5 Best Places to Live on Social Security Disability

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By Clever Real Estate Updated March 9, 2023


If you have to make ends meet on social security disability alone, you know how hard it can be. For many, living on SSD alone means needing to find a new place to live. These five cities offer a low cost of living without sacrificing quality of life. Start your search for a new home here.

5 Best Places to Live on Social Security Disability

Living on social security disability payments alone poses many challenges, mainly because being able to find a home that’s affordable and in an enjoyable area.

If you’ve been struggling to find a place to call home due to your fixed income, you’re in luck. We’ve done the digging for you and have come up with five of the best places to live on social security disability alone.

These cities have a low cost of living, a high rate of resident satisfaction, and they all have a lot to offer for those seeking a place to retire or settle down.

Once you’ve decided where you want to move, be sure to contact a local real estate agent to help you through the home buying process. In the meantime, get a head start on your search for a new home city by looking at the following five cities.

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Work with a Partner Agent to find an affordable home in these cities.

Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson offers residents culture, history, and a tight-knit community that’s invested in the town and its welfare. Beyond that, Mississippi doesn’t tax social security disability income (SSDI), so while you will have to pay income tax on anything you earn outside of SSDI, your social security income will not be taxed.

The cost of living in Jackson is 11% below the national average. Housing costs are 24% lower than the national average, groceries cost 11% less, transportation costs 13% less, and healthcare costs 11% less.

The cost of a doctor’s appointment in Jackson is under $100, a dentist appointment is around $85 on average, and gas is $2.26 a gallon (as of June 2019).

Birmingham, AL

Like Mississippi, Alabama residents enjoy tax-free SSDI. Again, you must pay income tax on anything you earn outside of that, and if you’re married, your significant other’s income will be taxed. However, your SSDI will not be.

Beyond that, you’ll enjoy a reduced cost of living here. The overall cost of living in Birmingham is 9% below the national average. Housing will cost you 14% less than it does in most other places in the country, groceries are 4% less expensive, and transportation costs are 9% less expensive.

Healthcare costs are much cheaper here, sitting at around 16% less than the national average. The average doctor’s visit costs about $92, and the average dentist appointment costs around $79. Gas is currently $2.39 per gallon (as of June 2019).

Birmingham is a larger city, but it has a small town fee. There are many parks, family activities, historical sites, and cultural experiences, and most residents feel a strong sense of community.

Abilene, TX

Texas takes cost savings further than any other state on the list so far. Not only do they not tax SSDI, there’s no income tax at all. While the property taxes here are higher, not having to pay income tax makes up for that, according to many residents.

Overall, the cost of living in Abilene is 4% less than the national average. Housing costs 10% less here than it does in the rest of the country, transportation costs are 10% lower, and grocery costs sit right at the national average.

You will pay a little more for utilities and healthcare, but it’s a nominal difference that can easily be offset by the lack of income tax.

Abilene is a unique town with a tight-knit community. It provides easy accessibility to anything you could need, and their downtown is storybook themed, which adds a sense of charm and whimsy.

Dayton, OH

Dayton, OH charges income tax, but they don’t tax your SSDI. It’s also about 9% less expensive to live here compared with the national average cost of living.

Housing is 32% less expensive in Dayton, utilities are 16% less expensive, groceries cost 4% less, and healthcare costs are 13% below the national average. You can see the doctor for an average of $96 per visit, and the average dentist appointment is $83.

Residents of Dayton say they love the accessibility of the town. Just about everything you need is within walking distance, and there’s a reliable public transportation system if you don’t have (or don’t want to bring) a car. The town is full of caring people who give this large town a strong sense of community.

Durham, NC

Like the other cities on this list, Durham doesn’t tax SSDI, so your social security income is safe. It costs 11% less to live here than the national average.

You’ll save 27% on housing costs, 13% on utilities, 4% on groceries, and healthcare costs sit right at the national average. The typical doctor’s visit in Durham is around $110 and the average dentist appointment is $95.

Gas prices are currently $2.64 per gallon, and while public transportation isn’t as easily accessible here as it is in other places, you should be able to make arrangements.

According to residents, Durham is a beautiful, safe community that has a strong arts center, a lot of history and culture, and an overall peaceful lifestyle that’s easy to enjoy.

Next Steps

While there are many options to choose from for finding a new home in a city where the cost of living is lower and your SSDI is free from taxation, the above list is a great starting point. Keep exploring your options and see which place feels like the right one for you.

Once you’ve decided on where you want to live, be sure to work with an experienced, local real estate agent. Only a real estate agent with local experience will guide you through the home buying process, ensuring that you time your offer correctly, negotiate effectively, and make the decisions that will ultimately lead to a positive outcome for you.

Clever Partner Agents are full-service agents that are verified top performers in their local markets. They work for a flat fee and a reduced commission rate, and if you use them to buy a home, you may qualify for Clever Cash Back, depending on the state you're in. That's potentially a check in the mail after your sale is final.

When you’re ready to find a home, contact Clever and we’ll introduce you to a Partner Agent in your area of choice for a no-obligation consultation.

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