Special Report

What It Costs to Retire Comfortably in Every State

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

21. Massachusetts
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,276,832 (5th most)
> Avg. cost of living: +9.7% more than avg. (5th highest)
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $794 (3rd highest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 16.5% (25th highest)

The total estimated cost of living comfortably in retirement years in Massachusetts is about $1.3 million, more than in all but four other states. The higher expenses in retirement are attributable in part to the higher cost of living in the state. Median homeownership costs in Massachusetts for 65 and older households without a mortgage are $794 and $1,842 with a mortgage, the third and fourth highest among states, respectively. Overall, goods and services are 9.7% more expensive across Massachusetts than they are, on average, nationwide.

Source: pawel.gaul / Getty Images

22. Michigan
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,021,429 (20th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 7.6% less than avg. (21st lowest)
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $477 (23rd highest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 17.2% (15th highest)

The average estimated cost of retirement in Michigan is $1,021,429, slightly less than the national average of $1,134,687. The lower retirement cost is driven by lower living expenses as goods and services in Michigan are 7.6% less expensive than the national average.

Michigan residents are also less likely to have to work into retirement age. Just 33.5% of state residents 65 and older are earning a wage or salary, nearly the lowest share of any state.

Source: RudyBalasko / Getty Images

23. Minnesota
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,157,644 (15th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 2.5% less than avg. (20th highest)
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $524 (15th highest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 15.8% (17th lowest)

Minnesota’s cost of living is slightly above that of the nation as a whole. The state also has one of the longest life expectancies at 65, at just over 20 years to about 85 years, which means seniors retiring there should expect to spend more throughout their retirement years than the national average. Comfortable retirement in Minnesota will cost about $1.2 million, more than the $1.1 million national estimate.

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

24. Mississippi
> Est. total retirement spending: $885,290 (the least)
> Avg. cost of living: 14.0% less than avg. (2nd lowest)
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $342 (3rd lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 15.9% (20th lowest)

With the nation’s second lowest cost of living, and third lowest old-age life expectancy, Mississippi is the least expensive state in which to retire. Life expectancy in Mississippi at age 65 is over 17 years to 82.6 years, and living comfortably over those years — based on average annual spending of 65 and older households — will cost an estimated total of $885,290. Average housing costs for 65 and older households with a mortgage in Mississippi are $968 a month, less than housing costs for the same age group without a mortgage in a more expensive state, like New Jersey.

Source: f11photo / Getty Images

25. Missouri
> Est. total retirement spending: $966,051 (11th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 11.2% less than avg. (9th lowest)
> Avg. monthly homeownership cost for senior citizens: $452 (21st lowest)
> Pop. 65 and older: 16.9% (21st highest)

Missouri is one of only 13 states where a comfortable life in retirement age will cost an estimated total of less than $1 million. The relatively low cost is due both to a low cost of living and a low average life expectancy in the state. Goods and services are 11.2% less expensive in Missouri than they are on average nationwide, and life expectancy at age 65 is over 18 years to 83.6, below the over 19 years, to 84.4 years, national average life expectancy at age 65.