Transitioning into an assisted living facility is one of the most difficult decisions seniors and their families have to make.

Many times the biggest challenge is the financial burden that comes with such a move, which averages more than $4,000 a month nationally.

But assisted living residents in South Dakota are paying, on average, a lot less than that.

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A new study from looked at move-in data from 40,000 senior communities in 2021.

What they found was that South Dakota is the fifth most affordable state for assisted living facilities with an average monthly cost of $3,138. The national average is $4,057.


  1. Georgia: $3,045 per month
  2. North Dakota: $3,069
  3. Missouri: $3,084
  4. Nevada: $3,123
  5. South Dakota: $3,138


  1. New Jersey: $5,893 per month
  2. New Hampshire: $5,644
  3. Alaska: $5,514
  4. Massachusetts: $5,421
  5. District of Columbia: $5,369

And while South Dakota residents are paying well below the national average, the cost of assisted living isn't cheap.

In order to afford the average monthly cost of a facility, the average state resident will need to save for 8.6 years based on the state’s median income of $58,275, the average savings rate of 7.5%, and the average cost of assisted living.

Residents in Utah have the shortest saving period (7.2 years), while residents in neighboring New Mexico need to save for the longest stretch of time (13.6 years).

In 31 of the 50 states, the saving period to afford assisted living is ten years or more.

With a record 54 million Americans now 65 and older, the demand for assisted living space is expected to grow considerably over the next decade.

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READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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