Americans think $1M is enough for retirement, here are top 10 cities where it'll go furthest

One million dollars is a decent chunk of change.

Many Americans of nearly all generations – from baby boomers to Gen X and millennials – agree that the seven-figure number will be enough for retirement, according to a 2019 Retirement Pulse Survey from financial services company TD Ameritrade.

Based on the survey’s results, six out of 10 Americans believe $1 million will allow them to retire comfortably.

However, like most things in life, it all depends on where you live.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your million-dollar fund, you might need to move to the Midwest, Southeast or Southwest, according to a separate survey conducted by personal finance website SmartAsset.

According to the survey, the average annual retirement expenses in the U.S. are $9,270 for housing, $6,326 for food, $6,620 for health care, $3,572 for utilities and $7,513 for transportation.

It also ranked 250 American cities in order of number of years $1 million would last in each. Here are the top ten cities where $1 million can go the furthest, according to research from SmartAsset.

Jonesboro, Arkansas: National rank 10

Jonesboro, which is also known as the “City of Churches” in Arkansas, will give a retiree with $1 million the spending power of 28.1 years. If this estimate is correct, a person who retires at age 65 will max out their million dollars a little after their 93rd birthday.

Conway, Arkansas: National rank 9

Arkansas gets a second spot on the top ten list with its 65,000-plus resident city known as Conway. This city that is about a two hour drive away from Jonesboro, and has a slightly lower cost of living, giving retirees with $1 million 28.4 years of spending power.

According to SmartAsset’s numbers, residents who retire here at 65 will use up their million dollars around three months after their 93rd birthday.

Wichita Falls, Texas: National rank 8

Technically, in the Texas city of Wichita Falls $1 million will last a retiree 28.59 years, according to SmartAsset’s estimate. However, it very nearly ties in seventh place with Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In this Texan stomping ground for cattle ranchers those who retire at age 65 will spend their entire million dollars about seven months after their 93rd birthday.

Kalamazoo, Michigan: National rank 7

In 2014, NerdWallet named Kalamazoo as one of the best cities for work-life balance. It turns out this metropolitan area in the southwestern part of Michigan is also friendly to retirees who have seven figures saved.

Residents who retire at age 65 with a million dollars in Kalamazoo can expect to run out of funds after 28.6 years, which means they’ll surpass the age of 93 by seven or so months.

Muskogee, Oklahoma: National rank 6

It’s another near tie for two cities in Oklahoma and Tennessee, however, the city of Muskogee falls short by .02, which earns it sixth place by technicality, according to SmartAsset’s rankings.

Muskogee retirees who call it quits with a million dollars at age 65 can spread out their money about 28.87 years – meaning they will run out of funds about 10 months after their 93rd birthday.

Knoxville, Tennessee: National rank 5

Knoxville, the “Marble City” and home of Mountain Dew is the official halfway point on SmartAsset’s top ten list. It snags fifth place with an estimate that says retirees can make a million dollars last for 28.89 years.

This bustling city that is 181 miles away from Tennessee’s state capitol can help retirees nearly reach age 94 with a million dollars. Funds will run dry about 10 months after a person’s 93rd birthday.

Richmond, Indiana: National rank 4

Indiana’s city of Richmond nearly ties with Tennessee’s other ranking city on this list – Memphis. However, this competing cradle of recorded jazz earns the number four spot with a million dollars lasting retirees approximately 29.75 years, according to SmartAsset.

People who retire in Richmond at the age of 65 with this amount of money will have enough to last until nine months after their 94th birthday.


Memphis, Tennessee: National rank 3

Memphis has a slight advantage over Richmond by extending a retiree’s savings to .03 of a year. But, perhaps living in a city that is known for its barbeque, blues and rock-n-roll is an added bonus.

A million dollars for retirement can last in this Tennessee city for 29.78 years, according to SmartAsset, which buys a little extra time – however, not by much. Similar to Richmond, a millionaire retiree will run out of funds about nine months after their 94th birthday, give or take.

McAllen, Texas: National rank 2

McAllen is one of the most populous cities in Texas, which isn't surprising given its incredibly low cost of living. It earns second place on SmartAsset’s list. According to their numbers, a million dollars can last a retiree 31.3 years.

If a person retires here with that amount of cash, they can expect to reach the end of their funds about three or so months after their 96th birthday.

Harlingen, Texas: National rank 1

Coming in at number one and wearing the crown as the city where a million dollars for retirees can go the farthest is the modest Texan metropolis of Harlingen. It can be found at the southeastern edge of Texas – about 30 miles away from the Gulf of Mexico – and is known as "The Capital of the Rio Grande Valley."

Residents who retire in Harlingen at age 65 can expect their million dollars to last a generous 31.7 years. That means funds won't run dry until about eight months after a person’s 96th birthday.