Special Report

What It Costs to Retire in Every State

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41. South Dakota
> Est. total retirement spending: $ (14th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 12.2% less than avg. (7th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $493 (23rd highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 17.4% (21st highest)

South Dakota is one of the least expensive states to live in. Goods and services are 12.2% less expensive in the state than they are on average nationwide. As a result, South Dakota is also a relatively affordable place to retire. A comfortable retirement in the state is projected to cost an estimated $983,718 starting at age 65, $136,700 less than it would cost the typical 65 year old American.

In many states, lower retirement costs are partially the product of a lower than average life expectancy. In South Dakota, however, a 65 year old will live an average of another 19.4 years, in line with the comparable life expectancy nationwide.

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42. Tennessee
> Est. total retirement spending: $937,660 (9th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 10.3% less than avg. (16th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $388 (10th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 16.7% (22nd lowest)

In Tennessee, a 65 year old will live 18.1 additional years on average, over a year below the average life expectancy of all 65 year old Americans. Partially as a result, a comfortable retirement in the state costs $937,660, nearly $183,000 less than the average nationwide.

Average life expectancy notwithstanding, retiring in Tennessee is still relatively affordable. Goods and services are 10.3% less expensive than average in the state. Housing costs are particularly low. The typical retirement-age homeowner in the state without a mortgage spends $388 a month on housing, over $100 below the comparable $499 monthly median nationwide.

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43. Texas
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,070,048 (23rd most)
> Avg. cost of living: 3.5% less than avg. (23rd highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $493 (23rd highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 12.9% (3rd lowest)

A comfortable retirement projected cost the typical 65 year old Texan an estimated $1,070,048, about $50,400 less than it would the typical 65 year old American. Residents of the Lone Star State benefit from a cost of living that is about 3.5% lower than average.

Despite its relative affordability, the share of Texans who are retirement age is relatively low. Of the 29 million people living in the state, just 12.9% are 65 or older, well below the comparable 16.5% share of all Americans.

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44. Utah
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,086,767 (21st most)
> Avg. cost of living: 3.5% less than avg. (23rd highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $422 (17th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 11.4% (the lowest)

A comfortable retirement in Utah is projected to cost the typical 65 year old $1,086,767 — about $33,600 less than the national average. Low retirement costs in the state are due in part to a lower overall cost of living. Housing is especially affordable. The typical retirement-age homeowner without a mortgage in the state spends $422 a month on housing, below the comparable $499 monthly median nationwide.

Despite its affordability, Utah has a relatively small retirement-age population. Just 11.4% of the state’s 3.2 million residents are 65 or older, compared to the 16.5% share of all Americans nationwide.

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45. Vermont
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,178,958 (11th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 3.1% more than avg. (11th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $668 (7th highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 20.1% (4th highest)

Vermont, like much of the rest of the Northeast, is a relatively expensive place to live. Goods and services are 3.1% more expensive than average in the state, and homeownership is especially expensive. The typical retirement-age homeowner without a mortgage in the state spends $668 a month on housing, well above the comparable $499 monthly median nationwide. Partially as a result, a comfortable retirement costs an estimated $1,178,958 in Vermont, more than in all but 10 other states.

Average retirement costs are also driven up by life expectancy in the Green Mountain State. The typical 65 year old in the state is expected to live another 19.8 years, nearly half a year above the comparable national average.