Aarp Best Places To Retire On Social Security


How Do I Calculate My Social Security Benefits

9 Countries to Retire on a Small Pension, Social Security, or With Very Little Money

Your Social Security benefits are based on your highest-earning 35 years of work and the age at which you choose to begin accepting benefits. It’s not very simple to determine the formula for calculating your monthly payment, though. The easiest way to calculate your potential benefits is to use one of the Social Security Administration’s benefits calculators. You can input your basic information or create an account and get benefit estimates for each year from age 62 to 70 so you can decide when to retire.

Activities Total Points: 25

  • Recreation & Senior Centers per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Fishing Facilities per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Public & Municipal Golf Courses per Capita*: Full Weight Note: This metric refers to public and municipal golf courses within 10 miles of city center.
  • Museums per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Theaters per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Art Galleries per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Book Clubs per Capita*: Half Weight
  • Music Venues per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Bingo Halls per Capita*: Full Weight
  • Availability of Adult Volunteer Activities: Full Weight
  • Recreation-Friendliness: Full Weight
  • Note: This metric is based on WalletHubs States with the Best Elder-Abuse Protections ranking.
  • Violent-Crime Rate: Full Weight
  • Property Crime Rate: Full Weight
  • Air Quality: Full Weight
  • Water Quality: Full Weight Note: This metric measures the number of drinking water violations from Community Water Systems per 100,000 Residents.

When It Pays To Delay Benefits

For many older adults, claiming Social Security early is a smart move. But it won’t be the right strategy for everyone, and there are a few scenarios where delaying benefits could be a better option:

  • You need the monthly income: By waiting until age 70 to file, you could earn up to 32% extra each month on top of your full benefit amount. That could add up to several hundred dollars per month, and for some retirees, that money can be a game changer. Even though you should receive the same total benefits regardless of the age you claim, delaying benefits can significantly increase your monthly income.
  • You expect to live a longer-than-average life span: If you believe you’ll live into your mid-80s or beyond, you could collect tens of thousands of dollars more over a lifetime if you delay benefits. This could be especially important if your retirement fund eventually runs dry and you’re left depending on your benefits as your sole source of income.
  • You expect your spouse to outlive you: Again, this isn’t the most pleasant topic to think about. But if you’re married and one of you passes away, the surviving spouse could be entitled to the deceased person’s entire benefit amount in survivors benefits. If you believe you may pass before your spouse, waiting until age 70 could result in your partner receiving a larger benefit amount.

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Best States To Retire

Retirement might be the end of your career, but it doesnt have to be the end of financial security or life satisfaction. Retirement generally coincides with the age at which we may receive Social Security or pension benefits. However, not everyone can retire when they want to. In fact, 27% of non-retired adults havent saved any money for retirement, though not necessarily through any fault of their own.

But in addition to when to retire, a good question to ask is where. Finding the best states to retire can be difficult without doing lots of research. Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover all of their living expenses. Social Security benefits increase with local inflation, but they replace only about 40% of the average workers earnings.

If retirement is still a big question mark for you because of finances, consider relocating to a state that lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change. To determine the best states to retire, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 47 key indicators of retirement-friendliness. Our analysis examines affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life.

34 28

Note: With the exception of Total Score, all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Pueblo Colo: A Desert Gem

Social Security Calculator  AARP

Population: 158,000 State tax on Social Security: Yes State tax on pensions: Yes

Great eating: Known for the distinctive Mira Sol green chile peppers that grow here, the city is famous for its “sloppers” a cheeseburger slathered in green chili. The Sunset Inn is the reigning champ.

Catch a game: The ThunderWolves, Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Division II football team, has a fierce following. Tickets for seniors are $13 -.

Best freebie: Take in all three miles of the Pueblo Levee Mural Project which holds a Guinness Book of World Records distinction as being the world’s largest continuous painting.

This smaller desert community is winning attention as a bargain among Colorado’s sprawling cities. While skiers can be on world-class slopes in less than two hours, Pueblo’s climate is blissfully temperate. And the city offers unexpected delights, including HARP , archaeological treasures, an impressive library and expanding health care options. And people here are among the healthiest in the U.S., with a longer life expectancy, fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer, and a lower stress index.

HARP Riverwalk is one of Patricia Samson’s favorite things about her native Pueblo. “You can walk for several miles along the river, and it’s beautiful there are boats and ducks and restaurants and food vendors, with waterfalls and kids splashing,” she says. “It’s really special.”

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A Diverse Place Thats Easy To Get Around

Jeff Nelson

Mr. Joseph of Jamaican and African Cuisine a small restaurant off Interstate 40 serves his signature dish, which includes Oxtail, steamed cabbage, yellow rice and plantains.

Charles Blalark had his pick of places to retire after 37 years as a street supervisor for the town of Elgin, Illinois. But he returned to the place where he grew up: Jackson, Tennessee. At the end of the day, its still got that hometown feeling, the 72-year-old says. And the cost of living is fantastic.

Its status as a majority-minority city is a big draw for retirees looking for a diverse place to live. Jackson also prides itself on being gridlock free drivers can zip through town in 15 to 20 minutes. Even with the relaxed pace, Jackson was among the first cities in Tennessee to get ultrafast internet with download speeds of 1 gigabit per second.

Jackson has abundant parks, greenways and walking trails. And retirees will find plenty of opportunities for golf, fishing and hiking. There are numerous fitness centers, including Lift, an 84,000-square-foot facility with a medical clinic, three indoor pools and a healthy café. Jackson offers free concerts at the Amp, an outdoor amphitheater next to the farmers market. And retirees can see musicals and plays at the performing arts center that locals call The Ned.

Sheila Burke

Jeff Nelson

On this beautiful fall afternoon, The Jackson Amphitheater known as The Amp, showcases local performers for the residents.


Peter Frank Edwards

Cheapest States To Retire

If you are looking to save some money while in retirement, start by choosing one of the cheapest states to retire. The following are a few of the cheapest states based on tax rates for retirees, cost of living for seniors, and health care costs.

Alabama is considered a tax-friendly state for retirees according to Kiplinger. This means that most senior benefits including Social Security and pension funds are not taxed by the state. In addition, homeowners who are over 65 do not have to pay property taxes to the state. Alabama doesnt have an estate or inheritance tax either. You will have to pay for sales taxes on food, personal items, and medicine, which is something to consider.

Arizona offers a cost of living for seniors that is nearly 4 percent lower than the U.S. average. It is little wonder that Arizona is home to some of the biggest senior cities in the nation including Peoria, Tempe, and Mesa. In fact, Kiplinger notes that Prescott, Arizona is one of the cheapest cities to live for seniors in Arizona, while still offering a goldmine of senior services and activities for retirees. Plus, Arizona offers some of the best weather in terms of sunshine and mild winters, which is why it is a hot place to go for senior snowbirds from northern states.

Here are some of the other cheapest states to retire to:

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire

Virginia is tax-friendly for retirees. The state doesnt tax Social Security benefits. And you can deduct up to $12,000 in pension and other retirement income from your state taxable income if youre a senior. But while the state is generally a good place for retirees to put down stakes, some locations are better than others.

In order to compile this list, SmartAsset studied several factors that are important to retirees in Virginia, including healthcare access, the number of retirement-focused recreational centers and overall tax burden. Heres a breakdown of the top 10 places to retire in Virginia.

Whether To Work Or Retire These Communities Deliver On The Qualities We Most Want In A Hometown

Collecting Social Security after 67 How They Feel About It Now

AARP, November 29, 2021

What many of us have concluded is that our criteria are changing. Amid months of social distancing, we learned that space matters. According to a University of Vermont survey, 59 percent said the pandemic taught them that nature is integral to their well-being. At the same time, our reliance on technology and the internet has surged, and so broadband access has become even more important to daily life. More generally, trends show we want larger and more flexible homes, calmer environments, a palpable sense of community, but also 21st-century infrastructure.

Best Places to Live

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Over the years, AARP The Magazine has regularly reported on great places to live on a modest income. But in our first assessment since the pandemic began, we knew we had to amend the criteria. AARPs Livable Communities team which provides support to local leaders to help make cities and towns best-suited for people of all ages and the AARP Public Policy Institute which publishes the popular Livability Index used by real estate agents and home shoppers nationwide worked with our editors to come up with 14 objective points of data by which to assess American communities in this new reality. From them, a set of communities emerged. It was full of surprises: a few big cities you might not expect to be retirement-friendly, and smaller towns that are hardly known outside their region.

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How Much Social Security Can You Expect

The Social Security Administration reported in 2017 that nearly nine out of 10 U.S. citizens aged 65 and older received Social Security benefits or were expected to receive them.

How much you receive in Social Security payments will depend on a number of factors, such as your lifetime earnings and when you begin taking payments. The average Social Security payment to retired workers at the end of 2020 was $1,544.15 per month.

Retirees: Will You Get The Maximum Social Security Benefit Of $4555 Per Month In 2023

The Social Security Administration adjusts retirement benefits on an annual basis to account for rising prices and changes in general wage levels. As a result, the maximum Social Security benefit for retired workers increases each year. For individuals that claim benefits in 2023, that sum will climb to $4,555 per month, up from $4,194 per month in 2022.

After battling runaway inflation for the past year, anyone planning to start Social Security next year is probably hoping for the maximum benefit. But only a small percentage of retired workers will actually qualify.

Here is what it will take to get the biggest Social Security check.

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Bangor Maine: Renaissance Queen

State tax on Social Security: No State tax on pensions: Yes

Great eating: Pop into Geaghan’s for Sunday breakfast Maine blueberry pancakes cost $5.59.

Catch a show: The Penobscot Theatre Company presents the annual Northern Writes Festival of New Works $10.

Favorite freebie: Every summer the American Folk Festival brings three days of free music to the Waterfront.


Newlyweds Anne and Ed Baker, both 70, say that while living on a small income is challenging, Bangor offers a lot to make it possible. Combined, they earn about $2,900 a month from Social Security. They live in a paid-for mobile home, with park rent of just $330 a month. And while Bangor winters can be fierce, the Bakers pay $91 per month for heat on a budget plan. Besides the $105 they each pay for Medicare, they spend $49 each for additional coverage and about $200 a month on groceries.

The area’s abundant recreational and entertainment opportunities are also a major draw. A lively arts scene provides culture, and the mighty Penobscot River serves as the area’s natural centerpiece. “There’s so much hiking, biking and paddling,” says Peggy Leonard, 51. “When you add in what’s nearby including Baxter State Park and Acadia it’s a nature lover’s paradise.”

David A. Land

The Liberty Bridge at Falls Park on the Reedy is a pedestrian bridge in Greenville, South Carolina.

Businesses And Policymakers Need To Act Now To Avoid Leaving Women Vulnerable In Their Senior Years


Every American deserves to retire with dignity and financial security. But lower earnings and widening wealth gaps are keeping far too many women from reaching that goal, which we believe is a human right. Businesses and policymakers need to act now to avoid leaving women vulnerable in their senior years.

A recent AARP survey found that 25% of women ages 50 to 64 are not at all confident they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. One major reason for many womens lack of financial security is their reduced participation in the workforce.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, womens workforce participation rate in October was 58.0%, 12 percentage points lower than mens. This gap has long existed because women bear a disproportionate share of family responsibilities, taking time out of the workforce to care for children or elderly relatives. The trend was exacerbated during the pandemic as nearly 2 million women dropped out of the workforce, many to help care for children learning at home.

Yet even as children have returned to classrooms and workers are in high demand, there are still 808,000 fewer women in todays workforce, according to the National Womens Law Center, which also notes there are 693,000 more men in the labor force than in February 2020. And womens workforce participation still lags the pre-pandemic rate of 59.3%.

Jo Ann Jenkins is the CEO of AARP.

Thasunda Brown Duckett is the CEO of TIAA.

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Claiming Social Security Early Could Be A Wise Move

Perhaps the best reason to consider claiming Social Security early is that over the long run, it may not matter what age you file.

Social Security is designed so that, in theory, you should receive the same amount in total regardless of when you begin claiming. If you file early, you’ll collect more checks over a lifetime, but each payment will be smaller. By delaying benefits, you’ll receive fewer, larger checks.

Claiming Social Security at 70 will increase your monthly income, but it won’t necessarily increase the amount you collect in total. Also, if you have reason to believe you may live a shorter-than-average life span, you could actually receive more over a lifetime if you claim early.

For most people, the break-even age is somewhere in the late 70s or early 80s. In other words, to collect more in total by delaying Social Security, you’ll need to live well into your 80s or beyond.

Of course, nobody can accurately predict their life span, and this isn’t the most pleasant topic to think about. But if you’re struggling with your health, it could be a financially wise move to file for Social Security early.

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Health Care Total Points: 25

  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated: Double Weight
  • Family Medicine Physicians per 10,000 Residents: Full Weight
  • Gerontologists per 10,000 Residents Aged 65 & Older: Full Weight
  • Dentists per 10,000 Residents: Half Weight
  • Nurses per 1,000 Residents: Full Weight
  • Physical Therapists per 10,000 Residents: Full Weight
  • Number of Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors per 10,000 Residents: Full Weight
  • Suicide Rate for Elders: Full Weight
  • Health Care Facilities per Capita: Full** Weight
  • Quality of Public Hospital System: Full** Weight Note: This metric is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ranking of public hospital systems.
  • Top-Rated Geriatrics Hospitals: Full Weight
  • Home-Care Facilities per Capita: Full Weight
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight
  • Death Rate of Population Aged 65 & Older: Full Weight

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