Special Report

What It Costs to Retire Comfortably in Every State


To determine the estimated average expenditures throughout retirement in every state, 24/7 Wall St. calculated the amount of money the average retiree would spend through the rest of his or her life using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the National Center for Health Statistics. 

Our calculation was based on the average annual expenditure for U.S. residents 65 years and older in 2021 of $52,141, according to the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. We adjusted that figure by local cost of living, using state-level data on regional price parity in 2021. We then multiplied that figure by 18.5, the average life expectancy of a 65 year old American, according to the NCHS’s National Vital Statistics Reports. 

For each year of life beyond age 65, we added 2% of annual expenditures to account for inflation, based on the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate. For the final half year of life expectancy beyond age 65, we added 1% for inflation and divided annual expenditures in half. 

Finally, we took the sum of each year’s cost of living and inflation-adjusted expenditures and multiplied it by 115% in order to reflect greater financial stability and comfort in retirement.

Supplementary data on median income for households age 65 and over and the share of population age 65 and over is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.

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