$1 Million Will Last Retirees 26 Years in This Big City

Money usually doesn't go far in a major metropolis. But this city is a big exception for retirees looking to stretch their savings.

$1 Million Will Last Retirees 26 Years in This Big City Photo by pikselstock / Shutterstock.com

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but the cost of living in retirement isn’t necessarily one of them.

A recent GOBankingRates analysis shows that three of the 10 cheapest major U.S. cities for retirees are in Texas, including the No. 1 ranked city: Houston.

The website determined how long $1 million in retirement funds would last in 50 major U.S. cities. The analysis examined the cost of living in each city and the annual expenses for someone age 65 or older.

Such expenses include:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities
  • Health care
  • Groceries
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Among all 50 of the cities included in the analysis, about 22 years is the median length of time that $1 million would last a retiree. City by city, the range was from as long as 26 years to as few as 17.5 years.

Houston is the only city analyzed in which a senior could live off $1 million for 25 years or more — 25.96 years, to be exact. GOBankingRates explains:

“With low to moderate costs across the board — highlighted by the lowest grocery cost at $2,859 per year — Houston takes top prize in the survey.”

All of the top 10 cities are concentrated the South, Southwest and southern Midwest, the analysis found. They are:

  1. Houston: $1 million will last 25.96 years
  2. Oklahoma City: 24.58 years
  3. Austin, Texas: 24.53 years
  4. Tulsa, Oklahoma: 24.31 years
  5. Memphis, Tennessee: 24.23 years
  6. Columbus, Ohio: 24.07 years
  7. Indianapolis: 23.73 years
  8. Louisville, Kentucky: 23.68 years
  9. Omaha, Nebraska: 23.60 years
  10. San Antonio: 23.15 years

San Francisco, Boston and New York are at the other end of the spectrum. In each of those metros, $1 million would last a retiree fewer than 18 years.

While it’s important to weigh the cost of living when deciding where to retire, it’s hardly the only factor you should consider.

As we explain in “4 Critical Questions Retirees Must Ask Themselves Before Moving“:

“It’s fun to dream, and lists of the ‘best places to retire’ are fodder for the imagination. However, you shouldn’t rely on such lists when deciding where to retire. Your own best-of list has to take your own life and particular needs into account. That is something no one but you can do.”

Do you have a retirement destination in mind? Let us know why it’s No. 1 on your list by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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