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There are plenty of ways to boost your retirement income — from delaying retirement past the age of 65 to ensuring you work a full 35 years — but moving is one of the best options, especially if you live in a state that taxes Social Security benefits.
So far, at least 13 states impose taxes on Social Security benefits. They include Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia. In February, a 14th state (Illinois) reportedly said it was mulling a state income tax on Social Security benefits.
"Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go program. This means that today's workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and money flows back out as monthly income to beneficiaries," the National Academy of Social Insurance explains online, adding that roughly 170 million Americans pay Social Security taxes and more than 60 million individuals collect benefits each month.
In 2017, an average retired worker reportedly received nearly $1,400 per month in Social Security benefits. That number fluctuates based on a person's status (i.e. a disabled employee, widow or widower, etc.). In the U.S., some of the most tax-friendly cities include Palm Bay, Fla., Brownsville, Texas, Sun City, Ariz. and Spokane, Wash.
But retirement benefits may go even further outside of the U.S.
GoBankingRates recently analyzed 50 countries around the world — taking into account cost of living, housing, utilities, transportation and average expense on groceries — to determine the top destinations for retirees hoping to get more bang for their buck. The personal finance site determined Asian countries are on top when it comes to getting the most out of your retirement budget. Countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe are also contenders.
India was named the No. 1 destination, thanks to low rent and utilities. Retirees will be left with an estimated $1,065 after average monthly expenditures in the country, the site said. Morocco followed close behind with an estimated $917 left over after monthly expenditures. Meanwhile, retirees living on Social Security in Turkey will be left with roughly $914 in their pocket each month, GoBankingRates predicted.
Here's a look at the 25 best places to retire if you're hoping to squeeze the most out of your monthly Social Security check, according to GoBanking Rates.
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
Go here to see how much retirement money you'd likely save each month.