Finding the right place to retire can be difficult, especially as inflation continues to eat away at the spending power of our money. It’s making a lot of places downright unaffordable.
Though the cost of living is getting high across the nation, many places still offer the perfect mix of low expenses and city amenities.
Here are 10 of the most affordable places to retire in the U.S.
1: Tucson, AZ
Summer temperatures are hot in Tucson (avg June high is 102 Fahrenheit), but the cost of living in this growing southwestern city makes it an affordable place to retire. With a population of 550,000, Tucson has a lower-than-average cost of living while still offering all the amenities of a major city.
If you’re also looking to escape city life, check out Green Valley and Sahuarita, two of Tucson’s southern suburbs with affordable housing about 20 minutes outside the city.
2: Augusta, GA
Augusta was named the best place to live and retire in the state of Georgia by U.S. News and World Report. Augusta offers warm weather and a low cost of living. Proximity to the Savannah River with green spaces and quaint shops makes Augusta a prime location for those who want a pleasant mix of city and suburban life.
If you’re in the area, check out the costumes and memorabilia from the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, at the Augusta Museum of History.
3: Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville’s slogan is “It’s easier here,” and they might be right. The city offers over 20 miles of nearby beaches and 40 miles of the Intercoastal Waterway, lots of parks and green spaces, and plenty of retirement communities to spend your senior years. And since Florida does not have a state income tax, you might save a little money by moving there before your career ends.
Jacksonville’s average summer temperature is 91 in August, with humidity. So, you must be okay with a steamy summer to feel comfortable in Florida.
4: Chattanooga, TN
Nestled in southern Tennessee, Chattanooga is an affordable place to call home in your retirement years. Like Florida, Tennessee also has no state income tax, making it a prime location to finish your career by paying less income tax.
The average cost of living in Chattanooga is less than the national average. Hamilton County property taxes and utility costs are reasonable, too. Chattanooga is a big city with a small-town feel, offering amenities you might find in large metro areas with a welcoming community feel of a small town.
5: Cheyenne, WY
Wyoming is the perfect state for those who love the outdoors, want to avoid big crowds, and are budget-conscious. With housing in Cheyenne 7% cheaper than the national average, it is one of the most affordable state capitals in the country. Only about 60,000 people live in the Wyoming state capital, though it still offers all the amenities you would expect from a capital city.
Utility costs are a whopping 19% lower than the U.S. average, with healthcare, transportation, and goods & service costs also being 6 to 8% less expensive.
6: Huntington, WV
While Huntington only has about 50,000 residents, it is also the hub of nearby metro areas spanning several counties in three states, bringing the total area population up to over 360,000.
The cost of living in Huntington is very low, only 75% of the national average. The average home cost in Huntington is only $83,100.
Huntington has Marshall University, which is great if you’re looking to relocate with your college-aged children. Ritter Park is only one park in Huntington’s expansive park system and offers residents a chance to walk among green spaces, play tennis, go to the dog park or check out the theater.
7: Rochester, NY
If you like the snowy weather, put Rochester at the top of your list. The city averages between 70 and 120 inches of snow a year, depending on how close you are to the eastern shore of Lake Ontario. Once the snow melts, you have access to a very cultural city.
Rochester is home to two major universities, the University of Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The median expense of homeownership in the city is only $1,300 a month, making it an affordable option to retire in New York state,
8: Memphis, TN
Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock and Roll, Memphis is an affordable and lively spot in Tennessee to retire. It’s a natural pick if you love music and history or like nightlife (check out the bars along Beale St.).
For the active folks, Memphis offers a wide range of parks, golf courses, hiking and running trails, boating, fishing, and the 2nd largest county park – Shelby Farms is over 4,500 acres.
Memphis sits along the Mississippi River in southwestern Tennessee.
9: Casper, WY
Just slightly smaller than Wyoming’s capital city of Cheyenne, the 54,000 residents of Casper enjoy an outstanding balance of outdoor activities with culture. Stay active by hiking along the North Platt River or up Casper Mountain. If you’re a museum person, Casper has you covered. Casper also has a collection of restaurants and theater groups.
10: Huntsville, AL
Huntsville offers the perfect mix of a high-tech city in the south and a relatively low cost of living. For you space buffs, it is home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Huntsville’s cost of living is 9% lower than the national average. Housing is 26% lower, putting this Alabama town at the top of your list if you’re looking for inexpensive houses.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Steve Adcock is an early retiree who writes about mental toughness, financial independence and how to get the most out of your life and career. As a regular contributor to The Ladders, CBS MarketWatch and CNBC, Adcock maintains a rare and exclusive voice as a career expert, consistently offering actionable counseling to thousands of readers who want to level-up their lives, careers, and freedom. Adcock's main areas of coverage include money, personal finance, lifestyle, and digital nomad advice. Steve lives in a 100% off-grid solar home in the middle of the Arizona desert and writes on his own website at SteveAdcock.us.