Here are the 7 US cities with the lowest average Social Security payments for retirees plus 3 ways to supplement your benefit with a healthy nest egg

Here are the 7 US cities with the lowest average Social Security payments for retirees — plus 3 ways to supplement your benefit with a healthy nest egg

Here are the 7 US cities with the lowest average Social Security payments for retirees plus 3 ways to supplement your benefit with a healthy nest egg

Social Security income is not very high across the United States, with average benefits coming in at just $22,884 a year.

In some cities, however, it is well below the average, with many seniors receiving benefits that would provide annual incomes at or below the poverty level.

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So which cities are home to retirees earning the lowest benefits? Let’s take a look at them, along with some tips on how to build up your savings so you don’t rely too much on Social Security, no matter where you live.

US cities with the lowest Social Security benefits

Among the 345 U.S. cities ranked by SmartAsset, these are the seven cities with the lowest average Social Security benefits:

  • Brownsville, Texas ($14,556)

  • Hialeah, Florida ($14,598)

  • Hartford, Connecticut ($15,220)

  • Pomona, California ($15,509)

  • El Monte, California ($15,586)

  • Paterson, New Jersey ($15,600)

  • Miami, Florida ($15,749)

Many of these cities have low median incomes, few residents with college degrees, and higher than average unemployment rates. With Social Security benefits determined based on earnings throughout your career, the lower pension checks out there are no surprise.

Regardless, with the 2024 Federal Poverty Guidelines classifying a one-person household as in poverty with income below $15,060, it’s clear that seniors relying on the typical Social Security benefit in these areas will struggle to make ends meet. their basic without external funding.

Read more: You didn’t want to risk it: An 80-year-old South Carolina woman is looking for the safest place for her family’s $250,000 in savings. Dave Ramsey will answer

How not to rely solely on Social Security

Whether your city is on this list or you live in an area with higher average benefits, you don’t want to rely too much on Social Security as a retiree. With benefits designed to replace only 40% of pre-retirement income, doing so is a recipe for financial disaster.

The good news is that you don’t have to try to get by on Social Security alone if you’re serious about growing your nest egg to provide plenty of extra income. There are some safe steps to do this.

Delay retirement to have more time to save

Working longer offers the opportunity to earn more years of income that can be invested in your future. Working later in life is especially valuable because you can make larger tax-deductible contributions to retirement plans thanks to the additional contributions you qualify for starting at age 50.

You may also be able to delay a Social Security claim, which increases those benefits. Plus, you won’t have to rely on your savings for so many years.

Take full advantage of the help provided

If your company offers an employer matching contribution to your retirement plan, contribute enough to claim it. There are also tax breaks for retirement investments, including the Saver’s Credit, which offers a tax credit of up to $1,000 on retirement account contributions if your income is below $38,250 as a single filer or $76,500 as a a married joint applicant in 2024.

Help from your employer and the government makes it cheaper to invest for retirement.

Keep the right mix of investments

You don’t want to be too conservative in your investments and limit your potential returns. A $6,000 annual investment at 10% over 30 years would leave you with a nest egg of $986,981.59, while the same investment at 7% would return just $566,772.33.

Subtracting your age from 110 gives you an idea of ​​the percentage of your portfolio that should be in the market to get the right financial mix.

Taking these steps ensures that you won’t have to worry so much about how big your Social Security benefit is because you’ll have plenty of money to supplement your retirement checks and have a financially secure future.

What to read next

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. Offered without warranty of any kind.

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