Average Social Security Benefit vs. 2024 Cost of Living

How does the average Social Security benefit compare vs. the 2024 cost of living?

It’s a question that puts the value of this program into perspective. What’s more, it lets us see if recent cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) have been substantial in promoting a financially sound retirement.

So how will we make these determinations? Since living costs will vary based on location, we’ll choose a city that was rated the best destination for retirees in 2024 — Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Like living costs, Social Security benefits can also vary based on the recipient’s earning history and claiming age. Per the SSA, we’ll work with an average payment amount of $1,907.

Does Social Security Cover Most Essential Living Costs?

The first living cost we’ll analyze is housing. According to BestPlaces, a studio apartment costs approximately $900. A one-bedroom costs just over $1,000. A two-bedroom costs around $1,300.

What about other living costs in the greater region surrounding this area? Phone utilities will cost around $200 per month, and energy utilities just beyond $200 per month. A doctor, dentist, or optometrist visit may cost between $100-$140. Prescription drugs could run between $400-$500 on average.

How about some other common expenses? About $10 could get you pizza for dinner or a movie ticket. For $20, you can cover the cost of a pair of jeans or a trip to the salon. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that living costs will vary depending on the specific location you choose to live in. But even given these general averages, how does the average Social Security benefit compare vs. the 2024 cost of living?

For this location, your benefit could cover rent and some utilities. But when you factor in grocery costs, travel, household expenses, and recreation, it’s clear that benefits need to go much further. Will you join us in ensuring they will? Sign our petition here. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more content like this.