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How Long $1 Million in Retirement Lasts in 50 US Cities

Cameron Huddleston
·13 min read
Nashville, Tennessee, USA skyline and riverboat on the Cumberland River at night.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA skyline and riverboat on the Cumberland River at night.

If you had $1 million saved for retirement, you’d be set, right? Let’s do the math.

The average retirement age is about 62 for women and nearly 65 for men, and the average life expectancy in the United States is 79 years. That means your savings would need to last between 14 and 17 years.

On average, adults 65 and older spend $50,860 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That would be $712,040 over 14 years and $864,620 over 17 years. Keep in mind, though, that Social Security benefits can cover a portion of annual expenditures in retirement. When you factor in the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,381.79 and consider the average cost of living in the United States, $1 million could actually last as long as 29 years, 1 month and 24 days.

But, as you know, there are plenty of places in the U.S. where the cost of living is much higher than the national average, so $1 million won’t last nearly as long as that. On the other hand, if you live in a place where the cost of living is low, a nest egg that large could keep you living comfortably for years.

To find out how long $1 million will last in retirement in the 50 largest U.S. cities, GOBankingRates calculated average annual expenditures in each city for people 65 and older using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and cost-of-living indices from Sperling’s Best Places. This annual expenditure figure then was reduced by the average annual Social Security benefit. GOBankingRates then divided 1 million by that number to calculate how long $1 million in retirement savings would last in each of the 50 cities. This study is ranked from the shortest to the longest amount of time, and there is a big difference from city to city when it comes to how long $1 million will last in retirement. In many places, it doesn’t go nearly as far as you might think.

Last updated: Nov. 18, 2020

Aerial Cityscape View of San Francisco Ferry Building and Embarcadero at Dusk.
Aerial Cityscape View of San Francisco Ferry Building and Embarcadero at Dusk.

50. San Francisco

  • Total population: 870,044

  • Cost-of-living index: 269.3

  • Annual expenditures: $136,965.98

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $120,355.70

How long $1 million will last: 8 years, 3 months, 19 days

San Jose is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California.
San Jose is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California.

49. San Jose, California

  • Total population: 1,026,658

  • Cost-of-living index: 214.5

  • Annual expenditures: $109,094.70

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $92,484.42

How long $1 million will last: 10 years, 9 months, 20 days

View of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan at sunset with sun Flare and a blank space.
View of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan at sunset with sun Flare and a blank space.

48. New York

  • Total population: 8,443,713

  • Cost-of-living index: 187.2

  • Annual expenditures: $95,209.92

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $78,599.64

How long $1 million will last: 12 years, 8 months, 16 days

Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA.
Oakland, Alameda County, California, USA.

47. Oakland, California

  • Total population: 421,042

  • Cost-of-living index: 174.4

  • Annual expenditures: $88,699.84

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $72,089.56

How long $1 million will last: 13 years, 10 months, 10 days

The Los Angeles skyline and lake at Echo Park, in Los Angeles, California - Image.
The Los Angeles skyline and lake at Echo Park, in Los Angeles, California - Image.

46. Los Angeles

  • Total population: 3,959,657

  • Cost-of-living index: 173.3

  • Annual expenditures: $88,140.38

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $71,530.10

How long $1 million will last: 13 years, 11 months, 19 days

Seattle, Washington, USA downtown skyline at night with Mt.
Seattle, Washington, USA downtown skyline at night with Mt.

45. Seattle

  • Total population: 708,823

  • Cost-of-living index: 172.3

  • Annual expenditures: $87,631.78

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $71,021.50

How long $1 million will last: 14 years, 0 months, 25 days

Boston, USA - April 28, 2015: Fountain at Boston Common public park and people in Boston, MA, United States.
Boston, USA - April 28, 2015: Fountain at Boston Common public park and people in Boston, MA, United States.

44. Boston

  • Total population: 679,413

  • Cost-of-living index: 162.4

  • Annual expenditures: $82,596.64

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $65,986.36

How long $1 million will last: 15 years, 1 month, 21 days

California-Long-Beach
California-Long-Beach

43. Long Beach, California

  • Total population: 468,883

  • Cost-of-living index: 160.4

  • Annual expenditures: $81,579.44

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $64,969.16

How long $1 million will last: 15 years, 4 months, 19 days

San Diego, California, cityscape at the Gaslamp Quarter.
San Diego, California, cityscape at the Gaslamp Quarter.

42. San Diego

  • Total population: 1,401,932

  • Cost-of-living index: 160.1

  • Annual expenditures: $81,426.86

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $64,816.58

How long $1 million will last: 15 years, 5 months, 1 day

"Spokane, United States - July 21, 2012: People mill around outside the 1909 Looff Carousel, which is seen along the Spokane River with the downtown district of Spokane in the distance.
"Spokane, United States - July 21, 2012: People mill around outside the 1909 Looff Carousel, which is seen along the Spokane River with the downtown district of Spokane in the distance.

41. Washington, D.C.

  • Total population: 684,498

  • Cost-of-living index: 152.1

  • Annual expenditures: $77,358.06

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $60,747.78

How long $1 million will last: 16 years, 5 months, 12 days

Portland, Oregon, USA skyline at dusk with Mt.
Portland, Oregon, USA skyline at dusk with Mt.

40. Portland, Oregon

  • Total population: 639,387

  • Cost of living index: 130.8

  • Annual expenditures: $66,524.88

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $49,914.60

How long $1 million will last: 20 years, 0 months, 7 days

Denver Colorado capitol hill
Denver Colorado capitol hill

39. Denver

  • Total population: 693,417

  • Cost-of-living index: 128.7

  • Annual expenditures: $65,456.82

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $48,846.54

How long $1 million will last: 20 years, 5 months, 15 days

Ocean Drive night in Miami Beach.
Ocean Drive night in Miami Beach.

38. Miami

  • Total population: 451,214

  • Cost-of-living index: 123.1

  • Annual expenditures: $62,608.66

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $45,998.38

How long $1 million will last: 21 years, 8 months, 21 days

Austin Texas USA sunrise skyline cityscape over Town Lake or Lady Bird Lake with amazing reflection.
Austin Texas USA sunrise skyline cityscape over Town Lake or Lady Bird Lake with amazing reflection.

37. Austin, Texas

  • Total population: 935,755

  • Cost-of-living index: 119.3

  • Annual expenditures: $60,675.98

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $44,065.70

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 8 months, 4 days

Golden Gates drawbridge in Sacramento
Golden Gates drawbridge in Sacramento

36. Sacramento, California

  • Total population: 495,011

  • Cost-of-living index: 118.2

  • Annual expenditures: $60,116.52

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $43,506.24

How long $1 million will last: 22 years, 11 months, 19 days

Bellagio Tower in Las Vegas part of The Leading Hotels of the Wo
Bellagio Tower in Las Vegas part of The Leading Hotels of the Wo

35. Las Vegas

  • Total population: 626,637

  • Cost-of-living index: 111.6

  • Annual expenditures: $56,759.76

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $40,149.48

How long $1 million will last: 24 years, 10 months, 20 days

Skyline view of Downtown and Midtown Atlanta with ferris wheel from a rooftop bar and lounge.
Skyline view of Downtown and Midtown Atlanta with ferris wheel from a rooftop bar and lounge.

34. Atlanta

  • Total population: 479,655

  • Cost-of-living index: 107.5

  • Annual expenditures: $54,674.50

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $38,064.22

How long $1 million will last: 26 years, 3 months, 2 days

Looking up at Chicago's skyscrapers in financial district at dusk, IL, USA - Image.
Looking up at Chicago's skyscrapers in financial district at dusk, IL, USA - Image.

33. Chicago

  • Total population: 2,718,555

  • Cost-of-living index: 106.9

  • Annual expenditures: $54,369.34

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $37,759.06

How long $1 million will last: 26 years, 5 months, 18 days

Aerial Shot of Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at Sunset
Aerial Shot of Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at Sunset

32. Minneapolis

  • Total population: 416,021

  • Cost-of-living index: 106.5

  • Annual expenditures: $54,165.90

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $37,555.62

How long $1 million will last: 26 years, 7 months, 9 days

"Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfrontMore Virginia Beach Images".
"Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfrontMore Virginia Beach Images".

31. Virginia Beach, Virginia

  • Total population: 450,135

  • Cost-of-living index: 105.6

  • Annual expenditures: $53,708.16

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $37,097.88

How long $1 million will last: 26 years, 11 months, 7 days

Downtown Colorado Springs at Dusk.
Downtown Colorado Springs at Dusk.

30. Colorado Springs, Colorado

  • Total population: 457,502

  • Cost-of-living index: 104.5

  • Annual expenditures: $53,148.70

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $36,538.42

How long $1 million will last: 27 years, 4 months, 7 days

Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.
Mesa is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.

29. Mesa, Arizona

  • Total population: 491,194

  • Cost-of-living index: 104.2

  • Annual expenditures: $52,996.12

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $36,385.84

How long $1 million will last: 27 years, 5 months, 18 days

Cityscape skyline view of office buildings and apartment condominiums in downtown Phoenix Arizona USA.
Cityscape skyline view of office buildings and apartment condominiums in downtown Phoenix Arizona USA.

28. Phoenix

  • Total population: 1,610,071

  • Cost-of-living index: 103.7

  • Annual expenditures: $52,741.82

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $36,131.54

How long $1 million will last: 27 years, 7 months, 27 days

Downtown Fresno, California.
Downtown Fresno, California.

27. Fresno, California

  • Total population: 522,277

  • Cost-of-living index: 102.6

  • Annual expenditures: $52,182.36

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $35,572.08

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 1 month, 2 days

Raleigh, North Carolina downtown city skyline at dusk
Raleigh, North Carolina downtown city skyline at dusk

26. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Total population: 457,159

  • Cost-of-living index: 102.3

  • Annual expenditures: $52,029.78

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $35,419.50

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 2 months, 18 days

springtime urban skyline; clean city skyline; refreshing urban scene; springtime in Texas.
springtime urban skyline; clean city skyline; refreshing urban scene; springtime in Texas.

25. Dallas

  • Total population: 1,318,806

  • Cost-of-living index: 101.6

  • Annual expenditures: $51,673.76

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $35,063.48

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 5 months, 30 days

Nashville,TN Dawn Aerial.
Nashville,TN Dawn Aerial.

24. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Total population: 660,062

  • Cost-of-living index: 101.4

  • Annual expenditures: $51,572.04

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $34,961.76

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 6 months, 30 days

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown cityscape on Broad Street at City Hall.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown cityscape on Broad Street at City Hall.

23. Philadelphia

  • Total population: 1,575,522

  • Cost-of-living index: 101.2

  • Annual expenditures: $51,470.32

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $34,860.04

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 7 months, 30 days

Arlington, USA - December 19, 2017: The University of Texas at Arlington, Entryway sign.
Arlington, USA - December 19, 2017: The University of Texas at Arlington, Entryway sign.

22. Arlington, Texas

  • Total population: 392,462

  • Cost-of-living index: 100.6

  • Annual expenditures: $51,165.16

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $34,554.88

How long $1 million will last: 28 years, 10 months, 30 days

Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas

21. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Total population: 855,786

  • Cost-of-living index: 99.8

  • Annual expenditures: $50,758.28

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $34,148.00

How long $1 million will last: 29 years, 3 months, 5 days

charlotte north carolina
charlotte north carolina

20. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Total population: 841,611

  • Cost-of-living index: 98.9

  • Annual expenditures: $50,300.54

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $33,690.26

How long $1 million will last: 29 years, 7 months, 28 days

Houston, Texas, USA downtown city skyline and park at dawn.
Houston, Texas, USA downtown city skyline and park at dawn.

19. Houston

  • Total population: 2,295,982

  • Cost-of-living index: 96.5

  • Annual expenditures: $49,079.90

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $32,469.62

How long $1 million will last: 30 years, 9 months, 10 days

The St.
The St.

18. New Orleans

  • Total population: 389,648

  • Cost-of-living index: 96.3

  • Annual expenditures: $48,978.18

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $32,367.90

How long $1 million will last: 30 years, 10 months, 14 days

Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville, Fla.

17. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Total population: 878,907

  • Cost-of-living index: 93.5

  • Annual expenditures: $47,554.10

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $30,943.82

How long $1 million will last: 32 years, 3 months, 16 days

Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.
Tucson, Arizona, USA downtown skyline with Sentinel Peak at dusk.

16. Tucson, Arizona

  • Total population: 539,216

  • Cost-of-living index: 91.6

  • Annual expenditures: $46,587.76

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $29,977.48

How long $1 million will last: 33 years, 4 months, 1 day

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape at twilight.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA downtown cityscape at twilight.

15. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Total population: 559,202

  • Cost-of-living index: 91.1

  • Annual expenditures: $46,333.46

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $29,723.18

How long $1 million will last: 33 years, 7 months, 13 days

Frozen pond in a park in downtown Omaha.
Frozen pond in a park in downtown Omaha.

14. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Total population: 465,112

  • Cost-of-living index: 89.8

  • Annual expenditures: $45,672.28

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $29,062.00

How long $1 million will last: 34 years, 4 months, 20 days

San Antonio, Texas, USA downtown city skyline
San Antonio, Texas, USA downtown city skyline

13. San Antonio

  • Total population: 1,486,521

  • Cost-of-living index: 89.7

  • Annual expenditures: $45,621.42

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $29,011.14

How long $1 million will last: 34 years, 5 months, 11 days

Louisville, Kentucky, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment
Louisville, Kentucky, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment

12. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Total population: 617,032

  • Cost-of-living index: 88.4

  • Annual expenditures: $44,960.24

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $28,349.96

How long $1 million will last: 35 years, 3 months, 0 days

Baltimore, Maryland, USA cityscape overlooking little italy and neighborhoods.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA cityscape overlooking little italy and neighborhoods.

11. Baltimore

  • Total population: 614,700

  • Cost-of-living index: 88.2

  • Annual expenditures: $44,858.52

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $28,248.24

How long $1 million will last: 35 years, 4 months, 17 days

View of downtown Detroit, USA.
View of downtown Detroit, USA.

10. Detroit

  • Total population: 677,155

  • Cost-of-living index: 87.6

  • Annual expenditures: $44,553.36

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $27,943.08

How long $1 million will last: 35 years, 9 months, 5 days

Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri

9. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Total population: 481,417

  • Cost-of-living index: 86.2

  • Annual expenditures: $43,841.32

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $27,231.04

How long $1 million will last: 36 years, 8 months, 10 days

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio

8. Columbus, Ohio

  • Total population: 867,628

  • Cost-of-living index: 85.5

  • Annual expenditures: $43,485.30

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $26,875.02

How long $1 million will last: 37 years, 2 months, 7 days

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA downtown skyline at twilight.

7. Oklahoma City

  • Total population: 637,284

  • Cost-of-living index: 85.4

  • Annual expenditures: $43,434.44

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $26,824.16

How long $1 million will last: 37 years, 3 months, 2 days

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown city skyline on Lake Michigan at twilight.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA downtown city skyline on Lake Michigan at twilight.

6. Milwaukee

  • Total population: 596,886

  • Cost-of-living index: 84.9

  • Annual expenditures: $43,180.14

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $26,569.86

How long $1 million will last: 37 years, 7 months, 10 days

Indianapolis Indiana skyline at dusk
Indianapolis Indiana skyline at dusk

5. Indianapolis

  • Total population: 857,637

  • Cost-of-living index: 83.5

  • Annual expenditures: $42,468.10

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $25,857.82

How long $1 million will last: 38 years, 7 months, 23 days

Tulsa skyline with a park, pond, and fountains in the foreground.
Tulsa skyline with a park, pond, and fountains in the foreground.

4. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Total population: 402,223

  • Cost-of-living index: 83.2

  • Annual expenditures: $42,315.52

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $25,705.24

How long $1 million will last: 38 years, 10 months, 15 days

Keeper of the Plains Indian in Wichita, Kansas.
Keeper of the Plains Indian in Wichita, Kansas.

3. Wichita, Kansas

  • Total population: 389,563

  • Cost-of-living index: 82.1

  • Annual expenditures: $41,756.06

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $25,145.78

How long $1 million will last: 39 years, 8 months, 27 days

El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas

2. El Paso, Texas

  • Total population: 680,354

  • Cost-of-living index: 81.4

  • Annual expenditures: $41,400.04

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $24,789.76

How long $1 million will last: 40 years, 3 months, 22 days

Memphis-Tennesee
Memphis-Tennesee

1. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Total population: 653,248

  • Cost-of-living index: 76.0

  • Annual expenditures: $38,653.60

  • Annual expenditures after using annual Social Security income: $22,043.32

How long $1 million will last: 45 years, 4 months, 1 day

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find out how long $1 million will last in retirement in 50 U.S. cities, GOBankingRates first identified the 50 most-populated cities, as sourced from the 2018 American Community Survey. GOBankingRates then determined how long $1 million would last during retirement in each city by multiplying the annual expenditures for someone 65 and older, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey, by each city’s overall cost of living index as sourced from Sperling’s Best Places. This annual expenditure figure then was reduced by the annual Social Security benefits a retiree would receive based on the Social Security Administration’s Monthly Statistical Snapshot, January 2020. Once the final annual expenditure minus Social Security benefits total was found, GOBankingRates took this figure and divided it into 1 million to get the years, months and days that $1 million would last in retirement for each city. GOBankingRates also found the annual cost of groceries, healthcare, utilities and transportation for each city for supplemental data, using both the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey and cost-of-living indices from Sperling’s Best Places. All data was compiled on and is up to date as of Feb. 10, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Long $1 Million in Retirement Lasts in 50 US Cities