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.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.