Here’s how long $1 million in retirement savings will last in 10 major U.S. cities


Financial experts often recommend saving up $1 million for a comfortable retirement. But for many Americans, that may no longer be enough to last throughout their golden years — especially if you live in a costly city, such as New York or San Francisco.

To determine how long a $1 million retirement fund would last, personal finance website SmartAsset looked at average expenses for seniors, including food, health care, transportation, housing and utilities, cost of living and investment returns in major U.S. cities. The site used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Council for Community and Economic Research to calculate how many years a $1 million portfolio would cover in each place, including any investment returns earned.

Unsurprisingly, large coastal cities fared poorly. In places like Manhattan and Boston, $1 million would only be able to cover retirement expenses for less than 15 years. However, in more affordable areas, such as Memphis, Tennessee, and Wichita Falls, Texas, the same amount of money would last closer to 30 years — more than twice as long.

Here’s a closer look at how far a $1 million retirement portfolio would get you in 10 major U.S. cities, from most to least number of years.

Columbus, Ohio

Number of years $1 million will last in retirement: 25

Annual housing expenses: $7,175
Annual food expenses: $6,067
Annual transportation expenses: $6,965

Houston, Texas

Number of years $1 million will last in retirement: 24

Annual housing expenses: $8,983
Annual food expenses: $5,421
Annual transportation expenses: $7,430

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Houston, Texas
Tim Leviston | EyeEm | Getty Images

Phoenix, Arizona

Number of years $1 million will last in retirement: 23.6

Annual housing expenses: $8,751
Annual food expenses: $6,244
Annual transportation expenses: $7,453

Atlanta, Georgia

Number of years $1 million will last in retirement: 22.2

Annual housing expenses: $9,845
Annual food expenses: $6,301
Annual transportation expenses: $7,521

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Atlanta, Georgia
Steve Kelley | Getty Images

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Number of years $1 million will last in retirement: 20

Annual housing expenses: $11,523
Annual food expenses: $7,382
Annual transportation expenses: $8,557

Chicago, Illinois

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