Retirement can feel such a long way off throughout most of your working life. But it’s important to start financial planning as soon as you get your first paychecks. One question that always comes up when people think about retirement planning is, “How much is enough?”

In America, there’s a certain mystique about the number $1,000,000. You might have associated that number with prosperity and comfort all of your life. So there’s a common assumption that, when the day comes, $1 million will be enough to fund a cozy, fulfilling retirement. But is that true?

Some surveys have reported that retirees can expect $1 million to last about an average of 20 years in one’s golden age. Others suggest that a person can go through all $1 million in as little as ten years or as long as 24.

As you might expect, the answer depends on a lot of factors. Here are a few to consider.


Where you retire is arguably the biggest factor in figuring out how long $1 million will last. Certain U.S. states have much higher costs of living than others. 

According to GO Banking Rates, Hawaii is the most expensive state in the U.S., where experts suggest retirees can go through $1 million in just over a decade. 

On the other end, in Mississippi, one can expect $1 million to last over 23 years. Florida, at 20 years, is around the middle.

Retirement Style

Some retirees take advantage of their freedom to travel across the world. Some prefer to stay at home and dote on their grandchildren. Others are content with more scaled-down surroundings and a hobby or two. 

Whatever post-work life you’ve envisioned for yourself affects how far $1 million will take you in your financial planning.

Life Expectancy and Health

Health expenses make up a huge part of retirement finances. Financial experts suggest that retired couples should earmark between $290,000 and $325,000 for medical costs in retirement. 

The average life expectancy in the U.S. is about 78.7 years. A person’s physical health contributes directly to the likelihood of facing medical costs.


The rising cost of living is a constant in America. Over the last quarter-century, prices for common goods have increased by at least 0.12% every year but one (2009), generally between 2.5% and 3.8% annually. Inflation surged again in the COVID-19 era. Any upward price changes naturally eat into a person’s retirement pool.

Retirement Income

You may earn added income on top of your nest egg when you retire. This can include Social Security benefits or part-time employment. Whatever you can earn from benefits or “side hustles” can extend the life of your retirement fund.

Mash Financial Planning: Building Toward Retirement

Mash is the premier financial planner Jacksonville, Florida, can turn to for long-range retirement planning. We help our clients make sound investment choices now for the financial freedom they need when it’s time to enjoy life to the fullest. 

It’s never too soon to start. Call Mash Financial Planning for a free consultation about your retirement strategy.