Survey rates DeKalb as best Alabama city for living on fixed income

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A new survey lists DeKalb, AL as the best city in the Yellowhammer State for older Americans living on Social Security.

The financial services firm SmartAsset on Monday released the results of its second annual study of where Social Security checks go furthest, based on purchasing power, state SSA rules and local taxes.

DeKalb scored an 80.25 on the firm’s index, where 100 represents stretching Social Security funds the furthest.

Rounding out the top 10 were Morgan (78.61), Shelby (77.98), Lauderdale (77.55), Etowah (76.12), Baldwin (75.42), Washington (74.26), Chilton (73.91), Henry (73.64), and Bibb (73.59).

The firm’s methodology took the average Social Security payment amount in each city, factored in what retirees would typically pay on that income based on the state tax rules, and subtracted based on local cost of living and municipal taxes.

Unlike many other states, Alabamians pay no taxes on Social Security income in all 67 counties.

The cities of DeKalb and Etowah were among the most affordable places in the country to live on a fixed income, No. 75 and No. 239 respectively. They are the only cities were the average SSA benefit levels are higher than the projected cost of living.

A typical DeKalb resident on Social Security receives $17,069 while it costs some $16,337 to live annually. In Etowah, those figures are $16,724 and $16,626.

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