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How Important Is Social Security in These Cities?

Survey looks at impact in metro areas nationwide

Hialeah, Florida town hall


Hialeah, Fla. tops the list of cities where retirees rely most on Social Security income.

Seniors living in cities in the Midwest and South dominate a new survey that looks at how much people in various parts of the country rely on Social Security for their retirement income.

The survey, by personal finance site SmartAsset, looks at two big data points for 100 U.S. cities: average retirement income for households with people 65 and older, and the average Social Security income for those households.

Seven of the top 10 cities in the list are in the Midwest, an area with a lower cost of living, the site notes. Perhaps just as expectedly, retirees who rely less on Social Security are more likely to live in big, expensive cities including Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Hialeah, Fla., tops the list of cities where retirees rely the most on Social Security for income. There, the average retirement income is $24,704, and Social Security provides $13,393, or more than 54 percent, of that total. 

Following Hialeah in the top 10 places where retires rely the most on Social Security are Fort Wayne, Ind.; Sun City, Ariz.; Wichita, Kan.; Indianapolis; Lincoln, Neb.; Toledo, Ohio; Milwaukee; Omaha, Neb.; and Port St. Lucie, Fla. 

The differences between cities were often rather small, the survey noted.

“Reliance on Social Security among the cities in our top 10 runs from 54 percent of retirement income to 48 percent. From the top-ranking city, Hialeah, to No. 99, Sacramento, the difference is only 21 percentage points,” wrote Derek Miller on SmartAsset’s website.

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