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How Much Will A Million Last In Retirement By State

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What would you say if I said that you could get another 14 years out of your retirement money depending on where you lived in the USA?GoBankingRates.com took a close look at monthly expenses for senior citizens — including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare — and developed a monthly budget for the average person over age 65.Then, accounting for cost-of-living expenses by state, they divided a hypothetical $1 million portfolio by the monthly budget they worked up. That determined the number of years $1 million would last in each state during retirement.

The net result is that while you could live for less than 12 years on a $1 million portfolio in Hawaii, you would get almost 26 years out of the same money in Mississippi!

Ever heard the saying, “All real estate is local”? Maybe we should say that “All retirement is local, too”! I was able to guess easily the first two states where your money would last the least. After that I messed up.

https://www.gobankingrates.com/retirement/planning/how-long-million-last-retirement-state/

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The article above gives additional information why each state ranks as it does. But for skimmers here is a cheat sheet

50. Hawaii

  • $1 million will last: 11 years, 8 months, 20 days

49. California

  • $1 million will last: 15 years, 5 months, 27 days

48. New York

  • $1 million will last: 16 years, 3 months, 22 days

47. Alaska

  • $1 million will last: 16 years, 8 months, 6 days

46. Maryland

  • $1 million will last: 16 years, 8 months, 29 days

45. Oregon

  • $1 million will last: 16 years, 9 months, 18 days

44. Massachusetts

  • $1 million will last: 17 years, 1 month, 10 days

43. Connecticut

  • $1 million will last: 17 years, 2 months, 7 days

42. Rhode Island

  • $1 million will last: 17 years, 10 months, 13 days

41. New Jersey

  • $1 million will last: 18 years, 5 months, 11 days

40. Vermont

  • $1 million will last: 18 years, 7 months, 7 days

39. Maine

  • $1 million will last: 18 years, 9 months, 11 days

38. New Hampshire

  • $1 million will last: 19 years, 6 months, 1 days

37. Nevada

  • $1 million will last: 19 years, 9 months, 19 days

36. Washington

  • $1 million will last: 20 years, 1 month, 29 days

35. Delaware

  • $1 million will last: 20 years, 8 months, 19 days

34. Colorado

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 6 days

33. Montana

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 6 days

32. Virginia

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 4 months, 22 days

31. Pennsylvania

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 6 months, 30 days

30. South Dakota

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 6 months, 30 days

29. Minnesota

  • $1 million will last: 21 years, 9 months, 17 days

28. North Dakota

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 21 days

27. Florida

  • $22 million will last: 22 years, 29 months

26. South Carolina

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 2 months, 20 days

25. West Virginia

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 6 months, 23 days

24. Illinois

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 7 months, 1 day

23. Utah

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 7 months, 9 days

22. Wisconsin

  • $1 million will last: 22 years, 8 months, 4 days

21. Arizona

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 1 month

20. North Carolina

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 3 months, 4 days

19. Louisiana

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 4 months, 19 days

18. Nebraska

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 4 months, 19 days

17. New Mexico

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 6 months, 4 days

16. Idaho

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 6 months, 23 days

15. Ohio

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 6 months, 23 days

14. Kentucky

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 7 months, 1 day

13. Iowa

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 9 months, 6 days

12. Indiana

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months, 13 days

11. Wyoming

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 10 months, 22 days

10. Texas

  • $1 million will last: 23 years, 11 months, 2 days

9. Georgia

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 19 days

8. Kansas

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 4 months, 25 days

7. Tennessee

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 5 months, 4 days

6. Missouri

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 6 months, 25 days

5. Alabama

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 7 months, 4 days

4. Arkansas

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 7 months, 4 days

3. Michigan

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 7 months, 14 days

2. Oklahoma

  • $1 million will last: 24 years, 8 months, 24 days

1. Mississippi

  • $1 million will last: 25 years, 11 months, 30 days

 

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Cost-of-living comparisons are popular in retirement discussions, but I wonder how many people actually make decisions about where to retire based on cost of living.  I gather that lots of folks from the northern states retire in Florida or Arizona, but is that because of the tax situation?  I'm in Los Angeles--everyone that owns a house here could sell it and live relatively high on the hog in Oklahoma or Tennessee or Michigan, but I don't see people doing that.  When people do relocate, in my purely anecdotal experience, it usually involves a strong family or social connection in their new location (some folks relocate for jobs, of course, but here I'm thinking about retirement--there's a lot more mobility earlier in adulthood, and the Mr. Money Moustache crowd may deliberately choose to establish themselves in a low cost zone).  As far as I've seen, in retirement most folks don't move at all, if they can avoid it.  I gather that some people want an adventure and a chance to reinvent themselves on limited means, so they decamp to low cost destinations like Panama or Ecuador.  Makes sense. But I suspect the percentage of people who do that is tiny; personally, I don't know anyone who has made that move.   Are there statistics about this?  Seems to me that the idea of home exerts a much stronger pull than calculations about affordability.

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whyme, I suspect you’re right.

I’ve considered retiring to a cheaper Asian or Central/South American country. I may have enough money to do it right now and I find it highly tempting. If I’m honest I think I’m staying put because of the cultural unknowns, having to learn a new language, not wanting to plan such a big change, and just a general apprehension of the unknown. Perhaps traveling would increase the liklihood of me actually doing it  

I’m restricted to warm locations and I really enjoy living in areas with good food and in particular good Indian restaurants (which usually requires a reasonably sized population of recent immigrants)...so that has a fairly significant limiting factor because it essentially rules out most “small” USA towns where living is really cheap. 

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I endorse the idea of travelling internationally, Ed.  I wish I'd done more of it, but I treasure the two international trips I did manage decades ago (England/France and China).  I hope to have enough money and health that I can travel extensively upon retiring in a few years.  But it's a great thing to do when you're relatively young, the cliches about being broadened by travel have a sound basis in fact.  Plus it would certainly give you a more realistic sense of whether (or where) you'd care to take on the ex-pat life.  

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