You’ve been socking away money in your 401(k) and/or IRA, hoping to retire someday. Where could you go where that money would last the longest?
Maybe not Bellingham — or anywhere else in western Washington, according to a recent study.
SmartAsset, a New York-based financial services company, examined the 2018 cost of living in 268 cities in the United States to determine just how long can a $1 million retirement fund would last in each place.
According to their report, the best place to retire in Washington state is the Tri-Cities, where you can expect to survive for 24.19 years on that million-dollar nest egg. Olympia is the most affordable place in western Washington — the $1 million lasts 21.77 years — just ahead of Tacoma (20.82).
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The same nest egg would last only 19.93 years in Bellingham, though that’s not as bad as Seattle (15.35), which ranked 264th out of the 268 cities studied.
Annually, retirees in Bellingham can expect to pay about $11,407 for housing, $6,395 for food, $7,277 for healthcare expenses, $2,861 for utilities and $8,973 for transportation, according to SmartAsset.
Nationwide, annual expenses were considerably lower — $9,090 for housing, $6,056 for food, $6,279 for healthcare expenses, $3,541 for utilities and $7,428 for transportation, according to SmartAsset.
So where does that $1 million nest egg go the furthest? SmartAsset says it’s McAllen, Texas, where it’ll last 33.03 years. Assuming you retire at age 65, your $1 million would last until you were 98 if you lived in McAllen, which sits on the U.S.-Mexico border.
New York City came in dead last. A cool million in retirement savings would last just 10.54 years there, according to SmartAsset.
To conduct its study, SmartAsset collected Bureau of Labor Statistics data on seniors’ average annual expenditures nationwide and applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic research to adjust the figures for each city included. The study does not factor in outside incomes, such as Social Security, pensions or inheritances and assumes that the $1 million grows at a rate of 2 percent.
McAllen also came in first place in SmartAsset’s 2017 study, though $1 million in retirement was then expected to last 42.29 years.
Vincent Moleski of the Sacramento Bee contributed to this report.