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

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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

HowMuch.net 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 Clark.com!

More money & retirement stories on Clark.com

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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