For millions of Americans, Social Security remains the bedrock of retirement income. In fact, some people use the nation’s retirement program as their sole source of income during their golden years.
Retirees in a handful of cities are especially reliant on Social Security to fund their day-to-day lives. Recently, SmartAsset crunched the data on both total retirement income and Social Security income for the nation’s 100 cities with the largest populations of seniors age 65 and older.
The publication found that retirees rely on Social Security in the following cities more than in any others.
10. Detroit, Michigan
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 45.40%
Older folks in Michigan’s largest city lean heavily on Social Security to get by, but things are looking up for those with retirement income. Plans are in the works in Michigan to roll back taxes, as we reported in “2 States That Soon Might Eliminate Retirement Income Taxes.”
9. Mesa, Arizona
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 45.45%
When Social Security makes up a large part of your retirement income, it helps to live where it’s affordable. Arizona fits the bill, with four of its cities — including Mesa — making the list of “The 10 Most Affordable Cities for an Early Retirement.”
8. Omaha, Nebraska
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 45.53%
Perhaps it’s no surprise that Omaha appears on this list, as Nebraskans as a whole have not saved a lot of money for retirement. Residents’ average retirement savings places the state 37th out of 50, according to “What Is the Average Retirement Savings by State?”
7. Lincoln, Nebraska
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 45.56%
Perhaps Nebraska residents struggle to save for retirement because they are putting too much money into their cars. The cost of fueling and maintaining cars in the Cornhusker State places it No. 2 on the list of “15 States Where People Spend the Most on Cars.”
6. Nashville, Tennessee
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 45.80%
Tennessee ended its tax on dividend and interest income in 2021, and now it’s among a handful of states with no personal income taxes. That fact undoubtedly makes it easier for those who live in the Music City to stretch their Social Security dollars.
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 46.87%
Tulsa makes the list of “15 Cities With the Oldest Populations,” with those who are 65 or older making up nearly 15% of its residents. Many of those seniors rely on Social Security to make up almost half of their income.
4. Indianapolis, Indiana
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 47.53%
If Social Security is going to make up a large part of your retirement income, you could do worse than choosing Indianapolis to spend your golden years. The city is among the places where your dollar goes furthest.
3. Wichita, Kansas
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 48.77%
While Wichita is a relatively affordable place to live, it might not be a great choice for retirees. Poor “quality of life” scores land the city on the list of “The 10 Worst Cities for Retirees.”
2. Hialeah, Florida
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 49.23%
Maybe people in Hialeah live off Social Security because continuing to work is too much of a pain in the neck. The city finishes at No. 3 on the list of cities with the worst commutes in the nation.
1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
Social Security as a share of retirement income: 52.38%
Low housing costs make Fort Wayne an affordable place to live for people of all ages. Such affordability is a crucial factor when more than half of your income comes from your monthly Social Security checks.
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