you could retire with $1 million, would you rather move
to a city where your money lasts longer, or would you
choose for a place with more activities, access to more
services — and a higher cost?
the city you choose is Fort Lauderdale, you can expect
easy access to an active, urban lifestyle with highly
rated restaurants, a popular beach, an international
airport and cruise port, performing arts centers and
weekly cultural events.
be careful — your $1 million might be spent before you
die, a recent study by financial planning website
a ranking of how long $1 million in savings will last in
retirement, Fort Lauderdale came in dead last — 25.2
years — among 11 Florida cities, the study found.
million would even last slightly longer, 25.9 years, in
Miami, the site said.
website recently ranked 11 urban areas in Florida —
and 261 total across the United States — using average
spending numbers for housing, food, health care,
utilities, transportation and miscellaneous expenses for
households 65 and older as reported in 2016, in the
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent Consumer
Expenditure Survey. It then ran the 261 urban areas
through the Council for Community and Economic Research’s
Cost of Living Index calculator.
assumed the $1 million would grow 2 percent a year,
"reflecting the typical return on a conservative
investment portfolio," according to spokesman Steve
Sabato. The site then divided $1 million by the spending
sum for each urban area to determine how long the nest
egg would last in each urban area in the study.
all popular retirement destinations were included. In
Florida, the study did not include West Palm Beach,
Melbourne, the Keys, or any city in the Panhandle. Fort
Lauderdale, as defined by the Council for Community and
Economic Research, includes all of Broward County, and
Miami includes all of Miami-Dade County.
the 11 urban areas compared in Florida, $1 million lasts
longest in Palm Coast, suburb between St. Augustine and
Daytona Beach in the northeastern part of the state.
Your money should last 32.5 years there.
Coast is followed by Tampa (32 years), Orlando, (31.6
years), Jacksonville (31.1 years), Daytona Beach (30.7
years), Vero Beach (29.9 years), Cape Coral (29.8
years), Gainesville (29.4 years), and Sarasota (27.3
years). Miami and Fort Lauderdale round out the list.
the 261 areas ranked nationwide, the study found $1
million would last longest, 42.3 years, in McAllen,
Texas, about 9 miles from the Mexican border and 60
miles northwest of Brownsville, Texas. Fort Lauderdale
$1 million lasted the shortest number of years in New
York City, 12.5 years. Rounding out the bottom five, in
reverse order, was Honolulu (14.8 years), San Francisco
(15.9 years), Seattle (18.7 years), and Boston (18.7
costs played a predominant role in the number of years
$1 million can last. Fort Lauderdale ranked 244th in
affordability of housing costs, estimated at $13,272 a
year. Miami ranked 228th in this category, estimated at
$11,438 a year.
the bright side, Fort Lauderdale ranked 104th or
health-care costs, meaning retirees in 157 other cities
can expect to pay more for health care. Miami was 165th.
do the study’s findings signal an end to Fort
Lauderdale as a retirement destination? Not necessarily,
say local financial planners.
on where we’re attracting people from, the cost of
retirement in Fort Lauderdale is not that high,"
said Mike Ross, a certified financial planner with
Financial Connection Inc. in Boca Raton and a director
on the board of the Financial Planning Association of
South Florida. Ross said most of his clients who retire
here are well-off northeasterners who choose the region
because they prefer the pace and can handle the cost.
many of his clients would choose to retire in a place
like The Villages, a preplanned retirement development
in the middle of the state, he said.
would ultimately feel isolated in a place like
that." For these retirees, living in Fort
Lauderdale "comes with a cost," Ross said.
"But it’s not New York cost. And it’s not
an increasing number of Broward County residents are
looking elsewhere to retire, both to make their dollars
last longer and because they desire a slower pace, said
Matt Saneholtz, senior financial adviser and co-owner of
Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation. Saneholtz said
he works with local clients interested in moving to
North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and northern Florida.
are sick of the region’s congestion, threat of
hurricanes and high price of property insurance,
Saneholtz said. "It’s not the sleepy Fort
Lauderdale that it used to be," he said.
cities where $1 million lasts longest in retirement
McAllen, Texas — 42.3 years
Harlingen, Texas — 39.5 years
Richmond, Ind. — 39.3 years
Kalamazoo, Mich. — 38.1 years
Cleveland, Ohio — 37.4 years
Martinsville, Va. — 37.1 years
Knoxville, Tenn. — 36.7 years
Ashland, Ohio — 36.6 years
Jonesboro, Ark. — 36.6 years
Norman, Okla. — 36.5 years
cities where $1 million is spent fastest in retirement
New York, N.Y. — 12.5 years
Honolulu, Hawaii — 14.8 years
San Francisco, Calif. — 15.9 years
Seattle, Wash. — 18.7 years
Boston, Mass. — 18.7 years
Orange, Calif. — 18.8 years
Hilo, Hawaii — 18.9 years
Stamford, Conn. — 19.3 years
Washington, Va. — 19.4 years
Kodiak, Alaska — 19.7 years