Many people mindlessly write out our rent checks on the first of the month and don’t think about it again until another month has passed. So, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re actually spending on rent — and over a lifetime that amount can literally be millions, a new GOBankingRates study found.
GOBankingRates estimated how much you would spend on rent by age 30, 40, 50 and 60 in the 25 most populous U.S. cities. The study assumes you’re paying rent from age 25 to 60, and projected rental prices have been calculated to consistently rise at the current rate in that city. However, the study notes that the real estate market is volatile and changes in rent are bound to fluctuate.
Keep reading to see the cities where rent prices are increasing the most.
Cities Where You’ll Spend the Most on Rent
The study found that San Francisco is the major U.S. city where you will pay the most rent by age 60: a whopping $2.5 million. You’ll also pay over $2 million in the rest of the top four cities for lifetime rental costs: Los Angeles, Seattle and San Jose. For that amount of money, you could purchase a sizable home in most states — or even a private island.
The cities where you will pay the most rent by age 60 tend to be in the West, with four of the top 10 cities located in California, one located in Washington, one located in Colorado and one located in Nevada.
Here are the 10 major cities where you will pay the most for rent by age 60:
- San Francisco
Total amount paid by age 60: $2,468,155
- Los Angeles
Total amount paid by age 60: $2,177,532
Total amount paid by age 60: $2,146,873
- San Jose, Calif.
Total amount paid by age 60: $2,041,599
- San Diego
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,986,648
- Washington, D.C.
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,453,612
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,391,068
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,203,098
- New York
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,100,060
- Las Vegas
Total amount paid by age 60: $1,006,494
Must-Read: How Much Rent Can You Really Afford?
Cities Where You’ll Spend the Least on Rent
Of the 10 cities where you will pay the least rent by age 60, three are located in Texas. Here are the 10 major cities where you will pay the least for rent by age 60:
Total amount paid by age 60: $502,740
- Memphis, Tenn.
Total amount paid by age 60: $622,033
Total amount paid by age 60: $623,451
- San Antonio
Total amount paid by age 60: $695,579
Total amount paid by age 60: $705,907
Total amount paid by age 60: $706,326
- Columbus, Ohio
Total amount paid by age 60: $711,698
Total amount paid by age 60: $744,109
Total amount paid by age 60: $831,599
Total amount paid by age 60: $872,932
Interestingly, although you might expect larger cities to be more expensive, population size doesn’t seem to have an effect on the amount of rent paid in a lifetime. The top two populated cities — New York and Los Angeles — are among the most expensive. But Chicago, the third most populated U.S. city, is right in the middle. And Houston and Texas — the fourth and fifth most populated, respectively — are both among the cities where you will pay the least rent by age 60.
Here is the full list of lifetime rent paid in 25 major cities, ranked from most- to least-populated:
|How Much You’ll Spend on Rent in 25 Major Cities in Your Lifetime|
|City||State||Amount Paid at Age 30||Amount Paid at Age 40||Amount Paid at Age 50||Amount Paid at Age 60|
Click through to read more about the cost of renting versus owning a home in every state.
More on cost of living:
- The Cheapest Places to Rent
- Here’s What an Average Apartment Costs in 50 US Cities
- This Expert Doesn’t Use the Popular 50/30/20 Budget Rule
Methodology: GOBankingRates determined how much you will spend on rent in major cities across the U.S. by the time you’re 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old using 25 years old — the average graduation age across the U.S. — as the age that one begins renting. Median rental prices for the biggest U.S. cities are sourced from Zillow, and the one-year average rental price was calculated for each city by averaging the rental cost from February 2017 to February 2018. Once the one-year average was determined, GOBankingRates took the year-over-year percentage increase and extrapolated out the number of years to come up with how much one will pay rent by age 30, 40, 50 and 60.
Note: This study assumes that rental prices will continue to consistently rise at the current rate over a 35-year period of time. The real estate market fluctuates over given periods of time, which could significantly affect the forecast prices this study found. These prices are representations of what rental costs would look like if the real estate market continued growing at the current rate and remained that way for the next 35 years.