How Much it Takes to Retire in Every State – The 401(k) Specialist


It’s no secret that the amount of money needed to retire depends somewhat on where you live—or plan to live once retired.

While we recently reported how Florida once again dominated U.S. News & World Report’s latest rankings of the “Best Places to Retire in the U.S.,” it still takes a lot bigger nest egg to retire in Florida than it does in most other states in the South. But it also takes less to retire in the Sunshine State than it does in nearly half of the other states in the country.

To help people know what it will cost wherever they plan to retire, GOBankingRates.com has ranked all 50 states from least to most expensive.

The personal finance website calculated annual expenditures for a retired person in every state after deducting Social Security income, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The study assumed retirees would draw down their savings by 4% every year to cover living expenses.

While you can track down theGOBankingRates rankings for every state here, we’ll share the five least and most expensive states, along with a few other takeaways from the rankings.

In general, residents of many Southeastern and Southwestern states won’t have to put away nearly as much money for retirement, with Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas all requiring less than $700,000 in savings to retire.

Northeastern states, on the other hand, claimed seven of the 10 most expensive states for retirement.

And aforementioned Florida? It finished near the middle, as the 27th-most expensive state, requiring $843,510 to retire. Another retirement mecca, Arizona, was next at 28th on the list ($862,583).

The GOBankingRates survey provides further confirmation of both the least and most expensive states for retirement, as Mississippi was also ranked least expensive state by two other organizations (howmuch.net and 24/7 Wall Street) this year, and Hawaii was ranked most expensive by all three as well.

William Faulkner’s home in Oxford, Mississippi. Image credit: © James Kirkikis | Dreamstime.com

5 Least Expensive States to Retire

  1. Mississippi
  • Annual cost of living: $42,977
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $26,671
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $666,772
  1. Oklahoma
  • Annual cost of living: $43,790
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $27,485
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $687,116
  1. Arkansas
  • Annual cost of living: $44,197
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $27,891
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $697,288
  1. Kansas
  • Annual cost of living: $44,452
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $28,146
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $703,645
  1. Tennessee
  • Annual cost of living: $44,604
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $28,298
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $707,460

5 Most Expensive States to Retire

  1. Hawaii
  • Annual cost of living: $102,381
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $86,075
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $2,151,884
  1. California
  • Annual cost of living: $71,102
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $54,796
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $1,369,911
  1. Oregon
  • Annual cost of living: $69,678
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $53,372
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $1,334,309
  1. New York
  • Annual cost of living: $68,661
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $52,355
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $1,308,879
  1. Massachusetts
  • Annual cost of living: $66,271
  • Cost of living after Social Security: $49,965
  • How much needed in savings to retire: $1,249,119

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