Personal Finance

These are the states where retirees have the most income

Key Points
  • Maryland holds the No. 1 spot as the state where retirees have the highest mean retirement income: $32,199, a study has found.
  • Indiana ranks last, with annual retirement income of only $18,119, according to GOBankingRates.
Still from "The Golden Girls": Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo, Bea Arthur as Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak, Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux, Betty White as Rose Nylund
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Maryland holds the No. 1 spot as the state where retirees have the highest mean retirement income: $32,199, a study has found.

Ranking last is Indiana, whose retirees pull in only $18,119 for their golden years, according to GOBankingRates, which conducted the study.

Rounding out the top three behind Maryland are California and Virginia, with respective retirement incomes of $30,242 and $29,972.

West Virginia barely beat out Indiana for second-to-last place. The Mountain State's retirees bring in $18,159, followed by Arkansas at $19,576.

To create its look at the rich state-poor state retirement divide, the website compared income from sources such as pensions and 401(k) plans as well as Social Security for Americans age 65 or older.

The study found that retirees in the three richest states collect nearly $20,000 a year in Social Security benefits, while those in the bottom three bring in less than $17,000. In fact, Indiana retirees were dead last in Social Security income, collecting barely more than $16,000 a year.

Overall, the poorest states are clustered in the Rust Belt and Deep South. In contrast, the richest states were those in the Northeast and west of the Rockies.

So what's driving these large retirement income differences between the states?

Retirement experts say the gap between rich and poor may stem from access to well-paying jobs, such as those in the federal government, which may explain the top rankings of Maryland and Virginia.

But David John of AARP's Public Policy Institute said the disparity may be a telling indication that many Americans simply did not save enough for retirement when they were working. "We know that one of the big reasons is that 55 million Americans don't have access to workplace retirement savings plans," he said.

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