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12 States Where $1M Will Last Longest in Retirement

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How much Americans need to save to ensure a comfortable retirement is a much-discussed topic among retirement specialists.

One study came up with $1.9 million, a figure that is far out of reach of many people, when the average amount Americans have saved is about $168,000, according to a new report from GOBankingRates. Instead, researchers chose what they considered a more reasonable $1 million in savings, and determined how long a nest egg of that size will last for someone 65 or older.

Where a retiree lives makes a big difference in how far $1 million will go, according to the analysis. In the most expensive states, that amount will not cover living expenses for 20 years — Hawaiians and New Yorkers should not quit their day jobs early, GOBankingRates said. Residents in less-expensive states have more of a cushion.

To calculate how long $1 million would last, researchers analyzed data from the 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and factored in each state’s overall cost-of-living index score for 2021 from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC).

They broke down annual costs further by multiplying more specific annual expenditure figures from the CE by MERIC’s cost of living for groceries, utilities, transportation and health care. (These numbers do not add up to the “total expenditures” figure.)

The researchers then ranked all 50 states with No. 1 being the state where $1 million will last the longest and No. 50 being the state where it will run out most quickly.

See the gallery for the 12 states where retirees can live comfortably on $1 million for the longest time.