Here’s how much of your monthly expenses Social Security will cover in all 50 states

United States Treasury check
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Will Social Security meet your monthly living costs in retirement? That depends on where you live…

RELATED: AARP’s free Social Security calculator helps you maximize your benefits

See how far your Social Security check will stretch each month recently took a look at how far a Social Security check will go to meet monthly expenses including median rent, average grocery bills, utilities, transportation and healthcare costs.

For the purposes of their investigation, they used $1,295 as the average monthly Social Security benefit. However, it is worth pointing out that the current average benefit for retired workers is $1,413, according to the Social Security Administration.

Regardless of what number you use, it doesn’t go very far except for in a handful of states…

Top 10 states where Social Security covers the least amount of living costs

State of residence Percent of living expenses covered by monthly check
Hawaii 26.7%
Washington, D.C. 28.8%
California 29.1%
Massachusetts 31.6%
Alaska 32.1%
New York 34.2%
New Jersey 34.2%
Connecticut 35.4%
Washington 35.4%
New Hampshire 36.0%

Top 10 states where Social Security covers the greatest amount of living costs

State of residence Percent of living expenses covered by monthly check
Arkansas 52.9%
West Virginia 52.8%
Oklahoma 52%
Alabama 51%
Mississippi 50.6%
Missouri 49%
Kansas 48.9%
Tennessee 48.7%
Iowa 48.7%
Michigan 48.5%

It’s interesting to note that there is only a handful of states — Arkansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi — where you can expect Social Security to pay even half of your expenses.

You can see the full list and find your state here.

This is a wake-up call for future Social Security recipients

More than four out of 10 older people rely on Social Security for 90% or more of their monthly income.

There are several ways your check can actually grow in retirement, but most people will probably want to maintain a higher standard of living than $1,295 or even $1,404 can deliver.

Fortunately, there are ways to save money for the future — no matter what your income level is today.


For example, did you know that low-to-moderate income earners can get up to $1,000 as a reward for saving money through a little-known IRS program? Check it out right here on!

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