Here’s How Long $1 Million Lasts During Retirement in Every State

MANAGE MONEY - MANAGE MONEY NEWS
A cushy, or frustrating, retirement lifestyle can be influenced by the state you live in.
Updated Jan. 7, 2024
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Is a million dollars the right amount of money to retire on? While the amount would cover all expenses and leave money for travel and hobbies, it might not be enough to live on. Your location and possible medical expenses could mean you need to sock away more money before retirement to continue a specific standard of living. 

The least expensive place for a retiree to live is Johnstown, PA. $779,765 is the amount needed to live comfortably for approximately 20 years. Meanwhile, you would need at least $1.2 million in San Francisco to enjoy the same comforts as someone living in Pennsylvania.

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How the numbers were crunched

A GoBankingRates study with the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey on retiree spending and the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis 2020 Regional Price Parity survey parsed out how much $1 million will last throughout the United States. Metro areas with an HCOL require over a million dollars, while $1 million lasts longer than average in neighborhoods with a lower cost of living,

The studies also included the average Social Security retirement income and the money needed to cover yearly taxes. The breakdown included a conservative estimate of the cost of basic needs and bills. The biggest eye-opener was that retirees need to earn extra income aside from the nest egg because retirement funds are not enough.

How long does $1 million last in each state?

When looking at the numbers, remember that the number of years per state is the cumulative average for the entire state. There will always be variables within a state. A retirement fund will last longer if you live in a suburban or exurban environment than in a city. Whether they are an HCOL or LCOL, cities eat up funds faster. For example, a nest egg of $406,280 in Naples, Florida, covers the same expenses as a $1,259,300 retirement fund in Miami, Florida. The difference here is the COL.

Here is how long $1 million lasts in each state, in no particular order: 

  • Maine - 16.8 years
  • New Hampshire – 16.7 years
  • Vermont – 16.5 years
  • Massachusetts – 12.8 years
  • Rhode Island – 17.3 years
  • Connecticut – 16.6 years
  • New York – 14.1 years
  • New Jersey – 16.8 years
  • Pennsylvania – 19.5 years
  • Delaware – 18.2 years
  • Maryland - 15.5 years
  • West Virginia -21.4 years
  • Virginia – 18,8 years
  • North Carolina – 19.8 years
  • South Carolina – 19.9 years
  • Georgia -21.6 years
  • Florida – 18.3 years
  • Alabama – 22 years
  • Tennessee – 21.3 years
  • Indiana – 21.3 years
  • Ohio – 21.5 years
  • Michigan – 20.9 years
  • Kentucky – 20.7 years
  • Mississippi – 22.7 years
  • Louisiana – 20.5 years
  • Arkansas – 21.3 years
  • Missouri – 21.3 years
  • Iowa – 21.8 years
  • Wisconsin – 20.4 years
  • Illinois – 20.9 years
  • Minnesota – 20.2 years
  • North Dakota – 19.7 years
  • South Dakota – 20 years
  • Nebraska – 21 years
  • Kansas – 22 years
  • Oklahoma – 22.1 years
  • Texas – 20.7 years
  • New Mexico – 20.5 years
  • Colorado – 18.3 years
  • Wyoming – 20.9 years
  • Montana – 18.2 years
  • Idaho – 19.4 years
  • Oregon – 15.7 years
  • Washington – 16.8 years
  • Nevada – 18.8 years
  • Utah – 18.8 years
  • Arizona – 17.8 years
  • California – 13.8 years
  • Hawaii – 10.3 years
  • Alaska – 15.3 years

Bottom line

Your retirement plan should consider two things: savings and location. If you didn’t start saving for retirement when you entered the workforce, start doing it now. The financial firm Vanguard conducted a study on retirement habits and found that many people have delayed retirement due to a lack of savings. 

 While Social Security will provide a monthly stipend once you reach your early 60s, often, it does not cover basic expenses. At work, take the time to explore your company’s retirement savings plans and prepare for retirement. Take the time to research and invest in IRA accounts and try to add more money to your savings accounts.


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Author Details

PJ Gach PJ Gach is a professional writer who has over a decade of experience covering the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle beats. Her writing credits include Shop TODAY, GoBankingRates, SPY.com, Reader's Digest, The New York Post, Rolling Stone, and more.

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