Biggest bangs in Washington for Social Security bucks

Biggest bangs in Washington for Social Security bucks

Social Security is a vital source of income for millions of seniors, but the true value of each dollar depends on where recipients live. In its sixth annual study, SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, analyzed where Social Security goes furthest. And in Washington, the area with the biggest bang for the benefit bucks is Wahkiakum County.

Home to just a few thousand people and located in southwest Washington near the Oregon border, Wahkiakum has a per-person annual cost of living of $18,222 and average Social Security income of $23,644.

The other top-five counties, all with similar numbers to Wahkiakum and also similar in size and rural character, are Pend Oreille, Lincoln, Pacific and Asotin.

A view from the water of part of sparsely populated Wahkiakum County.

Pierce and King counties? They rank 33rd and 39th, respectively, among the state’s 39 counties. The cost of living and average Social Security amounts in Pierce are $21,986 and $19,896; in King, they’re $29,253 and $29,723.