GOBankingRates

How Long $500K Will Last in Retirement in Each State

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Stígur Már Karlsson /Heimsmyndir / iStock.com

When pondering the question, “How much do I need to retire?” there is never a one-size-fits-all answer. What one person could happily live on, another might find crimps their style. Although conventional wisdom suggests having a retirement nest egg of at least $1 million, that’s a difficult number to achieve for many Americans.

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To paint a more realistic picture of retirement finances, GOBankingRates determined how long $500,000 will last in every state. To do this, the study analyzed average spending data — including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care — for people ages 65 and older. Keep reading to get a clear idea of the cost of living across America.

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Hawaii

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 5 years 5 months 8 days
  • Annual expenditure: $91,970.21
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New York

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 7 years 1 month 1 day
  • Annual Expenditure: $70,512.08

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California

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 7 years 4 months 22 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $67,657.34
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Massachusetts

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 7 years 9 months 11 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $64,231.65
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Oregon

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 0 months 29 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $61,900.28
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Alaska

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 3 months 7 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $60,472.91
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Maryland

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 5 months 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $58,997.96
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Connecticut

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 7 months 20 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $57,856.06
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Rhode Island

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 11 months 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $55,762.59
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Vermont

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 8 years 11 months and 4 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $55,667.43
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New Jersey

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 1 month 12 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $54,811.01
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Maine

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 1 month 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $54,715.85
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Washington

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 5 months 1 day
  • Annual Expenditure: $53,098.16
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New Hampshire

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 6 months 22 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $52,289.32
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Delaware

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 8 months 26 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $51,337.74

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Nevada

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 10 months 20 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $50,576.48
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Colorado

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 9 years 11 months 23 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $50,100.69
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Arizona

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 2 months 6 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $49,101.53
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Pennsylvania

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 2 months 31 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $48,768.48
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Idaho

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 3 months 15 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $48,578.16
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Virginia

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 3 months 26 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $48,435.42
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South Dakota

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 4 months 25 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $48,054.79
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Montana

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 5 months 9 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $47,912.05
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Florida

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 5 months 23 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $47,721.74
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Utah

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 7 months 10 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $47,103.21
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North Dakota

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 8 months 12 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $46,722.58
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Wisconsin

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 10 months 24 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $45,866.16
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North Carolina

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 10 years 11 months 23 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $45,533.10

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Illinois

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 1 month 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,867.00
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Wyoming

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 1 month 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,867.00
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Nebraska

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 2 months 21 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,581.52
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South Carolina

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 2 months 24 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,533.94
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Kentucky

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 3 months 15 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,296.05
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Louisiana

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 3 months 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $44,248.47
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Texas

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 4 months 29 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,820.26
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Ohio

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 6 months 5 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,439.63
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Michigan

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 6 months 5 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,439.63
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New Mexico

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 6 months 19 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,296.89
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Arkansas

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 6 months 23 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,249.31
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Indiana

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 7 months 6 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,106.57
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West Virginia

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 7 months 10 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $43,059.00

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Iowa

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 8 months 8 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $42,773.52
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Missouri

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 8 months 12 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $42,725.94
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Tennessee

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 9 months 22 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $42,345.31
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Georgia

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 9 months 29 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $42,250.15
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Alabama

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 11 months 16 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $41,821.94
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Oklahoma

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 11 years 11 months 16 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $41,821.94
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Kansas

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 12 years 1 month 23 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $41,155.84
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Mississippi

$500,000 will last:

  • Years, Months, and Days: 12 years 7 months 13 days
  • Annual Expenditure: $39,633.31
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How Long Will a $500K Retirement Nest Egg Last?

When you’re trying to gauge how long $500,000 will last you, where you choose to live is crucial due to the difference in cost-of-living expenses across the nation.

For example, as far as location goes, Mississippi ranks as the top choice for making $500,000 last as long as possible. According to the data, however, $500,000 in Mississippi will last only about four months longer than it would in Kansas, which is the second-best place to retire with $500,000.

If Hawaii, California or New York are your dream retirement destinations, $500,000 won’t last nearly as long. These states are considered some of the worst choices to retire in with that size of a nest egg as savings. For example, if you were to move to Hawaii instead of Mississippi, you would get nearly seven fewer years, on average, out of your retirement savings.

But location isn’t the only thing to consider. You also need to decide how you’ll spend your money, and weigh that against the average cost-of-living expenses in your chosen state. Perhaps you plan on sharing a home with someone else who can afford to pay half of the expenses. Or maybe transportation costs aren’t an issue for you because you plan to use a free or low-cost transit system.

Whatever the case, to make your $500,000 nest egg go the distance, it’s important to choose a retirement destination that will best serve your specific needs at the most affordable cost.

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Jordan Rosenfeld and Jami Farkas contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: In order to find how long $500,000 will last across the country, GOBankingRates first found (1) the national average annual expenditures for people 65 and older, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey data. Then, GOBankingRates created (2) state-level annual expenditure estimates by multiplying the national figure by each state’s overall cost of living index score for 2021 from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Finally, GOBankingRates found (3) how many years $500,000 will last in each state by dividing $500,000 by each state’s average annual expenditures estimate. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were then ranked with No. 1 being the state where $500,000 will last the longest and No. 51 being the state where it will run out most quickly. GOBankingRates provided supplemental information on the average annual cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and healthcare for people 65 and older in each state by again using MERIC’s cost of living indices for each category to factor out national estimates from the CES. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 20, 2022.

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