Financial Advisor magazine is doing a series on what advisors say it costs to retire in many locations. See the end of this article for links to previous articles in the series.

Dana Pingenot, president of Lee Financial, a Dallas-based independent wealth management firm, has recently seen her 30-minute commute expand to 45 minutes and sometimes even an hour each way as more people flock to this Sunbelt city. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Dallas metro area (where a car is pretty much a necessity because the region is sprawling) saw a 146,000-population increase last year -- the most for any metro area in the country. Pingenot isn’t surprised, considering that the area remains more affordable than most major U.S. cities and that Texas residents aren’t hit with state or local income tax.  Many people are moving to the area for jobs, she said, but it’s also a good place to retire. 

The majority of Lee Financial’s clients have an average net worth between $5 million and $20 million, said Pingenot. If a retiree collects Social Security, “A $500,000 nest egg could provide a comfortable lifestyle, but would need to be managed properly,” she said. “It’s important to manage your portfolio risk, not just the return.”

A 65-year-old moving to the Dallas metro area with a $500,000 nest egg and annual Social Security benefits of $30,000 to $35,000  (typical for someone retiring on a $100,000 salary) can reasonably expect to afford a house in the $175,000 to $200,000 range and fund living expenses of $35,000 a year, including home-related payments, said Pingenot. She is assuming a withdrawal rate of 4 percent and a life expectancy of 95.

Apartment rentals and condo or townhouse purchases are also viable options. One- and two-bedroom condos are available in the $175,000 to $200,000 range in some neighborhoods within the city of Dallas. “A retiree may particularly benefit from exploring options in the suburbs near Dallas where the market offers greater home purchasing power,” says Pingenot, “without sacrificing access to a wealth of community activities and entertainment.”

In Dallas, the property tax rate is just above 2 percent of a home’s value, or approximately $4,000 for a $200,000 home. Renting (inventory is high) could cost a little less than buying a home, says Pingenot, but that could be changing as more people move to Dallas.

Some retirees choose to downsize and purchase a more affordably priced home to provide them with the flexibility to do other things.  With a $500,000 nest egg, “You can travel if you manage your budget right,” said Pingenot, who generally suggests budgeting 60 percent on fixed living necessities (including a home, food and health care), 30 percent on discretionary spending and another 10 percent on saving for unexpected expenses.

According to Pingenot, a $750,000 nest egg could provide a retired couple in Dallas with another $15,000 a year in discretionary spending. To afford a home in one of Dallas’s more affluent suburbs, where houses run $400,000 to $750,000, a retired couple would need a net worth of $1 million or more, she said.

Read other articles on what advisors have to say about retiring in Park City, Utah; San Francisco; San Diego; and New York City.