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Here's where you want to reside if you plan to live off your Social Security benefits

Key Points
  • Average monthly Social Security benefits currently total $1,295.08.
  • While living off those checks can be a challenge, there are states where that income will stretch farther than others.
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If you plan to live off your Social Security checks, you may want to consider relocating to a state where you will get more for your money.

Personal finance website GOBankingRates ranked which states are most affordable based on average monthly benefits — $1,295.08 — and the overall cost of living in each state. That includes rent, groceries, utilities, transportation and health care.

The data include all Social Security benefits, including retirement, disability and spousal and family benefits.

Even for the best states, the ranking highlights how difficult it is to live off Social Security benefits alone, said Andrew DePietro, content strategist at GOBankingRates.

For retirees, that means it may make more sense to delay collecting benefits from age 62, when you are first eligible, until full retirement age and even up to age 70, when you stand to get the biggest benefit.

"It's a delaying game, because it's not going to be enough," DePietro said.

Here are the states that ranked highest, plus how much rent and total monthly expenses will typically cost you.

10. Iowa

Median rent: $1,047

Total monthly expenses: $1,614.53

Nashville, Tennessee
Donald Miralle

9. Tennessee

Median rent: $1,142

Overall monthly expenses: $1,516.38

Kentucky Countryside
Getty Images

8. Kentucky

Median rent: $1,079

Overall monthly expenses: $1,568.54

Kansas City, Missouri
Andrew Rich | Getty Images

7. Kansas

Median rent: $1,039

Overall monthly expenses: $1,607.14

Christian Heeb/Getty Images

6. Missouri

Median rent: $1,034

Overall monthly expenses: $1,607.01

Lucas Payne | Getty Images

5. Mississippi

Median rent: $1,053

Overall monthly expenses: $1,508.14

Huntsville, Alabama
Traveler1116 | Getty Images

4. Alabama

Median rent: $993

Overall monthly expenses: $1,545.72

Oklahoma City, OK.
Ray Hendley | Getty Images

3. Oklahoma

Median rent: $939

Overall monthly expenses: $1,551.53

I-64, Charleston, West Virginia.
Walter Bibikow | Photolibrary | Getty Images

2. West Virginia

Median rent: $888

Overall monthly expenses: $1,563.36

Little Rock, Arkansas
CWells Photography | Flickr | Getty Images

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