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.