Special Report

What It Costs to Retire Comfortably in Every State

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31. New Mexico
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,075,034 (25th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 6.7% less than avg.
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $357 (6th lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 17.6% (11th highest)

New Mexico falls roughly in the middle of all states in terms of the total expected lifetime expenditure for a retiree, at about $1.1 million. Life expectancy at 65 in the state is slightly higher than average, and cost of living in the state is slightly below average. It appears retirees in the state are among the least likely to be able to afford these expenses, as New Mexico has the highest poverty rate among residents 65 or older, at 13.3%, compared to a national 65+ poverty rate of 9.4%.

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32. New York
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,395,243 (2nd most)
> Avg. cost of living: 15.8% more than avg.
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $768 (5th highest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 16.4% (25th lowest)

New York is one of the most expensive states to live in the country. It also has the third longest life expectancy at 65. As a result, the state has the second highest estimated total spending for a comfortable retirement, at nearly $1.4 million over 20.6 years.

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33. North Carolina
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,009,269 (16th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 8.7% less than avg.
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $405 (14th lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 16.3% (23rd lowest)

North Carolina has both below average cost of living and below average life expectancy, and so it ranks among the bottom third of states for expected retirement spending, at just over $1 million.

Owning a house in North Carolina is relatively inexpensive for senior citizens, with the typical home owned by seniors valued at $171,500, compared to the national median value of senior-owned homes of $217,000.

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34. North Dakota
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,027,622 (20th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 9.9% less than avg.
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $456 (22nd lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 15.3% (7th lowest)

Goods and services are about 10% less expensive in North Dakota than they are, on average, nationwide. Partially as a result, at $1,027,622, the estimated cost to live comfortably in the state from age 65 on is about $107,000 less than the estimate for the nation.

Likely due in part to the lower retirement costs, North Dakota residents are less likely to have to work into retirement age. Just 37.5% of 65 and older households are earning wages or salaries, below the 38.0% national average.

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35. Ohio
> Est. total retirement spending: $946,340 (7th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 11.1% less than avg.
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $464 (24th lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 17.1% (17th highest)

Accounting for Ohio’s cost of living, which is 11.1% lower than the national average, state residents 65 and older spend an estimated $45,215 a year. That means that 65-year-olds in Ohio who live to be 83.2 years old — Ohio’s average life expectancy for those age 65 — can expect to spend $946,340 to live comfortably throughout the rest of their lives.

For many in the state, those expenses can be, at least partially, met through retirement savings and Social Security. Still, 36.0% of Ohio residents age 65 and up are still working.

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