Special Report

What It Costs to Retire in Every State

Source: SKLA / iStock via Getty Images

46. Virginia
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,140,824 (17th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 1.3% more than avg. (14th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $475 (24th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 15.9% (10th lowest)

In most Southern states, a comfortable retirement costs less than $1 million. Virginia is one of the exceptions, however. With a slightly higher than average cost of living, a comfortable retirement costs $1,140,824 in Virginia, about $20,416 more than the national average.

Virginia has a slightly smaller than average retirement-age population. Just 15.9% of the state’s 8.5 million residents are 65 or older, compared to the 16.5% share of all Americans nationwide.

Source: RyanJLane / E+ via Getty Images

47. Washington
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,245,825 (6th most)
> Avg. cost of living: 8.4% more than avg. (6th highest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $600 (10th highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 15.9% (8th lowest)

The average 65 year old living in Washington can expect to spend a total of $1,245,825 in retirement — more than in all but five other states. Life expectancy at age 65 in Washington is half a year longer than the national average and the cost of living is also higher — and both contribute to greater retirement costs.

Goods and services are 8.4% more expensive in Washington than they are on average nationwide. As a result, the average annual expenditure of a retirement age state resident is about $4,200 more than it is across the U.S.

Source: Rawpixel / Getty Images

48. West Virginia
> Est. total retirement spending: $880,300 (4th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 12.9% less than avg. (4th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $313 (the lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 20.5% (3rd highest)

Few states are as affordable for retirees as West Virginia. A 65 year old state resident whose life expectancy aligns with the state average is projected to need $880,300 to live out retirement in relative comfort. Nationwide, a retiree is projected to spend about $240,100 more.

The relative affordability of a comfortable retirement is due in part to the state’s low cost of living. Housing is particularly inexpensive. The typical retirement-age homeowner without a mortgage spends just $313 a month on housing, well below the comparable $499 monthly median nationwide.

Source: JMichl / E+ via Getty Images

49. Wisconsin
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,045,578 (25th least)
> Avg. cost of living: 8.1% less than avg. (20th lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $538 (14th highest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 17.5% (18th highest)

Goods and services in Wisconsin are 8.1% less expensive than they are on average nationwide. However, life expectancy at age 65 in the state is nearly half a year longer than it is nationwide, which drives up average retirement costs.

For the average 65 year old in Wisconsin, a comfortable retirement is projected to cost $1,045,578, which is about $74,831 less than the national average.

Source: AllisonAchauer / iStock via Getty Images

50. Wyoming
> Est. total retirement spending: $1,029,020 (22nd least)
> Avg. cost of living: 7.2% less than avg. (23rd lowest)
> Median monthly homeownership cost, pop. 65 & older: $415 (15th lowest)
> Pop. 65 & older: 17.1% (24th highest)

In Wyoming, goods and services are about 7.2% less expensive than average, and life expectancy at 65 is in line with the national average. As a result, a comfortable retirement is projected to cost an average of $1,029,020 in the state, about $91,400 less than the U.S. average.

Wyoming has a slightly larger than average retirement population. Of the 579,000 people living in the state, 17.1% are 65 or older, compared to 16.5% of all Americans.