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

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.

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