Here’s How Long $1M in Retirement Savings Will Last You in All 50 States

28,250 Views
Mature couple sitting outdoors on a bench photographing each other with camera.
jacoblund/Getty Images

How long will your retirement savings last? It’s not just about how much you stash away over the years or how you plan to spend it when the time comes.

It’s also about where you spend your golden years.

GOBankingRates examined just how far a $1 million retirement fund goes in all 50 states, using the average costs of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care in each.

The good news: If you retire in Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Michigan or Tennessee, your retirement money will last the longest — 25 years or more!

The bad news may not surprise you: Your retirement fund will dwindle more quickly if you settle down in Hawaii, California, Alaska, New York or Massachusetts. While your $1 million retirement savings will last more than 26 years in Mississippi, it’ll last you just under 12 years in Hawaii.

GOBankingRates tallied the average annual expenses for people age 65 and up, then multiplied that number with the cost of living index for each state, calculated by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, to determine annual costs by state.

GOBankingRates notes that the average American retirement age is 63 and life expectancy right now is 85, so you should plan for 22 years of fine leisurely living from your retirement savings.   

Start Thinking Early About the Best States to Retire in

If you’re just starting your retirement savings journey, you may say, “Well how am I supposed to know where I’ll want to live when I’m retired?” Beats me too, dude.

But it’s worth looking at this list to get a bird’s-eye view at how far that mysterious, magical $1 million nest egg would take you in 2017 dollars.

If you dream of retiring to Hawaii and living in retirement for more than a decade, you’ll probably want to work on saving more than $1 million for your golden years. Oh, and how golden they will be. Golden beaches. Golden sunsets. Golden margaritas.

Wait, what was I saying?

Meanwhile, if you have your heart set on, say, Arizona (it’s a dry heat!), that $1 million would last you for just over 23 years.

There are a lot of factors that’ll go into choosing the best states to retire in for you, and many people won’t have the choice to go somewhere new. But by taking a quick peek at what it costs to live in different states, you can start to think about the lifestyle you’ll want to have when you retire — and what it’ll take to get you there.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.