coasts will set you back far more.
121.6 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,242
Everything costs more in Connecticut, which is routinely one of the most expensive states in the US. Groceries, transportation, and healthcare are all included, but housing and utilities are the big killers.
a cost-of-living index is 111.6
The average one-bedroom rent of $1,376 in January 2022
Washington’s utilities are far less expensive than the rest of the country. However, pensioners and other residents will pay more than the national average in every major cost-of-living category.
124.0 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,397
Only a few states have housing costs that are higher than Maryland. Only healthcare is much less expensive than the national average.
New Jersey (NJ)
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,490 in January 2022, according to the cost-of-living index
In New Jersey, nearly everything is more expensive than the national average, but the most harmful hidden expense is the state’s notoriously high taxes, particularly property taxes.
- In 2022, What Can We Expect From Social Security?
- Can You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits for the Rest of Your Life?
- How to Get an Extra $800 in Social Security Benefits!
According to Bloomberg, residents of the state will pay nearly $1 million in taxes during their lifetimes, or $932,000 to be exact. This is greater than any other state’s residents.
135.0 cost-of-living index
The average one-bedroom rent in January 2022 is $1,385
Only four states have greater housing costs than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Everything in the notoriously costly New England state is more expensive than usual, including housing, groceries, healthcare, and incidental expenses.
New York City
Cost-of-living index: 148.2
January 2022 average one-bedroom rent: $1,588
The cost of housing in New York is a stunning 230.1 on the cost-of-living index, with the national baseline set at 100.0. Healthcare is just slightly above average, and utilities are really below average, but everything else in New York is more expensive.
a cost-of-living index is 142.2
with an average one-bedroom rent of $1,652 in January 2022
California has gained a reputation as a high-cost, high-tax retirement haven, with a housing index above 200 and above-average costs in every major cost-of-living category.
If you want to retire solely on Social Security, the California dream will most likely remain just that.
Cost of living index: 193.3
Average one-bedroom rent: $1,706 in January 2022
Hawaii, located in the Pacific Ocean between America’s West Coast and Asia’s the Far East, imports everything it can’t cultivate or make on its own from around the world.
It’s not cheap to retire in paradise. According to Zillow, the average home there now costs more than $800,000.