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