The average monthly Social Security payment was $1341 in January 2016. That's enough income for a married couple each receiving this amount to cover basic expenses such as housing, food, transportation, health care and utilities in some parts of the country, according to a U.S. News analysis of census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The analysis also factored in crime rates, access to health care and recreation opportunities. Consider Richmond, VA where two Social Security checks are likely to pay for basic retirement costs.
While norther Virginia has very high housing costs that aren't likely to be covered by social security alone, costs drop significantly a little farther south in Richmond. The median retiree homeowners pay $1,282 per month with a mortgage which drops to $465 among older residents who have paid off their homes. The median rent for senior citizens is $905 monthly. Virginia's capital city is divided by the James river, which has whitewater rapids running through town. The area also has several well regarded hospitals, including the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.