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How Long Does a One Million Dollar Retirement Fund Last in Each of the 50 States?


For many of us, $1 million dollars sounds like a magical number. The idea of being a millionaire makes us think of financial security and comfort. But thanks to inflation, increased housing costs, and costly medical needs, $1 million may not last as long as you think.

Cost of living just keeps on increasing and some areas of our country are becoming more and more expensive to live in. That’s why, along with considering your lifestyle needs and retirement dreams, you should take into account that where you choose to reside in retirement will affect the longevity of your nest egg. As you can likely imagine, $1 million in New York City won’t get you as far as it would in Topeka, Kansas. The real question is, just how long will your retirement fund last based on where you live?

Thanks to an extensive report compiled by GOBankingRates, (1) we can get an idea of what to expect. By determining the average total expenditures for people ages 65 and older then multiplying them by the cost of living index in each state, the report found the average expenditure cost for each state to determine how many years $1 million will last the average retiree.

Here’s a comprehensive ranking from worst to best:

50. Hawaii

How long $1 million will last: 11 years, 11 months

Hawaii is the most expensive for several reasons. The cost of groceries, housing, and spending are higher than any other state.

49. California

How long $1 million will last: 16 years, 5 months

Real estate in California is not cheap. While some costs are lower than Hawaii, your retirement fund may not last as long as you’d think.

48. Alaska

How long $1 million will last: 17 years

What makes Alaska particularly expensive is its grocery costs, which is only second to Hawaii. While housing is lower than many states, other living expenses make up for it.

47. New York

How long $1 million will last: 17 years, 1 month

Utilities are lower in New York than other states, but groceries, housing, and transportation make this state one of the most expensive to live in.

46. Massachusetts

How long $1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

Healthcare costs are higher in Massachusetts than all but two other states in the U.S., and only three states pay higher utility bills. As a result, Massachusetts comes with a high cost of living.

45. Connecticut

How long $1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

Connecticut is almost identical to Massachusetts in terms of costs of living, especially when it comes to healthcare. Connecticut has the fifth highest healthcare costs in the country.

44. Maryland

How long $1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

It’s housing that’s particularly costly in Maryland, with the fourth highest housing prices in the country. Transportation is also more expensive, contributing to high cost of living expenses.

43. Oregon

How long $1 million will last: 17 years, 7 months

Housing and grocery bills are higher in Oregon than many states, which contribute to the high costs. However, eastern Oregon is considerably less expensive than the west and Portland areas.

42. Rhode Island

How long $1 million will last: 18 years, 2 months

Most expenses in Rhode Island are comparable to the rest of the country, but its housing and utilities that put this state within the top 10 most expensive places to live.

41. New Jersey

How long $1 million will last: 18 years, 6 months

Housing in New Jersey, along with utilities, make this one of the more expensive states in which to retire.

40. Vermont

How long $1 million will last: 18 years, 7 months

While healthcare costs are only slightly above average compared to the rest of the country, housing, utilities, and many other costs of living are much higher here.

39. New Hampshire

How long $1 million will last: 19 years

New Hampshire retirees can expect utilities and grocery bills that are far beyond the national average.

38. Maine

How long $1 million will last: 19 years, 6 months

While groceries are slightly below the national average, many other expenses are above average, including housing and utilities.

37. Washington

How long $1 million will last: 21 years, 1 month

Utilities in Washington are significantly below the national average. However, housing and other costs will take a bite out of your retirement fund each year.

36. Delaware

How long $1 million will last: 21 years, 10 months

You can expect to find housing, healthcare, and transportation costs below the national average, but pricey groceries and utilities bring up annual costs of living.

35. Pennsylvania

How long $1 million will last: 21 years, 11 months

Healthcare costs are lower here than all but three states, but housing and utilities bring this state up to 16th place for the most expensive states for retirees.

34. Virginia

How long $1 million will last: 22 years

Virginia ranks well in transportation, with the eighth lowest expenses nationwide. And while utilities and healthcare rank average, housing is what can cost more than average.

33. Colorado

How long $1 million will last: 22 years

Housing and healthcare costs are above the national average, but utilities, transportation, and groceries, among other necessities, are cheaper than average.

32. Nevada

How long $1 million will last: 22 years

Nevada ranks similarly to Colorado, especially when it comes to low utilities. However, housing, healthcare, and transportation are far above average.

31. South Carolina

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 3 months

South Carolina has some of the most expensive utilities nationwide, and while grocery bills and healthcare are also above average, housing and transportation fall below average.

30. Florida

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 4 months

Along with expensive grocery costs, housing, transportation, and utilities are all above average. However, Floridians save in healthcare costs.

29. South Dakota

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 4 months

The cost of living in South Dakota is just slightly above the national average. And while housing costs above the national average, residents pay less for transportation (the fifth cheapest of all states).

28. Minnesota

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 6 months

Similar to South Dakota, Minnesota is just slightly above average for groceries, transportation, and healthcare costs. But residents can save when it comes to utilities and housing.

27. North Dakota

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 7 months

Healthcare costs and groceries can be more expensive than the average state, but residents will save in utilities and housing.

26. Montana

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 10 months

Utilities in Montana are the cheapest in the country, while groceries and healthcare costs are in line with the national average.

25. Illinois

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 1 month

Coming in at the middle, Illinois retirees will save in terms of healthcare, housing, and groceries, but can expect to pay above the national average for transportation and utilities.

24. Arizona

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 2 months

While groceries are more expensive than the national average, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare are all below average.

23. Wisconsin

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 3 months

Healthcare, utilities, and transportation costs are all higher than the national average, but residents will save considerably when it comes to housing.

22. New Mexico

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 3 months

New Mexico is almost identical to Wisconsin in terms of annual costs. Utilities, housing, and groceries are all below average, but healthcare and transportation are slightly above the national average.

21. West Virginia

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 6 months

Only groceries are slightly above average. Housing, healthcare, and utilities are all below average.

20. Wyoming

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

We’ve officially reached the top 20 least expensive states for living in retirement! Groceries and utilities are slightly above the national average, but housing is far below average, as are the other categories.

19. Kentucky

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

Housing is particularly inexpensive in Kentucky, as are groceries and healthcare costs.

18. North Carolina

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 8 months

North Carolina is cheaper than average for housing, transportation, utilities, and groceries. The only category where it ranks slightly above average is healthcare.

17. Utah

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

Along with the third-lowest utility rates in the country, Utah is also known for inexpensive housing. Groceries is the only category where Utah ranks slightly higher than the national average.

16. Nebraska

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

Other than transportation, Nebraska living costs are all below average, including housing, utilities, groceries, and healthcare.

15. Louisiana

How long $1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months

Louisiana ranks slightly below the national average for all categories, with housing ranking significantly below the national average.

14. Ohio

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 2 months

Ohio has the second-lowest annual housing costs across the nation. While transportation is slightly above average, utilities, healthcare, and groceries are all below average in expenses.

13. Iowa

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 3 months

Healthcare and transportation costs hover around the national average, but inexpensive housing and groceries make this an affordable state for retirees.

12. Kansas

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 7 months

Other than housing, which is the ninth-lowest cost in the nation, transportation, healthcare, groceries, and utilities are in line with the national average cost.

11. Idaho

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 8 months

While transportation costs are slightly above average, all other categories rank below the national average, especially when it comes to housing.

10. Alabama

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

Alabama makes it into the top 10 with lower than average healthcare costs and housing.

9. Indiana

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

In Indiana, all living expenses fall below the national average, especially when it comes to housing costs.

8. Texas

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 9 months

One of the largest states in the country comes with some of the lowest living expenses. Groceries and housing are fairly inexpensive, and utilities, healthcare, and transportation all cost less than the national average.

7. Missouri

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 10 months

Utilities may cost slightly more than the national average, but housing is the fourth cheapest in the country.

6. Georgia

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 11 months

Living expenses in Georgia all fall below the national average, especially when it comes to housing.

These final five states make it possible for retirees to potentially enjoy 25 years in retirement with a $1 million fund.

5. Tennessee

How long $1 million will last: 25 years

The standout category for Tennessee is housing, which is lower than most states.

4. Michigan

How long $1 million will last: 25 years

While healthcare and utilities fall below the national average cost, the greatest advantage is housing.

3. Oklahoma

How long $1 million will last: 25 years, 2 months

All major living costs fall below the national average in Oklahoma, making it easier for retirees to stretch their dollar.

2. Arkansas

How long $1 million will last: 25 years, 6 months

As the second cheapest state in terms of cost of living, healthcare costs are the second lowest in the country and groceries are the fourth lowest.

1. Mississippi

How long $1 million will last: 26 years, 4 months

Mississippi ranks as the least expensive state to live in, requiring only an average of $37,964 per year for living expenses (compared to $83,000 for Hawaii, the most expensive state).

Between Hawaii and Mississippi, there is more than a 14-year difference in the length of time that your $1 million retirement fund will last. This significant difference means your retirement account could last more than twice as long in some states than others! These figures go to show just how important it is to address average housing costs in your state when calculating how much you’ll need in retirement.

Do you have questions on your retirement savings and how long $1 million could last for you based on your lifestyle needs? Call my office at (239) 204-4333 or email me at scott@mtagrp.com to set up an appointment. We’d be happy to review your current strategies and help you plan for your Golden Years.

About Scott

Scott R. Schatzle, CFP® is a financial advisor and the owner of Mutual Trust Advisory Group, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm that specializes in helping successful individuals, families, and retirees. Scott brings more than 13 years of industry experience to the table, along with specialized training in and knowledge of comprehensive financial planning. Working closely with each of his clients, he strives to assist people in making smart decisions around their money and help them build and maintain wealth over time. Based in Estero, Florida, he works with clients in Estero, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Naples. To learn more about Scott and his firm’s services, call (239) 204-4333, email scott@mtagrp.com, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Mutual Trust Advisory Group is registered as an investment advisor with the state of Florida and only conducts business in states where it is properly registered or is excluded from registration requirements. Registration is not an endorsement of the firm by securities regulators and does not mean the advisor has achieved a specific level of skill or ability.

All investments and strategies have the potential for profit or loss. There are no assurances that a client’s portfolio will match or exceed any particular benchmark.

This newsletter has been provided by Claire Akin of Indigo Marketing Agency for informational purposes and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security.  All expressions of opinion reflect the opinions of Claire Akin of Indigo Marketing Agency and not necessarily those of Mutual Trust Advisory Group.

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(1) https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/how-long-million-last-retirement-state/2/