In 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) estimated that more than 65 million people benefit from Social Security programs.

Out of those 65 million people, 50 million people are either retired workers or dependents who qualify for a Supplementary Security Income (SSI) payment, according to the agency.

However, the monthly payouts vary based on seven different factors:

  • Earnings history – how much you earned, and paid throughout your work history
  • Work history – how many years you have worked
  • Birth year – determines what age you can retire and collect Social Security
  • Claiming age – how old you were when you first signed up to claim benefits
  • Current employment status – whether or not you are still working
  • Total annual income – total sum of your current earnings including benefits
  • State of residence – the state where you live and pay taxes

The seventh factor, state of residence, can make a big difference depending on where you live.

According to The Motley Fool, the average retired worker’s Social Security payout was $1,503 as of last year.

However, there are five U.S. states where retired workers are bringing home at least $121 to $186 more on average. Here are the top states ranked by average SSI payments, according to The Motley Fool:

  • New Jersey: $1,689 per month
  • Connecticut: $1,685 per month
  • Delaware: $1,659 per month
  • New Hampshire: $1,644 per month
  • Maryland: $1,624 per month

Retirees in New Jersey, for example, will get $186 more on average than most retirees in the U.S. That can add up to $2,232 per year. In a two-earner household, that money can add up.

However, this does not mean that by simply moving to New Jersey that you will get a higher Social Security payment. The higher payments reflect the higher-than-average income in those top five states.

In New Jersey and Connecticut, for example, they are both centered around the New York City metropolitan area where there are many jobs.

Same goes for Maryland, which is centered around the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Those retirees likely paid more into their Social Security programs, therefore getting a higher-than-average payment upon retirement.

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