|If you’re a local retiree living on social security, you’re in luck – a recent study indicates that Custer County ranks number one in Colorado as the best county to live for social security recipients.
The study was conducted by the financial firm SmartAssets and the purpose was to determine which counties in each state provide the most bang for the buck for folks living on social security.
According to the study, Custer ranks number one in Colorado based on how social security income goes the furthest.
The report says the net average annual social security payment in our county is $19,694. And the cost of living to cover the most basic necessities here is pegged at $18,247. That gives Custer a formula index number of 78.11, the highest – and best – in the state.
The SmartAssets study, which only ranks the top ten counties in each state, places us in good company. Most of the other counties on the list are also small and rural.
Here’s how the other the other counties stacked up. The first number is the net average annual social security payment, followed by the cost of living and the indexed formula (the higher the number the better):
--Custer County: $19,694; $18,247; 78.11.
--Mineral County: $19,100; $18,583; 73.04.
--Ouray County: $20,542; $20,059; 72.48.
--Grand County: $18,812; $19,267; 67.66.
--Phillips County: $17,361; $17,887; 67.64.
--Chaffee County: $18,504; $19,759; 63.25.
--Archuleta County: $18,381; $19,699; 62.93.
--Summit County: $20,743; $22,015; 62.57.
--Sedgwick County: $16,334; $17,818; 62.53.
--Las Animas County: $17,072; $18,535; 62.46.
Recent census data shows the median age here to be nearly 56, and that more than 40 percent of our population is age 55 or older. Those numbers are expected to increase in coming years. Perhaps the fiscal security demonstrated by the SmartAssets study is helping to drive that grey-growth.