How Long Will a $1 Million 401k Last?

Depending where you live, the answer varies greatly

401k, cost of living, states, HowMuch.netA million probably won't get you far here.

It’s common knowledge that the cost of living in America varies from state to state. But 401k savers might be surprised to learn exactly how much location can impact their ability to live comfortably in retirement.

While many U.S. employees are considering working later into life in order to pad their retirement accounts, maybe it would be wise to consider moving instead?

HowMuch.net’s study “Can You Retire on $1 Million?” examined average expenses associated with housing, utilities, goods, services and more in every state (and the District of Columbia) in order to determine how far $1 million in retirement savings would last in each.

Some results were less than shocking: a retiree can stretch their savings nearly twice as far in landlocked Arkansas compared to one of the Hawaiian islands, where housing sets residents back three times more than the national average.

However, other findings might come as a surprise. For instance, a million dollar nest egg could last nearly 10 years longer in Tennessee—where the cost of living is approximately 90 percent of the national average—versus Washington D.C., where it’s 155.7 percent.

HowMuch.net’s comparative analysis is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which calculated the average annual income of a retiree age 65 and older to be $48,035.

According to the study, the top five most affordable states to retire include:

  1. Mississippi – $1 million lasts 25 years 6 months
  2. Arkansas – $1 million lasts 25 years
  3. Tennessee – $1 million lasts 24 years 5 months
  4. Kansas – $1 million lasts 24 years 5 months
  5. Oklahoma – $1 million lasts 24 years 4 months

Mostly southern and midwestern states were discovered to be the most cost-friendly, with Missouri, Michigan, Texas, Georgia and Alabama rounding out the top 10.

In contrast, the least affordable states were primarily located on the west coast and in the northeast:

  1. Hawaii – $1 million lasts 13 years 1 months
  2. District of Columbia – $1 million lasts 14 years 2 months
  3. California – $1 million lasts 15 years
  4. Oregon – $1 million lasts 16 years 7 months
  5. New York – $1 million lasts 16 years 7 months

Ranking sixth through 10th, Alaska, Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island proved pricey, as well.

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