How Long $100K in Retirement Will Last in Every State

Joel Anderson

Stretching your nest egg as far as possible is something that’s most likely front of mind for retirees who aren’t very wealthy. With no new sources of income aside from Social Security or possibly a pension, it’s important to find a place to retire that won’t drain your savings.

However, getting a clear sense of exactly how long your retirement savings will last requires understanding how much it costs to live in the state you’re calling home. As anyone trying to get by somewhere with a high cost of living can attest, even basic necessities can quickly start to winnow down your retirement account. And it only gets more complicated if you decide you don’t want to spend your entire retirement in the same place, as your costs won’t be consistent throughout your retirement.

That’s why GOBankingRates performed a study to compare the cost of living in every state and determine how long you can survive off of $100,000. Granted, $100,000 won’t buy you a lot of time in any state. But, these results will give you a sense of just how much you need to save.

Last updated: Nov. 26, 2019.

50. Hawaii

  • Annual Expenditure: $85,243
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 2 months, 3 days

To say that Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in is something of an understatement: Hawaiians pay over $20,000 more per year than the second-most expensive state, California. You’ll need over $2 million to survive retirement in this state — the most in the country.

49. California

  • Annual Expenditure: $64,516
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 6 months, 18 days

California’s not an easy place to stretch your retirement dollar, with the cost of housing coming in at more than double the average for the country.

48. New York

  • Annual Expenditure: $61,267
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 7 months, 17 days

Some might gripe that the only thing imperial about the Empire State is how much it costs to live there, with the average New Yorker needing more than $60,000 a year to cover expenses.

See: 10 Best Retirement Plan Options

47. Alaska

  • Annual Expenditure: $59,895
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 8 months

Costs in Alaska are generally high — particularly for healthcare and utilities — but there’s one area where the state won’t eat so far into your nest egg: Alaska is the most tax-friendly state for retirees.

46. Maryland

  • Annual Expenditure: $59,666
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 8 months, 2 days

Maryland is one of the more expensive states for retirees to live in, but a lot of the older residents can afford it: It’s one of the states with the richest retirees.

45. Oregon

  • Annual Expenditure: $59,483
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 8 months

Oregon has a cost of living that’s 30% higher than the country as a whole. However, if you’re dead set on enjoying the beautiful coastlines of the Pacific Northwest in your golden years, consider making your home in Brandon. It’s the best city in the state to buy a home.

44. Massachusetts

  • Annual Expenditure: $58,385
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 8 months, 16 days

Massachusetts is not a state that’s kind to your retirement savings, with sky-high housing costs playing the biggest part in making things difficult. It’s also the state where a comfortable retirement costs the most at about $65,000 a year.

43. Connecticut

  • Annual Expenditure: $58,156
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 8 months, 18 days

Not only is Connecticut one of the pricier states in the country to live in, but for many retirees, the source of their income might not be as stable as they would hope. Connecticut is the worst state for pensions in the U.S.

42. Rhode Island

  • Annual Expenditure: $55,914
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 9 months, 13 days

If you’ve compiled an impressive nest egg over the course of your career, Rhode Island isn’t a great place to keep it protected.

41. New Jersey

  • Annual Expenditure: $54,175
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 10 months, 3 days

Like many of the most expensive states in the country, the main culprit for New Jersey’s high cost of living is housing, with New Jersey residents paying almost 50% more than the average American for a place to live.

40. Vermont

  • Annual Expenditure: $53,718
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 10 months, 9 days

Not only is Vermont a tough place to maintain your nest egg, it’s also a pretty rough spot for building it up as well. The Green Mountain State is the state where it’s hardest to save $1 million for retirement, found another GOBankingRates study.

39. Maine

  • Annual Expenditure: $53,214
  • $100,000 Will Last: 1 year, 10 months, 15 days

It’s possible that the high cost of living in Maine has some residents thinking big in terms of what it means to be wealthy. In a GOBankingRates survey, the most common answer for what it meant to be “rich” in Maine was an income of $10 million a year or more, the highest answer for any state.

38. New Hampshire

  • Annual Expenditure: $51,247
  • $100,000 Will Last: $1 year, 11 months, 12 days

If you’re dead set on living in New Hampshire in retirement but you’re looking to avoid some of those high costs, steer well clear of the 03854 ZIP code — home to New Castle Island. It’s the most expensive ZIP code in the state.

37. Nevada

  • Annual Expenditure: $50,469
  • $100,000 Will Last: $1 year, 11 months, 23 days

If you want to spend your golden years in the Silver State, prepare to spend a little more. Costs are at least 10% higher than the national average across every category except for utilities, where they’re actually 20% under what the rest of America pays.

36. Washington

  • Annual Expenditure: $49,554
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 days

If you’re surprised to see Washington so far down this list, keep in mind that it’s home to Seattle, one of the most expensive cities in the country. To live comfortably in Seattle you need nearly $90,000 a year, which outpaces everywhere but the usual suspects in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York and Washington, D.C.

35. Delaware

  • Annual Expenditure: $48,227
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 25 days

Although Delaware might be on the higher side for costs, it can also offer some great ways to protect your nest egg: It’s one of the best states to retire rich in the country.

34. Colorado

  • Annual Expenditure: $47,540
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 1 month, 5 days

The cost to live comfortably in Denver is over $77,000 a year, making it one of the most expensive cities in the country. If you want to stay in the Rocky Mountain State but don’t like the “mile high” costs in Denver, consider Colorado Springs where it’s over $10,000 a year cheaper.

33. Montana

  • Annual Expenditure: $47,540
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 1 month, 5 days

If you were hoping to keep your nest egg healthy after retiring to Montana by investing well, you might find it harder there than elsewhere. Montana is one of the worst states to grow your money, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

32. Virginia

  • Annual Expenditure: $46,717
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 1 month, 19 days

You’ll pay less for groceries, utilities and transportation than the average American if you opt to retire to Virginia, but there’s clearly more to the story. That would be the cost of housing, which is over 10% higher than the national average.

31. Pennsylvania

  • Annual Expenditure: $46,305
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 1 month, 26 days

Pennsylvania is the first state on this list where housing costs are actually below average when compared to the country as a whole. However, if you’re looking to stretch your retirement savings as far as possible, you can still do better, especially when Pennsylvanians pay more than average for groceries, utilities and transportation.

30. South Dakota

  • Annual Expenditure: $46,305
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 1 month, 26 days

There’s one thing you don’t have to worry about in South Dakota: state income tax. That’s because it’s one of the seven states without any, which could make a significant difference in how long you can stretch that nest egg.

29. Minnesota

  • Annual Expenditure: $45,848
  • $100,000 Will Last: $2 years, 2 months, 6 days

No state is closer to the average cost of living than Minnesota, where costs are just 0.2% higher than the country as a whole. That’s not true statewide, though, as Minneapolis is among the more expensive major cities in the country. The cost to live comfortably there is $77,512 a year.

28. North Dakota

  • Annual Expenditure: $45,298
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 2 months, 15 days

One place you probably won’t overspend in North Dakota is on housing. Even if the state’s most expensive ZIP code — the 58503 ZIP north of Bismarck — has a median home price of $339,600, that’s still less than half of what it is for Hawaii.

27. Florida

  • Annual Expenditure: $45,253
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 2 months, 16 days

Florida might only be middle-of-the-pack for stretching a six-figure retirement fund, but it’s still a popular destination for many retirees. And you have plenty of options to choose from in terms of which Florida city stacks up the best for you.

26. South Carolina

  • Annual Expenditure: $44,978
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 2 months, 21 days

The question of how long $100,000 lasts in retirement might be especially apt for South Carolina. A GOBankingRates survey determined that most residents of the Palmetto State have about $50,000-$100,000 saved for retirement.

25. West Virginia

  • Annual Expenditure: $44,292
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 3 days

West Virginians are paying less for housing and utilities than most Americans, but that’s counter-balanced by higher-than-average costs on groceries and “miscellaneous” expenses.

24. Illinois

  • Annual Expenditure: $44,246
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 3 days

Illinois is the first state on the better half of this survey, with the average retiree being able to squeeze a full three months out of the third year on that initial $100,000. And if you decide you want to make the Windy City your home, you’ll have plenty of options in selecting from the many different suburbs around the city.

23. Utah

  • Annual Expenditure: $44,200
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 4 days

Regardless of how long it lasts, Utah is doing plenty to help you build that retirement account. It’s the state where it’s easiest to save $1 million for retirement.

22. Wisconsin

  • Annual Expenditure: $44,063
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 7 days

You can make $100,000 last over two years in retirement if you’re living in the Badger State. However, if you’re thinking you’ll just need to earn $100,000 in that last year before you hang it up, you should know that you only take home $67,124 from a $100,000 salary after taxes in Wisconsin.

Read: How To Roll Over Your 401(k)

21. Arizona

  • Annual Expenditure: $43,285
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 22 days

Arizona’s costs are lower than the national average in every category except utilities, helping retirees stretch their savings.

20. North Carolina

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,965
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 3 months, 28 days

If you’re looking for a place to live in retirement where you’re not in the hustle and bustle of the city but also still close enough to take advantage of city living on occasion, North Carolina might be the place to look. Three of the best suburbs for retirement are in the Tarheel State: Bermuda Run, Fairfield Harbour and Sunset Beach.

19. Louisiana

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,736
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 3 days

Not only is Louisiana among the better states for stretching your savings in retirement, it’s also the best state to grow your money, found a separate GOBankingRates study.

18. Nebraska

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,736
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 3 days

Nebraska’s cost-of-living scores are either at or below the national average in every category except for transportation. However, at least some of the money you can save on things like groceries and housing will end up with the state government: Nebraska is the least tax-friendly state for retirees.

17. New Mexico

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,507
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 7 days

If you enjoy life in the big city but can’t handle the high cost of living that usually comes with it, New Mexico might offer you the best compromise. You only need to make $53,384 a year to live comfortably in Albuquerque, one of the lowest figures among the 50 largest U.S. cities.

16. Ohio

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,416
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 9 days

Housing is especially affordable in Ohio, coming in at almost 25% less than what the average American is paying. Add that to costs that are either below average or less than 2% over it, and it’s not hard to see why Ohio cracked the top 20 in this study.

15. Idaho

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,416
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 9 days

Idaho’s scenic landscape could be considered incentive enough to retire there, but the state’s low costs are an additional perk, allowing you to last into the fifth month of your third year on $100,000.

14. Kentucky

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,370
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 10 days

Kentucky’s biggest cost advantage over other states is in its housing, where you’ll pay almost 20% less than the national average. With a median home price of just $136,600, the cost of a home in this state is one many Americans can actually afford.

13. Iowa

  • Annual Expenditure: $42,050
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 17 days

Like many states in the Midwest, Iowa boasts low housing costs that help push the overall cost of living down significantly. However, while it’s housing leading the charge, Iowa’s costs are below what the average American pays across the board.

12. Indiana

  • Annual Expenditure: $41,867
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 20 days

Indiana offers retirees the chance to stretch their savings much further than most of the country; this is important to the Hoosier State, as Indiana is the state with the poorest retirees in the country.

11. Wyoming

  • Annual Expenditure: $41,821
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 21 days

The cost of living in Wyoming is lower than it is for the country as a whole, but the high cost of healthcare for seniors could quickly erase much of that benefit. Employing either homemaker services or a home health aide will run you about $5,000 a year.

10. Texas

  • Annual Expenditure: $41,775
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 22 days

Texas offers a range of advantages to its elderly residents when it comes to stretching retirement dollars. In fact, eight of the 30 best cities to retire on a budget of $1,000 a month or less are in the Lone Star State.

9. Georgia

  • Annual Expenditure: $41,546
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 4 months, 27 days

Low costs in Georgia mean a retiree can make $100,000 last them for almost two years and five months. Even if you’re living well by saving on basic costs, though, not everyone is in the same situation: Atlanta is among the places in the U.S. with the most income inequality.

8. Kansas

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,952
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 9 days

Kansas is a great state to retire to if you want to stretch your nest egg as far as possible, and it’s even better if you’re living off of a pension funded by the state: Kansas is one of the best states for pensions.

7. Tennessee

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,906
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 10 days

Whether it’s the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville or Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee is a great state for American music. Of course, if you’re retired and living there, it’s the low costs that might be music to your ears.

6. Missouri

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,677
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 15 days

Although most costs are lower in Missouri, the Show-Me State is especially affordable when it comes to housing. A year of a roof over your head costs an average of just $11,597, making it one of just five states where you can expect to pay under $12,000 per annum.

5. Alabama

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,631
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 16 days

You can expect to stretch your retirement savings by retiring almost anywhere in the Yellow Hammer State, but that’s especially true if you decide to call the city of Birmingham home: It’s one of the cheapest places to retire in the entire country.

4. Arkansas

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,631
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 16 days

The cost of a comfortable retirement in Arkansas is very low, coming in below any other state in the country save for Mississippi and its incredibly low cost of living.

3. Michigan

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,586
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 17 days

The Great Lake State is as welcoming as it is scenic, and the low costs mean you can enjoy more of it with your nest egg.


2. Oklahoma

  • Annual Expenditure: $40,403
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 5 months, 21 days

Oklahoma has low costs statewide that will help you stretch $100,000 to almost a full two and a half years. And unlike many states, that extends to the state’s largest city as well: $1 million will last you 24 and a half years in retirement in Oklahoma City, making it one of the most affordable U.S. cities for retirees.

1. Mississippi

  • Annual Expenditure: $38,435
  • $100,000 Will Last: 2 years, 7 months, 6 days

No state has a lower cost for a comfortable retirement than Mississippi, where you can expect to pay almost a third less for housing than the country as a whole. All told, the cumulative cost of living in Mississippi is 16% lower than the national average.

How Long $100K in Retirement Will Last in Every State

States on either coast might offer a lot in terms of great weather and loads of culture, but they certainly ask a lot in terms of your pocketbook. The 15 states where $100,000 stretches the least in retirement include all five states on the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska). On the East Coast, the worst states for your retirement nest egg are New York, Maryland, New Jersey and all six of the states that make up New England.

On the other end of the list, it’s hard to miss that states from the South and the Midwest have the lowest costs by far. Of the 15 states where your $100,000 in retirement savings goes the furthest, all but two (Idaho and Wyoming) are in one of those two regions.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: In order to determine how long $100,000 will last the average retiree in each state, GOBankingRates found the average total expenditures for people 65 and older, which includes groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and healthcare. GOBankingRates then multiplied that by the cost of living index in each state to find the average annual expenditure cost for each state. Once the annual cost was found, it was divided by $100,000 and then converted into years, months and days to show how long the average annual expenditure for people 65 and older would last in every state. This research was conducted in August 2018.

This article originally appeared on How Long $100K in Retirement Will Last in Every State