51. Louisiana

Handsome senior man taking a selfie along the Mississippi River and bridge in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,284

According to the Social Security Administration's most current information, 559,820 Louisiana retirees are beneficiaries.

We calculate that they got an average $1421.83 a month in 2020, and $17,061.98 for the year. That's the lowest among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

With a 1.3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for next year, Louisiana Social Security recipients will get $1,440.32 per month.

50. Mississippi

An African-American man smoking a cigar, Vicksburg, MS
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,348

Social Security officials say 429,412 retired workers in Mississippi are receiving benefits. We calculate that they got an average $1,427.13 per month in 2020, and $17,125.62 for the year.

Across the U.S., about 1 in 5 elderly married couples on Social Security and nearly half of unmarried seniors rely on their benefits for at least 90% of their income, the Social Security Administration says.

According to our math, the Mississippians next year will receive $1,445.69 per month.

49. Maine

Group of happy senior friends cheering at barbecue meal in terrace outdoor, Maine
DisobeyArt / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,465

Social Security says 242,442 retired workers in Maine are collecting benefits. We calculate that they got an average $1,436.75 a month in 2020 — or $17,241.00 for the full year.

Around 90% of Americans 65 or older receive Social Security benefits. Some choose to wait until they turn 70, the age at which you receive your maximum possible benefit.

We estimate that the retirees in Maine next year will receive $1,455.43 per month.

48. New Mexico

Historic route 66 route marker sign in New Mexico
Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,516

In New Mexico — one of 13 states that tax Social Security, according to AARP — 307,967 retirees get benefits. Our calculations say the payments in 2020 averaged $1,440.92 a month and $17,291.06 per year.

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After next year's 1.3% raise, New Mexico's Social Security recipients will get $1,459.65 per month.

47. Arkansas

Three fishermen stand on a wooden dock over a lake.  They are bream fishing.  Photo shows only their legs and shoes.
Bonita R. Cheshier / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,589

In Arkansas, 450,419 retirees are on Social Security, and they collected benefits that averaged $1,446.90 per month in 2020 and $17,362.82 for the entire year, according to our calculations.

The benefits program got its start in 1935, when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.

Retired workers in Arkansas stand to receive $1,465.71 per month next year.

46. Montana

happy spain senior couple hiking in the nature
perdar / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,623.15

According to the Social Security Administration's most current information, 178,102 Montana retirees are beneficiaries. Our math shows they got an average $1,449.75 a month in 2020, or $17396.99 per year.

Montana also is among the 13 states that tax Social Security benefits, says AARP.

We calculate that the seniors in Montana next year will receive $1,468.60 per month.

45. Kentucky

MEN AT HORSE TRACK WAITING FOR RACE TO START
Darcy Jardine / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,676

In Kentucky, 618,077 retirees take Social Security that worked out to an average 2020 benefit of $1,454.10 per month and $17,449.17 for the full year.

On Jan. 31, 1940, the first monthly Social Security check was issued to Ida May Fuller, a retired legal secretary in Ludlow, Vermont. She received $22.54, which is equivalent to $421.48 in today's dollars.

Retirees in Kentucky next year will receive $1,473.00 per month, according to our math.

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44. South Dakota

Mount Rushmore National Park in the Black Hills South Dakota during a warm sunrise with clear blue sky morning. High Dynamic Range. / Mount Rushmore National Park
JJM Photography / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,788

The Social Security Administration says 137,577 retired workers in South Dakota get benefits. We calculate that the payments in 2020 averaged $1,463.31 a month and $17,559.68 per year.

During her lifetime, Ida May Fuller — the first Social Security recipient — collected benefits totaling about $22,889.

After next year's raise of 1.3%, South Dakota's Social Security recipients will get $1,482.33 per month.

43. Alaska

Portrait of senior man wearing blue cap with Hubbard glacier in background.
B. Franklin / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,810

Officials say 75,412 Alaska retirees are on Social Security, and — according to our calculations — they got $1,465.14 per month in 2020, or $17,581.66 for the entire year.

Like every other resident of Alaska, a retiree also receives an annual payment from the state's oil wealth fund. The amount for 2020 was $992.

Alaska's retired workers on Social Security stand to receive $1,484.18 per month next year.

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42. North Dakota

A senior couple riding horses in nature.
Halfpoint / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $17,899

In North Dakota, 99,735 retirees collected benefits that averaged $1,472.45 per month in 2020 and $17,669.38 for the year.

North Dakota is another of the 13 states that collect taxes on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

We calculate that the state's retired workers next year will receive $1,491.59 per month.

41. Oklahoma

old elderly mature farmer with a smile on his face hugs a bunch of pumpkins, harvesting concept
Bonsales / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,097

In Oklahoma, 537,909 retirees got Social Security benefits that averaged $1,488.74 a month in 2020, or $17,864.89 for the year.

Paltry Social Security benefits are a reason working Americans need to save more — like through 401(k) plans offered by employers.

The seniors in Oklahoma next year will receive $1,508.09 per month, according to our calculations.

40. Nevada

mature couple sightseeing in downtown las vegas streets
Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,123

In Nevada, 413,107 retirees are on Social Security, and we calculate that they received an average $1,490.89 per month in 2020, which works out to an annual income of $17,890.71.

Social Security accounts for about a third of the income of the elderly, officials with the program say.

With a raise next year of 1.3%, Nevada's Social Security recipients will get $1,510.27 per month.

39. District of Columbia

family, age, tourism, travel and people concept - happy senior couple with map over washington white house background
Syda Productions / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,127

In the District of Columbia, 58,903 retirees collected benefits that averaged $1,491.24 per month in 2020 or $17,894.83 over the course of the year.

An American can claim Social Security as early as age 62, but if you don't wait your monthly payment will be permanently reduced by up to 30%.

Retired workers in D.C. stand to receive $1,510.62 per month next year.

38. Texas

Handsome middle age man outdoor nature portrait in the Texas Hill Country.
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,183

In Texas, 2.95 million retirees are drawing Social Security benefits. We calculate that 2020's average payout in the Lone Star State was $1,495.80 per month and $17,949.64 for all of 2020.

Money from an IRA, or individual retirement account, can help you make ends meet in retirement — but you need to start saving as early as you can.

With next year's 1.3% raise added in, Texas Social Security recipients will get $1,515.25 per month.

37. West Virginia

Climber on top of Seneca Rocks
Steve Heap / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,191

Social Security says 292,653 retired workers in West Virginia collect benefits from the program. In 2020, the state average was $1,496.44 and $17,957.24 for the year.

West Virginia is another of the 13 states that collect taxes on Social Security, AARP says.

According to our math, West Virginia seniors next year will receive $1,515.89 per month.

36. California

Cheerful African American mature couple with arms around at the beach
sirtravelalot / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,191

In America's most populous state, 4.44 million retirees received Social Security payments averaging $1,496.45 a month in 2020 or $17,957.45 for the full year.

The number of older people on Social Security in California is greater than the entire populations of almost half the states.

Retired workers in the Golden State stand to receive $1,515.91 per month next year.

35. Idaho

Healthy Active Senior Photographer Hiking Outdoors. Copy space.
Denise Lett / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,199

In Idaho, 259,909 retirees are on Social Security, and we calculate that they got $1,497.11 a month in 2020, or $17,965.34 for the full year.

Some U.S. seniors are lucky enough to have employer-based pensions that provide additional retirement income, though those have become rare.

After next year's 1.3% raise, Idaho's Social Security recipients will get $1,516.57 per month.

34. Alabama

A senior man enjoying the view on the Alabama gulf coast.
Darryl Vest / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,203

The Social Security Administration says 731,111 retirees in Alabama collect benefits that, according to our calculations, averaged $1,497.43 per month in 2020, or $17,969.13 annually.

Half of elderly retired couples in the U.S. and 70% of single retirees derive 50% or more of their income from Social Security, officials with the program say.

Retired workers in Alabama should be on the receiving end of $1,516.89 per month next year.

33. Georgia

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA OCTOBER 8: Unidentified retired African American couple enjoying the afternoon at one of the popular city squares in historical Savannah on October 8, 2013.
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,225

In Georgia, 1.29 million seniors receive Social Security benefits that averaged $1,499.23 a month in 2020, or $17,990.73 for the year.

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We calculate that Georgia's retired workers will receive $1,518.72 per month next year.

32. Ohio

Two older hunters rest, sitting on a log
Sever180 / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,240

In Ohio, 1.62 million retirees collect benefits, and we calculate that their payments in 2020 averaged $1,500.46 a month and $18,005.50 for the full year.

During June 2020, some 45.8 million retired workers across the U.S. were receiving Social Security payments, officials say.

Factoring in the raise for next year of 1.3%, Ohio's Social Security recipients will get $1,519.96 per month.

31. Missouri

Cheerful senior couple sharing funnel cake with powdered sugar at autumn country fair in Missouri, USA
LanaG / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,259

In Missouri, 897,621 retirees are getting Social Security payments that averaged $1,502.10 per month in 2020, or $18,025.14 for the year.

Missouri also is among the 13 states that tax the Social Security benefits of at least some retirees, according to AARP.

According to our math, seniors in the Show Me State next year will receive $1,521.62 per month.

30. Tennessee

Smiling senior man standing next to Appalachian Trail sign
LanaG / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,415

The Social Security Administration says 995,471 retirees in Tennessee collect benefits that, according to our calculations, averaged $1,514.88 per month in 2020, or $18,178.54 annually.

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Retired Tennesseeans next year will receive $1,534.57 per month, according to our calculations.

29. Florida

Senior Couple on a bike ride
Brocreative / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,449

In Florida — often considered America's retirement capital — some 3.51 million retirees are getting Social Security benefits.

According to our calculations, they collected $1,517.69 a month in 2020, and their annual income from the program was $18,212.30.

The seniors soaking up the sun in the Sunshine State stand to receive $1,537.42 per month next year.

28. Hawaii

Forgetful older mother with cup near couple
CREATISTA / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,485

In Hawaii — one of the best states for retirement — 218,219 seniors receive retirement benefits from Uncle Sam.

We calculate that they got an average $1,520.65 per month in 2020, and $18,247.86 in annual income from Social Security.

With next year's 1.3% raise, Hawaii's Social Security recipients will get $1,540.42 per month.

27. North Carolina

Senior man sitting on rock with German Shepherd dog in a field off the Appalachian Trail on Roan Mountain border of North Carolina and Tennessee.
Cvandyke / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,577

In North Carolina, 1,526,249 retired workers receive benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,528.19 per month and $18,338.34 for the year.

Americans are living longer and must rely on Social Security for longer periods. In 1940, a 65-year-old was expected to live almost 14 years, the Social Security Administration says. Today, that life expectancy is more than 20 years.

Our calculations find that North Carolina seniors next year will receive $1,548.06 per month.

26. Oregon

Rear view of happy senior African-American couple standing next to each other while looking at the sea and mountains on beach on beautiful cloudy day.
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,622

Oregon has 998,643 retired workers on Social Security, federal numbers show.

In 2020, their benefits averaged $1,531.92 per month and $18,383 for the full year.

According to our math, seniors in the Beaver State next year will receive $1,551.84 per month.

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25. Iowa

Farmer standing by tractor outside the barn
goodluz / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,665

In Iowa, 482,117 retirees collect benefits, according to the Social Security Administration.

They received $1,535.46 per month from the program and an annual income of $18,425.48 for 2020, by our calculations.

Adding next year's 1.3% raise, Iowa's Social Security recipients will get $1,555.42 per month.

24. Nebraska

senior man is running on a long trestle over Long Pine Creek -  recreational Cowboy Trail in northern Nebraska
marekuliasz / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,698

In Nebraska, 257,481 retirees collect benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,538.18 per month and $18,458.11 for the whole year, according to our math.

Nebraska is another of the 13 states that tax the Social Security benefits of at least some retirees, AARP says.

Retired workers in the Cornhusker State stand to receive $1,558.17 per month next year.

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23. South Carolina

Old people in geriatric hospice: group of senior women playing cards and having fun together. The aged ladies sit on the sofa of the hospital and start a new match
Diego Cervo / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,760

In South Carolina, 828,566 retirees get Social Security benefits, according to goverment data.

We calculate that they received an average $1,543.28 a month in 2020, or $18,519.36 for the full year.

With next year's raise of 1.3%, South Carolina Social Security recipients will get $1,563.34 per month.

22. Colorado

Smiling skier on ski slope in Colorado leaning on her poles with mountains in background. Horizontal shot.
iofoto / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,785

Colorado has 665,194 retirees on Social Security, and their benefits in 2020 averaged $1545.31 per month, or $18,543.68 on an annual basis.

The Centennial State also is one of the 13 states that collect taxes on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

Our math indicates that Colorado seniors next year will receive $1,565.40 per month.

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21. Vermont

Senior man solo traveller birdwatching from kayak in morning fog
Christine Glade / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,862

In Vermont, 109,498 retirees collect Social Security benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,551.65 per week, or $18,619.81 for the full year, according to our calculations.

Vermont is yet another of the 13 states that collect taxes on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

Retired workers in the Green Mountain State stand to receive $1,571.82 per month next year.

20. Wyoming

Attractive older Caucasian man with blue eyes, with face covered by bandana. Standing beside a river with fishing rod, trees and grass in background. He looks like a retiree.
Diane Isabel / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,912

In this sparsely populated state, 85,085 collect Social Security benefits, according to the program's data.

We calculate that they typically received $1,555.76 monthly in 2020, or $18,669.09 over the course of the year.

Factoring in a raise next year of 1.3%, Wyoming's Social Security recipients will get $1,575.98 per month.

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19. Illinois

Elderly 80 plus year old man outdoor portrait with the Chicago skyline in the background.
Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,924

The Social Security Administration says in Illinois, 1.63 million retired workers are collecting benefits.

They got an average $1,556.74 per month in 2020, or annual income from the program of $18,680.83, according to our math.

With a 1.3% raise for next year, Illinois seniors will receive $1,576.97 a month.

18. Arizona

Happy, Hugging Senior Couple Posing on the Edge of The Grand Canyon.
Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $18,960

In Arizona — another state that draws large numbers of retirees — 1.04 million retired workers are on Social Security.

We calculate that they received $1,559.72 a month, on average, in 2020, and an annual income of $18,716.66.

Retired workers in the Grand Canyon State stand to receive $1,579.00 per month next year.

17. Rhode Island

Woman on Beach Little Compton RI
Kate Elliott / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,023

In Rhode Island, 160,706 retirees collect benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,564.92 a month or $18,779.08 for the full year.

The Ocean State is another of the 13 states that tax Social Security benefits, according to AARP.

According to our math, Rhode Island seniors next year will receive $1,585.27 per month.

16. Wisconsin

Senior couple enjoying time together by a lake
Suzanne Tucker / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,079

In Wisconsin, 923,461 retired workers take Social Security.

By our calculations, they received an average $1,569.55 a month in 2020, or an annual income from the program of $18,834.60.

With next year's 1.3% raise, Wisconsin's Social Security recipients will get $1,589.95 per month.

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15. Utah

Forced perspective of a senior adult woman (60s) pretending to touch a famous rock formation in Utah Monument Valley
melissamn / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,128

In Utah, 296,554 retirees collect benefits that averaged $1,573.53 per month and $18,882.40 for all of 2020.

Utah is yet another of the 13 states that levy state taxes on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

According to our math, seniors in the Beehive State next year will receive $1,593.99 per month.

14. Virginia

Back view of man watching sunset from rocky summit of Stony Man on Skyline Drive in Virginia
Steve Heap / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,185

The Social Security Administration's data shows 1.11 million Virginia seniors are receiving benefits.

We calculate that they got $1,578.22 per month in 2020, and $18,938.68 for the full year.

Adding in a raise next year of 1.3%, Virginia's Social Security recipients will get $1,598.74 per month.

13. New York

Gay Couple at Park in New York
William Perugini / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,192

In New York, 2.6 million retirees collect benefits that averaged $1,578.79 a month in 2020, or $18,945.49 for the full year.

The first official Social Security number was 055-09-0001 — issued in 1936 to 23-year-old John Sweeney Jr. of New Rochelle, New York.

Our math indicates that seniors in the Empire State next year will receive $1,599.32 per month.

12. Kansas

Two farmers in a field examining wheat crop.
PointImages / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,229

In Kansas, 402,018 retirees collect benefits that averaged $1,581.88 a month in 2020 and $18,982.61 for the year as a whole.

Kansas also is among the 13 states that collect taxes on some Social Security benefits, according to AARP.

According to our calculations, seniors in the Sunflower State next year will receive $1,602.45 per month.

11. Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts, USA - September 3, 2005 : Italian seniors meeting  in sidewalk of Boston, Massachusetts
Pierrette Guertin / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,234

In Massachusetts, 901,679 retirees are drawing benefits from Social Security.

We calculate that they got an average $1,582.27 per month in 2020, or $18,987.19 for the year.

After next year's 1.3% raise, the Bay State's Social Security recipients will get $1,602.84 per month.

10. Pennsylvania

Senior Group Friends Exercise Relax Concept
Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,246

In Pennsylvania, 2.01 million retirees collect Social Security benefits, according to the latest government data.

In 2020, they got an average $1,583.23 per month from the system and $18,998.77 over the course of the full year.

We calculate that seniors in the Keystone State next year will receive $1,603.81 per month.

9. Indiana

Man and woman, senior couple, having a walk in autumn or fall outdoors, the trees show colorful foliage
Kzenon / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,293

In Indiana, 946,375 retirees are on Social Security and got an average $1,587.15 per month in 2020 and $19,045.83 for the full year, according to our calculations.

That's not a lot to live on, which is why it's so vital to put money away during your working years so you'll have savings to fall back on in retirement.

Adding in next year's Social Security raise of 1.3%, Indiana beneficiaries will get $1,607.79 per month, on average.

8. Minnesota

Woman and dog in matching red jackets walking in snow after winter storm in Minnesota.
Edgar Lee Espe / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,380

In Minnesota, 784,382 seniors collect Social Security benefits that in 2020 averaged out to $1,594.25 per month and $19,131.00 for the full year.

Minnesota is another of the 13 states that collect state income tax on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

Our math finds that seniors in the North Star State next year will typically receive $1,614.98 per month.

7. Washington

Senior Woman Stopping to Enjoy the Scenery in Eastern Washington State while on a Bike Ride
Julie DeGuia / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,548

Washington has 1.01 million retirees who are on Social Security. It's one of 14 states with over 1 million beneficiaries.

We calculate that Washingtonians received monthly payments averaging $1,608.13 in 2020, and an annual income of $19,297.61.

Retired workers in the Evergreen State stand to receive $1,629.04 per month next year.

6. Michigan

A woman on the beach watching Lake Michigan
Lindsay Snow / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,649

In Michigan, 1.54 million retired workers are receiving benefits from Social Security.

They got an average $1,616.43 per month from the program and an annual income of $19,397.18, according to our calculations.

After next year's 1.3% raise, the Great Lake State's Social Security recipients will get $1,637.44 per month.

5. Maryland

Senior lady in patio chairs drinking champagne by Chesapeake bay
Steve Heap / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,746

In Maryland, the state where the Social Security Administration is headquartered (in the Baltimore suburb of Woodlawn), 742,552 retirees collect benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,624.37 a month and $19,492.47 for the full year.

Despite the relatively high payouts here, there are plenty of other reasons you probably wouldn't want to retire in Maryland.

According to our calculations, seniors in the Old Line State next year will receive $1,645.49 per month.

4. New Hampshire

Artist outside in the field painting on his easel a landscape of the wildflowers in the mountains.  Copy space.
Denise Lett / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $19,990

In this New England state, 220,989 collect benefits that in 2020 averaged $1,644.42 per month and $19,733.04 for the year.

The lowest Social Security number ever issued was given to Grace Owen of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1936. It was: 001-01-0001.

By our math, seniors in the Granite State next year will receive $1,665.80 per month .

3. Delaware

Group of four happy seniors with mugs toasting
CREATISTA / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $20,164

In Delaware, 162,952 older people are on Social Security, according to the agency's data.

We calculate that they got an average $1,658.79 per month in 2020 and a typical annual benefit of $19,905.45.

Factoring in next year's Social Security raise of 1.3%, Delaware beneficiaries will get $1,607.79 per month.

2. Connecticut

An older couple on the beach looking across the water at beautiful waterfront homes.  Vintage effect applied.
Edward Fielding / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $20,486

In Connecticut, 512,703 retirees are taking Social Security. We calculate that they received an average $1,685.29 per month and $20,223.45 for the full year.

Connecticut is the last of the 13 states that collect taxes on Social Security benefits, AARP says.

Retired workers in the Nutmeg State stand to receive an average $1,707.20 per month next year.

1. New Jersey

Front view of happy diverse senior woman exercising with resistance band in fitness studio
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Average annual benefit in 2021: $20,537

The Garden State is where 1.21 million older people receive the largest average Social Security payments: $1,689.42 per month in 2020, or $20,273.09 for the full year, by our calculations.

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After the 2021 raise of 1.3%, New Jersey Social Security recipients typically will receive $1,711.39 per month.

About the Author

Doug Whiteman

Doug Whiteman

Editor-in-Chief

Doug Whiteman is the editor-in-chief of MoneyWise. He has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and CNBC.com and has been interviewed on Fox Business, CBS Radio and the syndicated TV show "First Business."

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