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10 Worst States to Live on Social Security Check Alone

Destinations To Retire Social Security
Photo by Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko at Shutterstock

Are you intent on living on Social Security? These states aren’t suitable for this choice! 

The average Social Security retirement benefit payout is $1,613.77 per month. That’s not enough to live on in most parts of the United States, but Social Security was never intended to be a retiree’s primary source of income.

However, for many retirees, Social Security only serves as a supplement to their income, as it does not cover the expenses of living in some states.

You want to be comfortable wherever you spend your golden years, no matter your plans.

Location is essential, and aspects such as the cost of living, access to health care, retirement savings, as well as the local lifestyle may make or break your decision regarding where to live.

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40 Responses

  1. I live in New Jersey and having travel to other states for work and vacation, I have found that I would rather retire than live in other state. Reason some of the places I visited have no sense of community, lack of public transportation, it is difficult if you don’t have a car it becomes very depressing because people are not friendly. Living NJ I have access to public transportation easy access to New York for dinner or the theatre if I choose. There are malls in NJ where the seniors have access to every morning for exercising before the crowd so many things to do.

    1. I currently live in NJ. Left for 27 years and then returned for family reasons but since I’m now in my early 60s and live in Essex County, I’ve come to the realization that if I want to have any type of life once I retire, I’ll definitely be leaving NJ. Living on my own and not having another income to rely on, there’s no way I can afford to stay here. Yes, it’s nice to have easy access to NYC and all it offers doesn’t mean much if you don’t have the $$ to enjoy it properly. Essex County is totally ridiculous when it comes to the cost of homes and if you’re fortunate enough to find something affordable the taxes will do you in!

  2. Wouldn’t live in any of these states anyway! MS maybe far behind in a lot of areas but nothing like the country life! Rather be in a small town than a big city.

  3. This survey is misleading listing Colorado as an undesirable state to retire in. Taxes are very low compared to states like Illinois. We find Colorado a much better state in all aspects including snow fall. This issue is primarily confined to higher elevations Not in valleys like Grand Junction. The only drawback right now in Colorado is housing availability

  4. What a surprise. All 10 are left leaning states. Lol. The ones that claim to care about the middle class and retirees.


  6. I am surprised that Georgia is not listed. I am a combat disabled veteran living off of 2300.00 a month in a low-end trailer. I have to get my VA medication from the VA & I have to decide whether to eat or take medication or pay off 170K in school loans. How do you do that?

    1. Candi, you have my empathy – particularly regarding the school loans. As a DV I’m surprised you did not opt for retraining under the VA rehab program. It all depends upon the level of your disability.
      Use the VFW to seek an increase.

    2. If it is true that migrants get free college eduction then why should you pay 😡!!!!!.
      Send them 5 bucks a month. You served our country and your education should be payed for, not illegal aliens!!!!
      Thank you for your service.

    3. If it is true that migrants get free college eduction then why should you pay 😡!!!!!.
      Send them 5 bucks a month. You served our country and your education should be payed for, not illegal aliens!!!!
      Thank you for your service.

    1. No, what they have in common are a higher cost of living because of housing BECAUSE so many people want to live there. Spent 20 yrs in CA and would go back if I could afford it!!

  7. It is time for everybody to consider remaining employed to pay for their increasing living expenses. They will be known as Pensioned Employees.

  8. This article has a few statistical facts about each state. However, it makes broad generalizations about several and bases them often on the major city or a particular region within rather than the state as a whole. For instance, the article states about New York, the state, that there are no “calming green-areas, obviously referencing New York City. First of all, if talking about the state, you have some of the most beautiful mountain and lake regions in upstate New York as you are likely to find anywhere. But even in NYC that statement belies the fact that the city has several oases of peace and relaxation in the heart of the bustling urban landscape; how can one forget Central Park in the middle of and surrounded by the noise and smells of the city. This landmark urban space offers a plethora of diverse flora, the soothing ambience of a lake, and countless other natural settings that offer respite, if only for a moment, from the hectic pace of Metropolis. There’s also Riverside Park on the Upper Westside, the broad expanse of Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, Flushing Meadow in Queens Park, and Freshkiils and Barrett Parks in Staten Island. So even the often maligned New York City has magnificent greenspace. The downside is the high cost of living. Yet, there are many places upstate where the cost of living is relatively Inexpensive and that offer the benefit of small city or rural living. The diversity is there if you do your own research.

  9. none of these states listed are on my possible list of states to retire. I’ve lived in Alaska, and without a dam good paying job, the average person must do more to survive. It is a beautiful state, but when you live there, there are few options without having a healthy salary, you are isolated. Crime is high in part due to the amount of isolation one endures during the winter, “cabin fever” sets in and crime against society increases. Alcoholism is high among the eskimo natives. Everything is expensive because everything has to be imported either internationally or domestically.

  10. People that have been working there life time
    In the USA paying taxes and SS insurance and
    Insurance is not paying back,
    Is that what we said to society and the other
    Countries or the rest of world, that America is
    Only, Fair: that’s to be democratic.!!!

  11. I live in Minnesota, surprised it wasnt up there. They finally passed a bill to exempt SS income, but only if your total income meets fairly low limits. Other retirement income is taxed at the going rate. Cost of living is high and the weather sucks 6 months of the year. Only real positive is relatively good medical care, but wait times to get treatment can be very long.

    1. Wait times for medical care are a long wait everywhere. We are an aging society. You get old and the machinery begins to function poorly. Yet, those who care for us overall are caring and capable. Not all of them, but for the most part. (wink)

  12. Blue states my ass 10 largest cities in the U.S. all run by liberals for the last 50 yrs Have worst crime most welfare and are all in debt to no end But keep voting demacrat because they promise the you the world also in blue states

    1. I totally disagree with this statement… The red states are by far the best states to live in… The blue states are filled with crime and debauchery… I can’t even imagine anyone wanting to live in a blue state. I do live in California now, but I live in a red zone and I’m telling you when you’re not in the red zone, you’re in with a bunch of street people and crime… Just saying

  13. This is a right wing site. Whole lotta BS, just like Fox “News”- can’t believe any of it! I don’t know why they’re sending me their crap emails…

  14. Concerning social security, if you wait until 70 to take it, the value increases by 8% a year. I waited and my SS is almost $5K a month. But I also have a pension and 401K/IRA plus personal investments.

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