$1 million will last you 26 golden years in this big city

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:

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US cities where $1M will last you the longest in retirement
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US cities where $1M will last you the longest in retirement

10. San Antonio, Texas:

$1 million will last 23.15 years

9. Omaha, Nebraska: 

$1 million will last 23.60 years

8. Louisville, Kentucky: 

$1 million will last 23.68 years

7. Indianapolis, Indiana:

$1 million will last 23.73 years

6. Columbus, Ohio: 

$1 million will last 24.07 years

5. Memphis, Tennessee:

$1 million will last 24.23 years

4. Tulsa, Oklahoma: 

$1 million will last 24.31 years

3. Austin, Texas:

$1 million will last 24.53 years

2. Oklahoma City:

$1 million will last 24.58 years

1. Houston:

$1 million will last 25.96 years

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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.

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