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Minnesota Is One of the Best Places to Live for Older Americans

imageForEntry5 kfAThe COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a surge of retirements across the U.S. labor force. Experts estimate that in the first 18 months of the pandemic, there were 2.4 million more retirements than there would have otherwise been. Due in part to the historic increase, an estimated 19.3% of the U.S. population were retired as of mid-2021, the largest share in at least the last 25 years.

The two primary reasons older Americans left the workforce for good in recent months were the health risks posed by the pandemic and rising asset values – particularly in housing and the stock market – that made retirement financially feasible. Indeed, health and financial stability are two of many factors that affect overall quality of life throughout old age. Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state.

With retirements at historic levels, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of over a dozen key socioeconomic measures to identify the best and worst states to grow old in. The measures were chosen to gauge the health, financial well-being, safety, and social engagement of 65 and older populations in each state.

Minnesota has one of the healthiest retirement age populations in the country. Average life expectancy at age 65 in the state is 20 years, one of the highest averages of any state and half a year longer than the national average.

By some measures, older Minnesotans are also more likely than most Americans 65 and older to be financially secure. Only 7.4% of the retirement age population live below the poverty line, compared to the national 65 and older poverty rate of 9.4%. Additionally, retired public sector workers in Minnesota have the added benefit of a well funded pension system. With funding for 82.2% of its pension obligations, Minnesota has a better funded pension than all but 13 other states.

Rank State Population 65 and older (%) Avg. annual earnings, 65 and older households ($) Life expectancy at age 65 (years)
1 Delaware 19.5 63,962 19.2
2 Hawaii 19.0 81,027 21.1
3 Connecticut 17.6 79,202 20.3
4 Utah 11.4 61,313 19.5
5 Maryland 15.9 80,477 19.4
6 Massachusetts 17.0 76,131 19.9
7 New York 16.9 79,339 20.2
8 Washington 15.9 66,581 19.8
9 Colorado 14.7 64,403 20.0
10 Vermont 20.1 54,525 19.8
11 New Hampshire 18.6 62,642 19.5
12 Wisconsin 17.5 46,908 19.5
13 New Jersey 16.6 79,112 19.9
14 Oregon 18.2 54,612 19.7
15 Virginia 15.9 68,435 19.3
16 Minnesota 16.3 53,272 20.0
17 Maine 21.3 48,025 19.1
18 Nebraska 16.1 54,249 19.3
19 Pennsylvania 18.7 59,513 19.1
20 Florida 20.9 60,598 19.9
21 Rhode Island 17.7 69,256 19.5
22 Idaho 16.2 52,216 19.3
23 South Dakota 17.4 48,100 19.7
24 California 14.8 80,459 20.3
25 Iowa 17.5 49,521 19.3
26 Michigan 17.7 52,137 18.9
27 Montana 19.5 48,370 19.5
28 Illinois 16.1 62,797 19.4
29 Wyoming 17.1 52,054 19.0
30 Arizona 18.0 57,469 19.6
31 Ohio 17.5 50,402 18.4
32 North Carolina 16.7 52,481 18.7
33 South Carolina 18.2 51,372 18.6
34 Kansas 16.4 53,081 18.8
35 Alaska 12.4 69,443 19.2
36 Indiana 16.1 51,950 18.3
37 North Dakota 15.8 62,662 19.7
38 Georgia 14.3 59,751 18.4
39 Missouri 17.2 51,940 18.4
40 West Virginia 20.5 45,532 17.6
41 Tennessee 16.7 55,990 17.9
42 New Mexico 18.0 58,485 19.5
43 Texas 12.9 64,589 18.9
44 Alabama 17.4 51,601 17.6
45 Oklahoma 16.1 61,091 17.6
46 Nevada 16.2 56,563 18.7
47 Louisiana 16.0 55,809 17.9
48 Kentucky 16.9 52,989 17.5
49 Arkansas 17.4 47,041 17.9
50 Mississippi 16.4 49,422 17.5
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