The 22 Worst Big Cities to Live in if You Only Get Social Security!

Retirement can be a significant transition. It is not only a significant change in lifestyle, but it may also be a significant shift in income. In March 2022, for example, the average Social Security benefit for retired workers was $1,665.

Some people in the United States rely only on Social Security. To put it another way, someone receiving the average payment could be surviving on less than $20,000 per year.

High living costs are unlikely to be tolerated by retired workers, especially if they have little or no retirement funds. Cities having a high cost of living (CoL) should be avoided as a result.

We’ll look at the worst places for living on a Social Security check, focusing on data like one-bedroom apartment rent and the general cost of living.

Plano, Texas is number 22

109.3 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,483.

88 points for livability

Plano has a dense suburban feel to it, with a variety of eateries, coffee shops, and parks. It also has a high livability rating of 88.

Despite its amenities, Best Places gives it a CoL of 109.3, which is higher than the national average of 100. In Plano, a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,483, which eats up the majority of a normal Social Security payment.

Tampa, Florida is number twenty-one

Index of Living Costs: 100.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,472.

The score for livability: was 74

Tampa, with its laid-back vibe and beach lifestyle, may appeal to retirees searching for a comfortable place to call home. However, with a score of 74, the city isn’t quite as livable. In addition, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Plano is almost the same.

The one advantage of Tampa, at least in relation to its ranking on this list, is that its overall cost of living is nearly identical to the national average.

Austin, Texas is number 20

119.3 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,519 on average.

The score for Livability: was 72

In recent years, people have been migrating to towns like Austin in search of high-paying jobs. Austin, in particular, provides high-paying tech jobs in a less expensive location than San Francisco.

The 22 Worst Big Cities to Live in if You Only Get Social Security

All of those high-earners flocking to Austin, however, have pushed up the cost; one-bedroom rent is $1,519, and the city’s overall cost of living is ranked 119.3. In addition, the city isn’t extremely habitable, with a rating of 72.

Orlando, Florida is number 19 on the list

Index of Living Costs: 104.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,492.

69 points for livability

Orlando is a popular tourist destination since it is home to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” better known as Disney World. Of course, the city boasts hundreds of resort hotels, and visitors flock to the area because of the pleasant weather and sunny days.

However, with a score of 69, its livability leaves something to be desired. In addition, rent is approximately $1,500, and the CoL is 104.1, which is above average.

Miami, Florida is number 18 on the list

Index of Living Costs: 123.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,639 on average.

The score for livability: was 65

There are several reasons why Miami could seem like an excellent destination to move to, including its beaches, parks, and tropical weather.

While the benefits are undeniable, the drawbacks of the famed beach town cannot be overlooked, especially if you are on Social Security.

For instance, a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,639 per month, which is nearly the same as a regular Social Security payment. The city’s overall cost of living is over average, at 123, and it isn’t particularly livable, with a rating of 65.

Denver, Colorado is number seventeen

128.7 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,483.

63 points for livability

Denver is a bustling city with a thriving arts and culture scene as well as fantastic nightlife. Furthermore, the city might be viewed as a less expensive alternative to the more pricey West Coast.

However, Denver’s cost of living index is 128.7, making it less economical than one might hope. Furthermore, the livability score is a pitiful 63. However, rent is lower than in most of the cities that came before it.

San Diego, California is number sixteen

160.1 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,901.

The score for livability: was 71

San Diego is a lovely town. It not only has beautiful weather, but it also has beautiful Spanish and Victorian architecture.

The city’s pleasures, on the other hand, come at a price. Rent is a little over $1,900, with a cost of living index of 160.1, making it unaffordable for most Social Security claimants. It also doesn’t have the best livability rating, with a score of 71.

Chula Vista, California is number fifteen

147.1 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,693.

67 points for livability

Chula Vista is a suburb of San Diego, located to the south and directly on the San Diego Bay. More than 52 square miles of coastal beauty, canyons, rolling hills, mountains, quality parks, and miles of trails can be found throughout the city.

While Chula Vista is less expensive than San Diego, it is nonetheless expensive; a one-bedroom apartment costs $1,693. It’s also not particularly habitable, with a livability score of 67.

Jersey City, New Jersey is number fourteen

146.8 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,932.

69 points for livability

Jersey City, located directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan, is one option for individuals who can’t afford Manhattan rent.

However, at nearly $1,900 per month, rent in Jersey City remains costly, and the general cost of living isn’t any better. Furthermore, the livability score is only 69.

Seattle, Washington is number thirteen

Index of Living Costs: 172.3

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,681.

The score for livability: was 65

Seattle, which is home to corporations like Starbucks and Amazon, is a huge magnet for those looking for high-paying work. Seattle, on the other hand, is a city you might want to avoid if you’re on Social Security.

Even while rent isn’t the most expensive item on our list, it still eats up the majority of the average Social Security check. Overall, the city is pricey, with a livability score of only 65.

Irvine, California is number twelve

Index of Living Costs: 187.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $2,846.

The score for Livability: is 80

Irvine is in Orange County, about an hour’s drive southeast of Los Angeles. Despite its distance from the city, Irvine is a pleasant place to live, with plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

The 22 Worst Big Cities to Live in if You Only Get Social Security

However, at 187.1, the cost of living is extremely high. The one-bedroom rent is almost $2,800, making it the most expensive on the list.

Anaheim, California (#11)

Index of Living Costs: 152.2

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,794.

62 points for livability

Anaheim is part of the Greater Los Angeles metro area and is located southeast of Los Angeles. The city is primarily known for being the home of Disneyland, but it also has a plethora of bars and eateries.

Unfortunately, it does not have the finest livability ranking, and both rent and the overall cost of living are high.

Riverside, California is number ten

Index of Living Costs: 133.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,720.

59 points for livability

Riverside, like Los Angeles, is not far away, however it is much closer to San Bernardino. It has most of the amenities of a typical suburban neighborhood, such as coffee shops and parks.

Rent isn’t too bad at $1,720 on average, and the cost of living isn’t too bad at 133.1.

However, we’re entering terrain with extremely poor livability rankings – it only receives a 59 in this category.

Long Beach, California is number nine

160.4 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,593.

59 points for livability

Long Beach is also in close proximity to Los Angeles. In fact, if you take I-710, you can be in Los Angeles in just 40 minutes (traffic permitting). The city is situated right on the water, with a long beach, as its name suggests.

While rent is far less expensive than in Los Angeles, a one-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,600. The overall CoL is 160.4, while the city has a score of 59, which indicates that it is not very livable.

New York City, New York is number eight

Index of Living Costs: 187.2

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $2,068.

67 points for livability

New York is known as “The City That Never Sleeps” because there is always something to do. Perhaps more importantly, the city’s diversity and vibrancy ensure that there is something for everyone.

The one-bedroom rent, on the other hand, is over $2,000 per month, making it unaffordable for individuals on Social Security. The overall cost of living is 187.2, with a livability rating of only 67.

San Jose, California is number seven

Index of Living Costs: 214.5

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $2,004.

67 points for livability

San Jose, also in the Bay Area, could provide a welcome respite from San Francisco’s exorbitant real estate prices.

San Jose’s rent is still over $2,000, despite the city’s beauty. In addition, the overall cost of living is about 215 dollars. Livability is comparable to that of New York, which scored 67.

Washington, D.C. is number six

Index of Living Costs: 152.1

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 will be $1,786 on average.

The score for livability: was 56

Washington, D.C., as the nation’s capital, is a popular destination for visitors and residents alike. D.C. has a lot to offer, whether it’s a tour of the White House or a stroll down the National Mall.

After the novelty wears off, though, you have a livability score of only 56. Rent is expensive, at about $1,750 per month, and the CoL is rated 152.1.

Boston, Massachusetts is number five

162.4 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 will be $2,016 on average.

59 points for livability

Boston features some of America’s most interesting history, not to mention famous universities like Harvard and Boston University.

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The city, however, is not exceptionally habitable, receiving a score of 59. Furthermore, one-bedroom rent is over $2,000 per month, with an overall cost of living rating of 162.4.

Santa Ana, California is number four

146.3 on the Cost of Living Index

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,795 on average.

The score for Livability: 54

Santa Ana is a city in Orange County, about south of Anaheim. The city does have easy access to beautiful beaches, and the cost of living is lower than in the surrounding area.

Even yet, a one-bedroom apartment costs approximately $1,800 per month, and the overall cost of living is 146.3. Worst of all, the livability score is only 54, which is far from ideal.

Oakland, California is number three

Index of Living Costs: 174.4

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $1,653.

The score for Livability: 53

Oakland, located directly across the bay from San Francisco, provides another affordable option to the city’s exorbitant rents. There are numerous shops and restaurants, and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system serves Oakland.

Nonetheless, it has a livability score of 53, which is dead bottom among the cities on our list. At 174.4, the overall cost of living is still high.

Los Angeles, California is number two

Index of Living Costs: 173.3

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 will be $1,756 on average.

The score for Livability: 54

We’ve looked at a lot of the cities in the Los Angeles area, and now it’s time to look at the big metropolis itself. Needless to say, there are so many things to do in the city that you’ll never be bored.

However, public transportation is in short supply, and traffic is a nightmare. That could account for its low livability rating of 54. While rent is expensive for someone on Social Security, it is not as expensive as some of the other options on this list. Despite this, the overall CoL is 173.3.

San Francisco, California is number one

Index of Living Costs: 269.3

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in 2022 is expected to be $2,360.

67 points for livability

We’ve also looked at neighborhoods in the San Francisco area, and now San Francisco itself has been ranked as the worst city for those living solely on Social Security. San Francisco is unquestionably gorgeous, but it is also one of the most costly cities in the United States to live in.

It has the highest cost of living index ranking on this list, with a score of 269.3. Keep in mind that San Jose, which is part of the Bay Area, is ranked second in terms of CoL. The rent for a one-bedroom is approximately $2,400, while the livability score is only 67.

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