Where does county rank for Social Security income?

Published 12:02 pm Monday, December 11, 2017

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Shelby County residents who rely on Social Security income for their retirement years have a little more financial cushion than their peers elsewhere in the state, according to a study recently published by a national website.

The Smartasset.com website recently published its list of “places Social Security goes furthest,” which calculated residents’ average annual Social Security income compared to their average cost of living.

“Contemplating where to spend your retirement years? While it’s certainly advisable to have some retirement savings of your own to help pay for your golden years, if you will be relying mostly on Social Security benefits, this study can help,” read the website. “We analyzed where in the US Social Security benefits will go the furthest.”

While conducting the study, the website calculated the taxes a typical retiree would pay on Social Security income, and subtracted the taxes from the average Social Security income to determine the average Social Security net income.

“Next, we calculated how far that net income would go in every county to cover the basic necessities,” read the website. “We subtracted the county-level cost of typical living expenses from each county’s net Social Security income.”

Shelby County topped the Alabama list, posting an annual Social Security index of 77.34. The average cost of living in Shelby County is $20,104, and the average annual Social Security income in the county is $19,748.

Following closely behind Shelby County was Baldwin County, which had an overall Social Security index of 71.95. Baldwin County has an average cost of living of $20,582 and an annual Social Security income of $18,879.

Blount County came in at No. 3 on this list, posting an overall Social Security index of 68.43. Blount County has an average cost of living of $18,763 and an annual Social Security income of $18,312.

To view the entire rankings, visit https://smartasset.com/retirement/social-security-calculator#alabama/socialsecurity.