- 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.
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.
Median rent: $1,047
Total monthly expenses: $1,614.53
Median rent: $1,142
Overall monthly expenses: $1,516.38
Median rent: $1,079
Overall monthly expenses: $1,568.54
Median rent: $1,039
Overall monthly expenses: $1,607.14
Median rent: $1,034
Overall monthly expenses: $1,607.01
Median rent: $1,053
Overall monthly expenses: $1,508.14
Median rent: $993
Overall monthly expenses: $1,545.72
Median rent: $939
Overall monthly expenses: $1,551.53
2. West Virginia
Median rent: $888
Overall monthly expenses: $1,563.36
Median rent: $949
Overall monthly expenses: $1,497.86
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