6 Best States to Retire with $1 Million

RETIREMENT - RETIREMENT PLANNING
Making $1 million last the rest of your life is easier in these six states.
Updated May 8, 2024
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If you have $1 million saved for your retirement, you're in better financial shape than many. But depending on where you retire, that million might not last very long. 

That's why choosing a retirement-friendly city is one of the ways to avoid throwing away money in retirement. Certain states will allow you to get the absolute most out of your $1 million. 

We ranked the top six states here.

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Mississippi

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Jackson Mississippi skyline

World Population Review ranked Mississippi as the state with the lowest cost of living for 2024. 

A million dollars here will likely allow you to retire comfortably for most, if not all, of your retired years. There are plenty of things for retirees to enjoy, as well, such as golf and sandy beaches.

However, the state has its drawbacks. According to the United States Census Bureau, only about 17% of Mississippi’s population is 65 or older, and nearly 20% of people live in poverty. 

Some areas in the state have higher and lower percentages, so choosing the right city also makes a difference.

Kansas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe kansas state capital building in topeka

Kansas is another affordable state and is a good option if you want to live in the Midwest. Housing costs are a major factor in the state’s appeal for retirees, ranking well below the national average.

Kansas is not entirely tax-friendly for retirees, however. Kansas will tax your Social Security benefits if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is over $75,000. Social Security benefits will not be taxed if you don’t meet this threshold.

Texas

jdross75/Adobe austin skyline at sunset

Texas is much more tax-friendly for seniors than Kansas. There's no tax on Social Security benefits, and the state doesn't charge income, estate, or inheritance taxes. Seniors 65 and older can also claim an exemption for local property taxes. 

While tax breaks might account for much of the population increase, other affordability factors appeal to new residents. 

Texas saw the greatest population growth of any state in the country in 2021. Nonetheless, housing costs remain below the national average in many areas.

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South Carolina

jdross75/Adobe Charleston fountain from above

South Carolina also boasts housing costs below the national average. While groceries are slightly higher than in many other states, the total cost of living remains below the national average.

Affordable living combined with moderate winters and desirable beaches makes South Carolina a top choice for seniors with $1 million in savings. 

You might decide to use some of the money saved on living expenses to enjoy the state's attractions.

North Carolina

Kevin Ruck/Adobe downtown Charlotte North Carolina USA Skyline

Residents of North Carolina enjoy mild weather. This state might be a great option if you don’t want to live somewhere as hot as Florida but don’t enjoy northern winters.

The cost of living is also below the national average, allowing your savings to last longer.

North Carolina taxes pensions and retirement account withdrawals, but there's no tax on Social Security benefits.

Florida

jovannig/Adobe aerial view of Miami Beach skyline Florida

Florida is a popular state for retirees for its warm weather and large senior population. If you're looking to make new friends, you’ll find many other retirees in the Sunshine State.

Florida is also very tax-friendly. There's no tax on Social Security benefits, pensions, or 401 (k) income. 

In the event you decide to work during retirement, you’ll also enjoy no income tax in Florida. This is a major bonus for retirees looking for ways to supplement Social Security.

Bottom line

Goran/Adobe senior couple sitting at home and checking their home finances

One million dollars might not go as far as you’d think. The cost of living where you choose to retire will impact how long you can comfortably sustain yourself. 

Experts recommend you have 80% of your pre-retirement income to live on per year, although that percentage can vary depending on factors, including where you live.

If you want to see if you can retire early, you’ll need to factor those extra years of retirement into your savings.

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Author Details

Katelyn Washington Katelyn Washington is a writer with a passion for finance and business. She put herself through business school as a single mother of three and has had pieces commissioned by national magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and editing manuscripts for indie authors.

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