Elderly economic security gap: $7,780
Median elder income: $17,300 (25th highest)
Annual cost of comfortable living for an elder: $25,080 (9th highest)
Life expectancy in years: 79.7 (tied, 15th longest)
Housing costs per month: $789 (15th highest)
Health care costs per month: $455 (the highest)
For the most part, the wealthier states have higher costs. In Vermont, however, median household income is barely in the top half for all states, but the cost of living is the ninth-highest, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. All of the major costs for the elderly, including food, transportation and housing are in the top 15. However, the biggest burden on state retirees is health care. According to the Economic Security Database, the average independent elderly person in Vermont needs to have $455 set aside each month to cover health expenses, more than any other state.