These southern states will help your money last the longest in retirement

Hawaii might sound good for vacation, but don’t plan on staying there through your golden years.

A little bit goes a long way, but a lot goes even further. In some states, money will last you much longer than in others. One million dollars will last you more than 26 years in Mississippi, for instance, while it’ll get less than half that in Hawaii, GoBankingRates says.

If you’re even lucky enough to retire with $1 million — which you probably won’t be, but it’s a nice thought — there are some states you should stay away from. In Hawaii, you’ll be good for just 11 years and 11 months with that much. You’ll be paying the most in the country for groceries and housing. It’s bad: The next-worst state, California, will give you nearly five more years than Hawaii.

Retirees in California spend more than $60,000 a year to get through, according to the study. Housing is about half of that. You’ll make it roughly 16 years, 5 months if you retire in California.

Instead, look to the south. In Mississippi, $1 million will last 26 years, 4 months. Housing costs here are the cheapest in the nation at $11,134 a year — less than one-third of total costs for retirement. Just a hair shy of $38,000 will get you through an entire year in this state. Other cheap states:

  • Arkansas (25 years, 6 months)
  • Oklahoma (25 years, 2 months)
  • Michigan (25 years)
  • Tennessee (25 years)

Arkansas has the second-cheapest health care costs, Oklahoma has cheap transportation costs, Michigan has low utility costs, and Tennessee has low housing costs. If you’re going to retire anywhere, make it a state that surrounds the Mississippi. See the map below…


Wait, you can retire?

There aren’t many in this country that can retire with $1 million. In fact, there aren’t many that can retire at all. Most Americans know they don’t have enough to retire that they are hoping to work during their golden years. Two-thirds of Americans don’t feel like they’re on track to meet retirement goals by the time they hit retirement age. One million dollars doesn’t look so likely with those stats.

Of course, by the time we do hit retirement age and realize we haven’t saved enough, we always regret it. Most wish they would’ve saved more in retirement. But the thing is: we keep saying we care more about retirement than we actually do. Right now, Americans are more concerned with being able to afford an emergency rather than retirement which is so far away, of course.

Retirement savings are having huge implications on us right now, though, specifically our health. Health care is a major issue on everyone’s minds, and the worry about affording it lasts much longer than right now. Being physically healthy helps our financial health right now and later on in life. A healthy lifestyle means less trips to the doctor, less hospital bills, and more money to put toward things like retirement. Retirement stress is real, and being healthy now can avoid money woes later. Make sure you’re saving by paying yourself first!

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Retirement

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Article last modified on October 2, 2017 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Stretch Your Dollar Across the Mississippi - AMP.