Map: Where $100,000 in retirement savings will last the longest

If you’re behind on saving for retirement, moving to a cheaper state is one way to stretch your nest egg as far as it can go.

Your retirement dollars will last the longest in Mississippi, according to a recent study by personal finance site GOBankingRates. There, you can expect to live off $100,000 for 946 days, or just over two and a half years. That’s more than the national average of 780 days.

The study considered the average total expenditures for people 65 and over and the cost of living index in each state to come up with the ranking.

“It’s so relatively cheap to go to Mississippi,” said Jarred Kessler, co-founder of real estate firm EasyKnock. “But we’re not seeing that much of an influx.”

Map credit: David Foster/Yahoo Finance
Map credit: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

Still, many Americans may want to consider moving to a cheaper state as they get older, given the dismal statistics on retirement savings. Half of U.S. workers say they’re behind on saving, while 38% say they still don’t have a retirement account.


Still, experts say moving to a different state means assessing the risks of potentially taking out a new mortgage and accumulating debt. Looking at the cost of living beforehand is vital.

“We try to catch people before they make a decision such as moving to a different state for retirement and taking out a mortgage that’s double what they currently have,” said Nick Holeman, head of financial planning at robo-advisor firm, Betterment.

Where $100,000 goes furthest

Biloxi, Mississippi USA at Biloxi Lighthouse and visitor center.
Your retirement dollars will last longest if you live in Mississippi, thanks to its low cost of living. Photo of Biloxi, Mississippi. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Many of the states where $100,000 will last the longest are located in the South. All states share a low, per-capita cost of living, according to GoBankingRates. States such as Oklahoma and Alabama had annual expenditures for those 65 and older at $40,403 and $40,631, respectively. That’s below the U.S. average of $47,788.50, according to GOBankingRates.

No. 1: Mississippi

946 days

No. 2: Oklahoma

901 days

No. 3: Michigan

897 days

No. 4: Arkansas (tied)

896 days

No. 4: Alabama (tied)

896 days

No. 6: Missouri

895 days

No. 7: Tennessee

890 days

No. 8: Kansas

889 days

No. 9: Georgia

877 days

No. 10: Texas

872 days

Where $100,000 goes fastest

South Maui beach at sunset, Maui, Hawaii
While it looks like a place you'd want to spend your golden years, Hawaii will drain your retirement funds the fastest among the 50 states. Photo of Maui, Hawaii. (Photo: Getty Creative)

High housing costs is one of the reasons states like California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii may not be ideal locations for retirement. Limited housing supply in many areas is driving up home prices.

“Year-over-year inventory has declined for single-family houses in [Massachusetts]. It has been the lowest number of homes since 2004,” said Rich Rosa, co-founder of real estate firm Buyers Brokers Only.

Overall, the average expenditure for seniors in each of these states exceeds the national average by 12% to 44%. In Hawaii, those 65 and older spend $85,243 on average each year versus $47,788.50, the national average.

No. 1: Hawaii

428 days

No. 2: California:

563 days

No. 3: New York

592 days

No. 4: Alaska

605 days

No. 5: Oregon

605 days

No. 6: Maryland

607 days

No. 7: Massachusetts

621 days

No. 8: Connecticut

623 days

No. 9: Rhode Island

648 days

No. 10: New Jersey

668 days

Dhara is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @dsinghx.

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