22 American cities where $1 million goes the furthest during retirement

NadyaEugene/Shutterstock$US1 million can last retirees 28 years or more in 22 US cities.
  • It is getting harder to retire with only $US1 million saved up.
  • SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $US1 million would last in over 250 cities.
  • Southern states dominated the list, with Texas claiming the most spots. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News.

It is getting harder to retire with only $US1 million saved up. Ten years ago, $US1 million had the same buying power of just under $US1.2 million, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics inflation calculator.

In a new study, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $US1 million would last in over 250 big and mid-sized US cities. SmartAsset looked at average annual expenses for seniors throughout the country and applied cost of living data on housing, food, healthcare, transportation, and utilities.

To determine how long $US1 million would last in each city, SmartAsset assumed $US1 million would grow at 2% rate of return (that’s interest minus inflation). The sum of each annual number was divided by $US1 million to calculate how many years it would last retirees.

Southern states dominated the list, with Texas claiming the most spots. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News.

Below, check out the top 22 cities where $US1 million would last retirees 28 years or more, along with the average annual expenses for housing, food, and healthcare.


22. Salina, Kansas — 28.16 years

Housing expenses: $US6,463

Food expenses: $US5,214

Healthcare expenses: $US5,839


21. Burlington, Iowa — 28.20 years

Erin Cogswell/Shutterstock

Housing expenses: $US5,936

Food expenses: $US5,493

Healthcare expenses: $US6,222


20. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — 28.24 years

Austin Urton/Shutterstock

Housing expenses: $US6,599

Food expenses: $US5,426

Healthcare expenses: $US5,789


19. Brownsville, Texas — 28.30 years

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Housing expenses: $US6,954

Food expenses: $US5,323

Healthcare expenses: $US5,576


17 (TIE). Sherman, Texas — 28.38 years

Housing expenses: $US6,545

Food expenses: $US5,935

Healthcare expenses: $US5,720


17 (TIE). Danville, Virginia — 28.38 years

Housing expenses: $US7,581

Food expenses: $US5,856

Healthcare expenses: $US5,990


16. Muskogee, Oklahoma — 28.44 years

Housing expenses: $US6,608

Food expenses: $US6,014

Healthcare expenses: $US5,551


15. Pittsburg, Kansas — 28.55 years

Housing expenses: $US5,963

Food expenses: $US6,008

Healthcare expenses: $US5,576


14. Ashland, Ohio — 28.75 years

Housing expenses: $US5,299

Food expenses: $US6,020

Healthcare expenses: $US5,356


13. Jonesboro, Arkansas — 28.85 years

Housing expenses: $US6,745

Food expenses: $US5,511

Healthcare expenses: $US5,143


12. Statesboro, Georgia — 28.87 years

Housing expenses: $US6,427

Food expenses: $US5,493

Healthcare expenses: $US5,124


11. Martinsville, Virginia — 28.95 years

Housing expenses: $US6, 508

Food expenses: $US5,547

Healthcare expenses: $US5,488


10. Memphis, Tennessee — 29.12 years

Housing expenses: $US5,981

Food expenses: $US5,529

Healthcare expenses: $US5,343


9. Hattiesburg, Mississippi — 29.47

Housing expenses: $US6,454

Food expenses: $US6,008

Healthcare expenses: $US5,701


8. Knoxville, Tennessee — 29.75 years

Housing expenses: $US6,527

Food expenses: $US5,226

Healthcare expenses: $US5,500


7. Wichita Falls, Texas — 29.78 years

Fakhrurrazi Ibrahim/Shutterstock

Housing expenses: $US6,345

Food expenses: $US5,099

Healthcare expenses: $US5,576


6. Kalamazoo, Michigan — 29.84 years

Housing expenses: $US5,509

Food expenses: $US4,899

Healthcare expenses: $US5,708


5. Tupelo, Mississippi — 30.05 years

Housing expenses: $US6,263

Food expenses: $US5,505

Healthcare expenses: $US5,883


4. Conway, Arkansas — 31.28 years

Housing expenses: $US5,881

Food expenses: $US5,226

Healthcare expenses: $US5,394


3. Richmond, Indiana — 31.30 years

Housing expenses: $US5,672

Food expenses: $US5,650

Healthcare expenses: $US4,759


2. Harlingen, Texas — 31.68 years

Housing expenses: $US6,154

Food expenses: $US4,996

Healthcare expenses: $US5,519


1. McAllen, Texas — 33.03 years

Housing expenses: $US5,681

Food expenses: $US5,039

Healthcare expenses: $US4,646

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