Special Report

What It Costs to Retire Comfortably in Every State

One of the reasons that many Americans get up and go to work every day is to put some money away for retirement. While Social Security payments can be a helpful financial pillar in retirement, it is hardly enough to cover any but the most basic expenditures. 

Based on average annual spending for American seniors and the national average life expectancy at age 65 of 19.4 years, the average American will spend about $987,000 from retirement age on. And those planning for a more comfortable and financially secure retirement should plan on saving a little more. 

Of course, both cost of living and life expectancy vary considerably by state — and so, too, does the cost of retirement. Using the average annual spending of Americans 65 and older — adjusted at the state level for cost of living and life expectancy — 24/7 Wall St. calculated what it will cost to retire comfortably in each state. All data used in the ranking came from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

One of the best ways to prepare financially is through retirement-specific accounts, like IRAs or 401(k)s. These types of funds offer special tax benefits and can often come with employer matches. Those who fail to save enough and take advantage of options like these — or draw from them before they hit retirement age — may have to work past age 65 in order to pay the bills. Here is how early withdrawals from an IRA for 401K can kill your retirement

Just how much one needs to save to comfortably to meet expected spending from age 65 on depends on a number of factors. Many who work in the public sector, for example, may benefit in retirement from regular pension payments, in addition to Social Security. Just how high those pension payments are vary by state and employer. Even in some of the most expensive places to retire, state subsidies can help finance the cost of retirement. These are the states spending the most to fund their residents’ retirement.

Click here to see what it costs to retire comfortably in every state
Click here to read our methodology