What Social Security could look like 20 years from now in every state

retirement boomersFlickr/Timothy Krause

  • Social Security benefits for retirees grew by an average of 2.54% every year over the last three decades.
  • If this growth continues, the average Social Security benefit for retirees will grow to $2,318.89 per month by 2038.
  • However, that amount will be offset by a higher cost of living.

For many American retirees, paying their monthly bills is possible because of their Social Security retirement benefits - but the program's future isn't exactly clear.

Several factors will determine what happens to Social Security benefits going forward. The US has an aging population with many people nearing retirement age. Combined with longer life spans and fewer workers contributing to Social Security, retirement funds may feel a crunch in the future.

As it stands now, the Social Security Administration makes a cost of living adjustment to increase retirement benefits by a certain amount every year. Over the past 30 years, from 1989 to 2018, the average cost of living adjustment was 2.54%. But not every year sees the same increase. Social Security benefits increased by 2.0% in 2018, 0% in 2016, and 3.6% in 2012.

Business Insider calculated what Social Security benefits could look like in 20 years if this trend continues. Using the 2.54% average cost of living adjustment, the typical retiree could expect to receive a monthly check worth $2,318.89 in 2038. Currently, the average monthly retirement benefit is $1,404.15.

While that may sound like a more reasonable amount, don't change your retirement plans just yet. The increase in retirement benefits will be nominal because overall cost of living will increase at the same rate. Meaning, the benefits retirees receive in 20 years will be worth about the same amount as they are now, in terms of spending power.

Below, see the average Social Security retirement benefit in 2018 compared to the estimated benefit 20 years from now for every state and Washington DC, ranked from the lowest to the highest.

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51. Louisiana

51. Louisiana

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,311.72

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,166.24

50. Maine

50. Maine

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,314.22

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,170.37

49. Mississippi

49. Mississippi

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,319.06

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,178.37

48. New Mexico

48. New Mexico

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,323.16

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,185.14

47. Montana

47. Montana

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,331.30

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,198.58

46. Arkansas

46. Arkansas

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,333.93

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,202.93

45. South Dakota

45. South Dakota

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,336.28

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,206.80

44. Kentucky

44. Kentucky

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,340.30

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,213.45

43. Washington, DC

43. Washington, DC

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,342.98

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,217.87

42. Alaska

42. Alaska

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,343.39

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,218.55

41. North Dakota

41. North Dakota

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,344.48

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,220.35

40. Oklahoma

40. Oklahoma

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,368.52

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,260.05

39. Idaho

39. Idaho

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,370.97

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,264.09

38. Texas

38. Texas

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,375.08

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,270.88

37. California

37. California

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,377.54

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,274.94

36. Nevada

36. Nevada

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,378.14

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,275.93

35. Alabama

35. Alabama

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,379.92

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,278.88

34. Georgia

34. Georgia

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,382.27

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,282.75

33. Missouri

33. Missouri

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,384.10

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,285.77

32. West Virginia

32. West Virginia

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,384.50

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,286.43

31. Ohio

31. Ohio

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,385.60

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,288.25

30. Hawaii

30. Hawaii

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,391.79

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,298.48

29. Tennessee

29. Tennessee

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,393.61

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,301.48

28. Florida

28. Florida

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,395.31

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,304.30

27. North Carolina

27. North Carolina

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,404.91

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,320.14

26. Oregon

26. Oregon

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,406.20

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,322.28

25. Nebraska

25. Nebraska

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,406.96

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,323.53

24. Colorado

24. Colorado

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,407.49

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,324.56

23. Iowa

23. Iowa

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1408.79

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,326.55

22. South Carolina

22. South Carolina

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,416.91

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,339.96

21. Vermont

21. Vermont

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,419.44

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,344.15

20. Wyoming

20. Wyoming

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,426.58

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,355.93

19. Rhode Island

19. Rhode Island

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,430.63

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,362.62

18. Arizona

18. Arizona

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,432.72

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,366.07

17. Illinois

17. Illinois

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,434.34

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,368.74

16. Utah

16. Utah

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,437.30

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,373.63

15. Wisconsin

15. Wisconsin

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,443.26

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,383.48

14. Virginia

14. Virginia

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,444.06

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,384.80

13. Massachusetts

13. Massachusetts

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,444.36

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,385.29

12. Kansas

12. Kansas

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,450.99

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,396.25

11. Pennsylvania

11. Pennsylvania

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,454.99

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,402.86

10. Minnesota

10. Minnesota

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,457.22

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,406.53

9. New York

9. New York

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,458.19

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,408.13

8. Indiana

8. Indiana

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,464.61

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,418.74

7. Washington

7. Washington

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,472.50

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,431.77

6. Maryland

6. Maryland

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,482.87

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,448.89

5. Michigan

5. Michigan

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,493.77

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,466.90

4. New Hampshire

4. New Hampshire

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,498.01

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,473.90

3. Delaware

3. Delaware

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,517.11

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,505.43

2. Connecticut

2. Connecticut

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,546.67

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,554.25

1. New Jersey

1. New Jersey

Average Social Security benefits in 2018: $1,553.63

Estimated Social Security benefits in 2038: $2,565.74

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