Study shows Polk County ranks fifth in the state for stretching Social Security income

Published 11:53 am Friday, September 2, 2022

POLK COUNTY––According to a study by SmartAsset on where Social Security benefits will cover the highest portion of post-tax living expenses, Polk County ranked fifth out of all North Carolina counties.

Steve Sabato at SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company that publishes articles, guides, reviews, calculators, and tools to help people make decisions about personal finance, says, “The study compares Social Security income in each county against the local cost of living to see where retirees can stretch their money furthest.”

The cost of living in Polk County, according to SmartAsset, is $19,926 annually, and the average annual Social Security check is $21,890.

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Nationally, Polk County ranks 268th in terms of stretching those Social Security dollars.. states that the study first looked at the average Social Security income and then calculated the taxes that a typical retiree would pay based on state-specifics. Then they subtracted the taxes from the average Social Security income and determined the net income from Social Security. 


Next, they calculated how far that net income could go in every county to cover everyday necessities, and subtracted those living expenses from each county’s net Social Security income. 

Other counties in North Carolina where Social Security income lasts the longest include Brunswick, Transylvania, Yancey, and Stanley counties.