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How far $1 million goes in every state

  • Accumulating $1 million for retirement is a worthwhile goal. Depending on where you live, it may not be enough.
  • That amount will last the longest in states like Mississippi and Arkansas but will run out much sooner in Hawaii and California.

Accumulating a cool $1 million is a great savings goal. Depending on where you live, it may not be enough.

For soon-to-be retirees on the East and West Coasts, that sum will barely last a decade.

"It's the benchmark everyone has in mind but it's important to be more specific, there's so much range across different states. Your personal situation plays a big role," said Mark Evitt, features editor at GOBankingRates.

The personal finance site compared average expenses for people age 65 and older, including groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care in every state to come up with how long a nest egg of $1 million would really last.

Top 5 states where your dollar will last the longest:
1. Mississippi
$1 million will last: 26 years, 4 months
2. Arkansas
$1 million will last: 25 years, 6 months
3. Oklahoma
$1 million will last: 25 years, 2 months
4. Michigan
$1 million will last: 25 years
5. Tennessee
$1 million will last: 25 years

It's no surprise that dollars stretched the furthest in states like Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee, where retirees could live a life of leisure for at least a quarter of a century.

"One of the benefits of living in the Southeast is that the cost of living is significantly lower," Evitt said.

However, in Hawaii, where residents pay roughly 30 percent more for household items across the board, that same amount will only get you just shy of a dozen years largely because of the cost of living and pricey real estate. It is also going to run out relatively quickly in California and New York for related reasons.

Top 5 states where your dollar will last the shortest:
1. Hawaii
$1 million will last: 11 years, 11 months
2. California
$1 million will last: 16 years, 5 months
3. Alaska
$1 million will last: 17 years, 0 months
4. New York
$1 million will last: 17 years, 1 month
5. Massachusetts
$1 million will last: 17 years, 4 months

(For those willing to relocate, these are the best (and worst) places to retire. For those thinking more outside the box, here are the world's top 10 retirement destinations. And those that definitely don't want to move could always consider "granny pods.")

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