The States With the Best (and Worst) Social Security Checks

20. Wyoming

Did you know that Wyoming is the least populous state in the country, even though it’s the 10th largest by area? Here, 85,085 seniors benefit from the Social Security program. In 2020 they received a monthly check of $1,555.76 on average ($18,669.09 for the whole year).

In 2021 expect a little more! Over the following 12 months, you’ll see $18,912 added to your pockets- that’s give or take $1,575.98 per month.

19. Illinois

Compared to our earlier listing, Wyoming, Illinois has a whole lot more retirees. In fact, 1.63 million seniors have received around  $1,556.74 per month in the Prairie State. For the whole year that comes up to $18,680.83

Think about your expenses during retirement, especially medical expenses as these usually go up as we age. Do you think your social security will be enough to cover them? What about emergencies? If not, as is usually the case, it’s important to think about other forms of saving money.

In 2021, Illinois residents who are claiming benefits will get $18,924 for the whole year or $1576.97 a month.

18. Arizona

Here’s another state in which there are more than 1 million retired people claiming benefits- 1.04 million, to be exact!

All these lovely seniors, in 2020, got $18,716.66 in total. That means that the average check came up to $1,559.72 a month.

But in 2021 residents of the Grand Canyon State stand to receive $1,579.00 thanks to COLA, meaning that they’ll get $18,960 for the whole year. There are many seniors who wish to live here, especially active ones who would like to visit every inch of the Grand Canyon now that they have so much free time on their hands. Can we blame them? Never!

17. Rhode Island

Far fewer retirees are currently benefitting from Social Security in Rhode Island, only 160,706 as of 2020. This year the average annual total came up to $18,779.08- $1,564.92 a month.

Thanks to COLA, we’ve also reached the first state on our list in which retirees are said to receive over $19,000 ($19,023) in 2021! That’s $1,585.27 per month. Is that enough to live comfortably in the Ocean State? Talk to a financial adviser to find out and make changes to your budget now in order to achieve your retirement goals if you haven’t already!

16. Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, 923,461 retired workers brought an average of $1,569.55 a month back home in 2020-  $18,834.60 in total. Not too shabby! But thanks to adjusting costs, they’ll get even more in 2021- $19,079 for the whole year, $1,589.95 per month!

Do you plan on moving here? Apparently, you should be a fan of two things in order to fit in. Ice cream- a lot of ice cream! Around 21 million gallons of ice cream are consumed by Wisconsinites each year! Secondly, you should be comfortable with ghost neighbors as apparently there are more ghosts per square mile in the Badger State than any other state in the nation!

15. Utah

Beneficiaries in Utah get an average of $1,573.53 per month. It is also estimated that they will receive $18,882.40 for the entirety of 2020. As for 2021, estimates show that retirees who are claiming social security should expect around $1,593.99 per month and $19,128 in total.

But, keep in mind, if you live here you also have to pay up! Utah is yet another state in which your Social Security will be taxed, so you’ll have even less money to spend during retirement.

14. Virginia

As many as 1.11 million seniors are currently claiming Social Security benefits in the state of Virginia, also known as The Old Dominion. In 2020 we calculated an average of $1,578.22 per month, $18,938.68 in total.

Recipients should expect close to $1,598.74 per month in 2021, $19,185 in total.

Virginia has been on the forefront of eco-friendly travel for decades, so seniors who care deeply about the environment can do their part during retirement by also moving here and ensuring that their carbon footprint is as low as possible! Needless to say, if you’re a nature lover and like outdoor activities, Virginia is the place to be!

13. New York

In the home of the Big Apple, 2.60 million retirees collect benefits that are averaging $1,578.79 a month or $18,945.49 for the full year. In the Empire State, 2021 will bring retirees and estimated $19,192, $1,599.32 per month.

The first official Social Security number was issued in 1936. The recipient, John Sweeney Jr. of New Rochelle, New York was the proud owner of 055-09-0001!

Don’t share your Social Security Number with anyone! These few digits could stand in between you and a lifetime of financial horrors if it gets in the hands of the wrong people!

12. Kansas

Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore!

But, actually, Kansas is a pretty good state for retirees. Seniors in the Sunflower State have collected $18,982.61 in total in the year 2020, on average. So without any other savings set aside, they were expected to rely on less than $1,581.88 a month since the state also collects taxes on benefits.

In 2021 the average annual benefits will come to around $19,229 and $1,602.45 per month.

11. Massachusetts

In The Bay State, 901,679 seniors have received an annual average of $18,987.19 in 2020. In 2021 this figure is expected to jump to $19,234.

That means that while in 2020 retirees received $1,582.27 per month, next year they can expect $1,602.84 due to the 1.3% COLA increase.

It’s also likely a good destination for retirees who wish to move elsewhere for retirement as Massachusetts is the second best ranking in the nation when it comes to healthcare.

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