What Is the Average Retirement Savings by State?

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Senior man with piggybank
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Personal Capital.

Everyone wants to know the magic number you need to be saving for retirement. But does where you live also have an impact on your actual retirement savings?

Almost six years ago, we set out to answer this question by looking at the average retirement savings of our 2.8 million dashboard users (anonymized, of course). This allowed us to assess how much people had in their retirement nest eggs, broken down by age, generation, and state.

This year, in the midst of a global pandemic marked also by market volatility, unemployment spikes, and financial hardship, we took a look at how people’s retirement savings have changed.

Now more than one year into the coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to take a look at how these numbers have adjusted. We’ve ranked the states from the highest retirement savings to the lowest. Let’s dive in!

1. Connecticut

The skyline of Hartford Connecticut, where median rents are relatively low
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $523,568

2. New Hampshire

Hudson New Hampshire
Anthony Dezenzio / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $494,562

3. New Jersey

Hoboken, New Jersey
Mags951 / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $489,664

4. Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska
Rex Lisman / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $489,070

5. Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $468,579

6. Vermont

Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont
NEKVT / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $467,757

7. Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $458,107

8. Massachusetts

Lowell, Massachusetts
Andriy Danylov / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $457,681

9. Washington

Lake Union in Seattle, Washington
oksana perkins / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $447,869

10. Minnesota

St Paul Minnesota
Henryk Sadura / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $447,836

11. Iowa

Dubuque, Iowa
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $443,587

12. North Carolina

Concord North Carolina
Scott Alan Ritchie / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $440,227

13. Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $439,226

14. Oregon

Bend, Oregon
melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $434,085

15. Delaware

New Jersey from Delaware
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $433,660

16. Kansas

Derby, Kansas
BonBonBurley / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $430,460

17. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $429,265

18. Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $428,872

19. South Dakota

Pierre, South Dakota from above
Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $428,530

20. California

Santa Ana, California
Matt Gush / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $428,437

21. Colorado

Westminster, Colorado
Kit Leong / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $426,970

22. South Carolina

South Carolina beach
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $423,780

23. Michigan

Holland, Michigan
Craig Sterken / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $419,201

24. Texas

Corpus Christi Texas
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $415,277

25. Georgia

Kennesaw, Georgia
Demetrius C / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $414,723

26. New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico
VentureD / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $412,989

27. Idaho

Caldwell Idaho
CSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $410,434

28. Ohio

Columbus Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $408,379

29. Florida

Kissimmee, Florida
Italo Paulino / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $407,393

30. Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
welcomia / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $407,029

31. Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $405,671

32. Missouri

St. Charles Missouri
Rob Neville Photos / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $390,863

33. Indiana

Carmel, Indiana
Golden Ratio Photos / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $385,047

34. Maine

Portland, Maine
Jo Ann Snover / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $384,571

35. Rhode Island

Rhode Island
By White Pine Images / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $383,512

36. Alabama

Huntsville Alabama cityscape skyline
By Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $378,948

37. Nebraska

Nebraska Wind Turbine
Sovereign Images / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $378,412

38. Louisiana

Louisiana
jaimie tuchman / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $371,465

39. Montana

Bowman Lake
By Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $370,917

40. Wyoming

People kayaking on a lake with a mountain in the background.
B Brown / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $364,173

41. New York

Syracuse New York
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $362,468

42. Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $358,963

43. Nevada

Mesquite Nevada
Steve Lagreca / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $356,973

44. West Virginia

West Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $354,018

45. Hawaii

Kailua Beach Park in Hawaii
Dmitrii Sakharov / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $345,401

46. Arkansas

Hot Springs, Arkansas
Niwat panket / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $345,267

47. Mississippi

Gulf Coast at Biloxi, Mississippi.
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $340,894

48. Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma traffic highways
Gerson Repreza / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $340,389

49. Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $325,671

50. North Dakota

A hiker in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota
ZakZeinert / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $310,766

51. Utah

Utah
Sean Xu / Shutterstock.com

Average retirement balance: $300,392

Why Some States Rank Higher

Man analyzing data on a laptop
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

There are several factors at play when looking at retirement savings averages.

It should be noted that only looking at the state-by-state breakdown may be unfair when you think of different tax burdens and cost of living metrics that vary between states.

In our analysis, we did not look specifically into these other factors as a leading cause. In our assumption, it likely makes sense why states such as Alaska are included in the top five — especially since Alaska is a state known for favorable tax laws compared with states such as California.

High cost of living could also be a factor for certain states not making the top five. That is likely the reason for Hawaii, the District of Columbia, and New York, to name a few, as cities in those states top the highest cost of living, according to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to this 2021 ranking, here are the top five states with the highest cost of living: Hawaii, California, New York, Oregon, and Massachusetts.

How Much Do You Need to Retire Comfortably in Each State?

Happy retired couple
Spotmatik Ltd / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to how much you will need to retire comfortably, no matter what state you live in. But there are a few factors to consider, and there are a few common methods to help you determine what you might need to support your desired retirement lifestyle.

One thing to consider when determining how much you’ll need to retire is your state’s tax burden. There are several types of taxation that vary by state and that could really impact your ability to sustain your desired lifestyle.

Some of these include property tax, income tax, and inheritance tax. For example, if an expected inheritance is part of your retirement plan, then you should know if your state has estate or inheritance taxes.

There are various methods of calculating how much you might need to spend or withdraw from your portfolio. A common one is the “4% rule.”

If you follow this rule, you withdraw 4% of your portfolio in the first year of retirement and then you annually withdraw that same dollar amount, adjusted for inflation, for the next 30 years. The idea is that if you follow this rule, you minimize your chances of running out of money in retirement.

While this rule is a good starting point, it has been hotly debated since it was established. Some argue that it is too conservative. Others argue that today’s low-interest environment and longer life expectancies make it too risky.

Meanwhile, your financial future hangs in the balance. If the rule is too conservative, then you’ve unnecessarily constrained your retirement lifestyle. If the rule is too risky, you could run out of money just when you need it most.

So a good way to get a personalized plan is to use a tool like Personal Capital’s free Retirement Planner.

The Retirement Planner will allow you to input specific information that’s personal to you (like planned major spending events, when you want to take Social Security, what age you plan to retire, etc.) and will run thousands of simulations to give you a percent chance of retirement success based on your current portfolio.

Get access to the Retirement Planner by signing up for Personal Capital’s free financial tools.