How Long Would A Million Dollars Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 19 Years

A million dollars might seem like a lot of money to some people, but it doesn’t last long. After taxes, the average person will only have $500k left in their account after 30 years. That means they’ll need to make up for lost income and inflation – about an extra $1.5M per year.

If the average person wants to maintain their current lifestyle and spend $1,000 per day, they will need to make at least $300,000 per year. 

How Long Would a Million Dollars Last?

MoneyTime
1 Million19 years
Total Annual Expenditure of $60,0001 Year

A million dollars in a savings account would last 19 years if it were left untouched. However, groceries eat up the money pretty quickly. A family with 4 children will spend $6,598.81 per year on groceries (which comes out to about 12% of their income), and that doesn’t include other necessary expenses such as gas, clothes, utilities, and housing cost when it comes to Hawaii.

In New York, the living expenses start with groceries for $4586.30; housing costs $19,322.21 excluding utility costs, transportation costs, and the total expenditure comes to $69,830.78.

In California, the living expenses start with groceries for $4782.74; housing costs $18,227.44 excluding utility and transportation costs, and the total expenditure comes to $70,034.22.

For some people, their idea of living high on the hog includes lots of expensive things. There are many factors to consider, and at this point, a person’s goal is more about having fun than earning money. 

However, healthcare costs may consume a significant portion of a person’s retirement nest egg, depending on the sort of healthcare insurance they have and whether they’ve suffered from any medical problems during the retirement. 

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If one lives in expensive states like California or Hawaii, 1 million will not last for even 19 years. However, there is a bit more guarantee if one plans to live in southern states as the living expenses in northeastern states won’t last long.

Why Would A Million Dollars Last So Long?

One million only lasts for 19 years, and don’t forget the inflation. People mistakenly believe that a million dollars will buy them peace of mind, but instead, they are faced with constant worry and regret. 

There are many things people need to consider while having 1 million- the goal of the person, the time horizon for success, and the amount of money that provides sufficient resources for achieving that goal while also ensuring the quality of life. 

These are just a few questions. It’s worth exploring what lifestyle one can afford before devoting any effort to acquiring wealth in the first place – because once they get it, they’ll have little choice of how to spend it. If one saves up money consistently and saves a million bucks, then retiring comfortably is a great option and ensures financial security during old age.

The problem is that $1,000,000 isn’t enough to buy two years of the same quality of life as many are used to regularly spending twice their yearly salary on restaurants, vacations, and other luxuries. After taxes, fees, and inflation, it’s barely enough for one year. Even millionaires spend a lot more than the average American family. 

This means that if one has a million-dollar inheritance coming their way or is about to win the lottery, they should not plan on living off of the funds alone because it won’t be enough. Overall, the ballpark for how long 1 million lasts depends on where a person lives to cover the total annual expenditure.

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Conclusion

If a person invests the money and lives on the 2% profits, one can keep growing the stack of money effectively. Overall, if a person is wise and decides to live off the interest rates from the 1 million dollars, it can last long. However, Americans’ lack of savings is a big matter that needs attention as many financial experts paint a bad picture for this amount of money. 

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Of course, there’s also the kind of person who spends his money on nights partying and frivolous extravagances. That number may be difficult to swallow for those who have not saved for the future. 

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030142150200040X 
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1985.tb00912.x