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

10. Pennsylvania

In 2021, seniors have the chance to receive $1,603.81 per month through their benefits, roughly $19,246 for that year.

In 2020, checks came in at an average $1,583.23 meaning that, in total, seniors will receive $18,998.77 over the course of the full year. Considering the fact that there are  2.01 million retirees in the Keystone State, these numbers aren’t all that bad!

9. Indiana

If you’re willing to downsize during retirement, you might also want to consider renting instead of buying a new property. Like this you are guaranteed to keep more money in your pockets for longer. This is especially important if your savings aren’t up to snuff and if you need the money from your former property to see you through the entirety of your retirement.

Indiana currently hosts 946,375 retirees who are benefitting from the Social Security Program. They receive somewhere in the ballpark of $1,587.15 per month, $19,045.83 for the full year.

In 2021 they are expected to get $19,293 or, more specifically, $1,607.79 per month, on average.

8. Minnesota

Sadly, the North Star State collects state income tax on Social Security, so if you’re going to retire here you have to make sure to supplement with extra savings to cover the gap.

In 2020, 784,382 seniors got $19,131.00 for the full year, coming down to $1,594.25 per month. However, in 2021 they will be entitled to around $19,380 or $1,614.98 per month.

7. Washington

1.01 beneficiaries in the Evergreen State got $19,297.61 through the program in 2020, but the 1.3% increase, based on the most recent calculations, will bump that amount up to $19,548. That means that while in 2020 monthly checks came to around $1,608.13, in 2021 you should expect $1,629.04.

Did you know that Washington is also one of 14 states with over 1 million beneficiaries? Such statistics might tip the scales if you ever want to move to a retiree-friendly state, especially if you’re looking for big, tight knit communities.

6. Michigan

Average annual benefits in 2020 in The Great Lakes State? Not too shabby! 1.54 million former workers will claim $19,397.18 per year, $1,616.43 per month.

Due to COLA, the same retirees and those who will start claiming benefits in 2021 can expect $1,637.44 per month and an annual benefit of $19,649.

Overall, Michigan is considered middle of the road, ranking 24th for healthcare according to a study by US News, yes also ranking 14 in terms of opportunity. That mans that if seniors want to start side gigs in order to fetch some more cash even during retirement, this is a good place to try.

5. Maryland

We’ve finally reached the top five! If you state hasn’t been on the list so far then you’re one of the lucky ones! In Maryland, 742,552 claim $1,624.37 in benefits on a monthly basis, meaning that for the entirety of the year 2020, they would claim $19,492 on average.

In 2021 the average annual benefit might be around $19,746, meaning that seniors will get around $1,645.49 per month.

But despite this, it’s practically common knowledge as of right now that retiring to Maryland might not be beneficial. The state doesn’t tax benefits but it does tax IRA distributions and some income from 401(k) plans and pensions.

The high cost of living is also something to watch out for!

4. New Hampshire

Studies suggest that New Hampshire, like Michigan, is another middle of the road pick for retirees who wish to relocate during their golden years. Overall, however, it’s probably one of the best places to live. US News ranked it as number 5 out of all 50 states. In terms of opportunity it’s the best place to live in the nation, and it’s also one of the most peaceful state as it also ranked number 1 in the Crime & Corrections category.

In 2020, 220,989 retirees would claim $19,733.04 for the year, $1,644.42 per month. In 2021 those numbers go up to  $19,990 and $1,665.80, respectively.

Here’s another fun fact. The lowest social security number ever issued, 001-01-0001, was given to Grace Owen of Concord, New Hampshire!

3. Delaware

There are fewer seniors in the first state- 162,952, in fact. For 2020, beneficiaries can expect an average total of $19,905.45. Divided by 12 months, that’s $1,658.79 per month compared to $1,607.79 per month and $20,164 in 2021.

Though the sights in Delaware are something to be marveled at, there aren’t many places to visit to begin with. Because of this the state ranked 47th in the natural environment category.

2. Connecticut

Though Connecticut is the last state on the list to tax Social Security benefits, the 512,703 who are currently claiming them do get pretty hefty checks on average. Take 2020, when it’s estimated that retirees will receive $20,223.45 ($1,685.29 per month) or 2021 when experts say they’ll get $20,486 ($1,707.20 per month).

Not only that but you’ll have plenty of places to visit, especially if you can’t stand the thought of not getting in touch with nature during your retirement. In terms of natural environment the Nutmeg State ranked 6th, For Crime & Corrections it ranked 7th and for Health Care it’s the third best state to live. On the other hand, keep in mind that Connecticut isn’t doing so well in terms of infrastructure.

1. New Jersey

We’ve finally travelled the entirety of the U.S. and reacted our final destination, the place where retirees are most likely to get more money from the Social Security program. Here, 1.2 million seniors claimed (or are still claiming depending on when you’re reading this) $20,273.09 for 2020, $1,689.42 per month.

For 2021 they can expect $20,537 or a monthly check of $1,711.39 due to COLA.

In terms of health care, crime and corrections, the Garden State is considered 6th in the nation. It’s the second best place in America for education, too, in case you’re thinking of going back to school or supporting a family member through college in this state.

But despite this amazing ranking, overall, New Jersey is not seen as a great place to live due to a low overall ranking in fiscal stability. It’s a bit of a double edged sword so make sure you do plenty of research on whether or not you’d like to spend your retirement years here.

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