Retirement is a major life transition that requires thoughtful planning, especially when living on a fixed income. Choosing an affordable place to retire can help stretch your retirement savings further. Here are some of the best places to retire on a budget in the United States.
Affordable Small Towns
Small towns can offer big savings for retirees looking to make the most of their retirement budgets. Some affordable options include:
- Abilene, Texas: With a low cost of living and median home price of only $164,000, Abilene is one of the most affordable places to retire in Texas. Key attractions include art galleries, museums and outdoor spaces.
- Saint George, Utah: Saint George has rapidly grown into a popular retirement destination thanks to its warm climate and proximity to natural wonders like Zion National Park. Housing costs are roughly half the national average.
- Jefferson City, Missouri: Missouri’s capital city provides easy access to walking trails, the Missouri River and cultural attractions as well as a low cost of living. Median rent is under $800 per month.
- Alexandria, Louisiana: Situated on the Red River, Alexandria offers small town charm and a variety of retirement housing options. Average rent is around $660 per month.
Low Cost Lakeside Living
For retirees who enjoy lakes, rivers and outdoor recreation, these waterfront communities provide easy access without breaking the bank:
- Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: On the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene and close to dozens of lakes and rivers, Coeur d’Alene lets retirees enjoy water sports, fishing and boating while maintaining a low cost of living.
- Bella Vista, Arkansas: This community in the Ozark Mountains surrounds two large lakes. Outdoor activities like golf, swimming and boating appeal to retirees along with affordable housing.
- Leesburg, Florida: Located in central Florida, Leesburg provides access to the Harris Chain of Lakes. A mild climate, low taxes and median home prices around $220,000 make it a budget-friendly choice.
- Aberdeen, South Dakota: Aberdeen lies on the shore of Lake Aberdeen. Fishing, boating and swimming opportunities combine with living costs below the national average.
Low Cost Beach Towns
Retiring near the beach is a dream for many, even on a limited income. Excellent budget beach retirement options include:
- New Smyrna Beach, Florida: With home prices averaging around $250,000 and no state income tax, New Smyrna Beach offers an affordable seaside lifestyle on the Atlantic Coast.
- Rehoboth Beach, Delaware: Popular Rehoboth Beach has median condo and townhome prices around $350,000, allowing retirees to enjoy the beach, restaurants and tax-free shopping.
- Lincoln City, Oregon: Situated along Oregon’s scenic coastline, Lincoln City has vacation rental and condo prices starting around $180,000, making enjoying the Pacific Ocean possible on a budget.
- Galveston, Texas: With 32 miles of beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston offers diverse housing options starting around $160,000. No state income tax adds to the appeal.
Affordable Mountain Towns
For retirees who prefer mountains over the beach, these destinations provide mountain charm without breaking the bank:
- Helena, Montana: As Montana’s picturesque state capital surrounded by mountain vistas, Helena provides cultural attractions and outdoor activities. The median home price is just $269,900.
- Hot Springs, Arkansas: Tucked in the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs has scenic hiking trails and attractions like Bathhouse Row. Median home prices are around $179,000.
- Sierra Vista, Arizona: Located just outside the Fort Huachuca military base, Sierra Vista offers affordable homes starting around $200,000 with access to canyons, peaks and wildlife.
- Athens, Tennessee: The surrounding Appalachian Mountains provide stunning scenery in Athens. Low property taxes and housing under $200,000 make it very budget-friendly.
Dedicated retirement communities tailor services and amenities specifically to retirees, often at reasonable costs:
- Bluffton, South Carolina: Part of South Carolina’s popular low country, the Sun City Hilton Head retirement community provides resort amenities starting at $150,000.
- Alamogordo, New Mexico: As home to the Holloman Air Force Base, Alamogordo offers many retirement housing options, with median prices around $150,000.
- Marshall, Texas: Named a top retirement community in the U.S., Marshall has a variety of services for seniors and median home prices below $130,000.
- Buckeye, Arizona: Home to the mammoth Sun City Festival active adult community, Buckeye lets you enjoy resort-style amenities with budget friendly homes starting near $200,000.
Best places to retire on a budget don’t have to mean sacrificing your retirement dreams. With good planning and an affordable destination suited to your needs, you can make the most of your golden years without breaking the bank. Analyze your must-have amenities along with home and living costs to choose a community where you can happily retire on a budget.