50 Cheapest Places To Retire Across America

courtneyk / iStock.com
courtneyk / iStock.com

Retirement should be a time of leisure and relaxation but unfortunately, you won’t be doing too much relaxing in the shade if you’re constantly stressing about money. Most people retire on a limited budget, which means seeking new places to live where you can stretch your money further.

Check Out: 4 Things Boomers Should Never Sell in Retirement

Try This: 7 Common Debt Scenarios That Could Impact Your Retirement — and How To Handle Them

To pinpoint the cheapest places to retire, GOBankingRates analyzed and ranked the 100 biggest U.S. cities based on the annual retirement income needed to cover basic costs, including housing, healthcare, groceries, transportation and utilities.

We also rated cities based on their livability, and only considered cities where the percentage of senior population was 10% or higher.

Take a look and see why these are the places where you don’t need to be a millionaire to retire.

April Ann Canada / Getty Images/iStockphoto
April Ann Canada / Getty Images/iStockphoto

50. Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $53,392.38

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.20%

  • Livability score: 74

Raleigh’s cost of living is 2.4% above the national average, but with a livability score of 74, it’s probably worth the slight cost spike. Healthcare and transportation, at least, are below the national average.

Explore More: 3 Cities To Retire In That Are as Awesome as Honolulu and San Francisco But Way Cheaper

Find Out: 4 Genius Things All Wealthy People Do With Their Money

peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto
peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto

49. New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,975.26

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 16.60%

  • Livability score: 63

The Big Easy may have an aura that attracts visitors, but its livability score isn’t super high. The cost of living here is 1.6% above the national average but housing and utilities are lower than the national average.

Discover More: Can You Realistically Follow Dave Ramsey’s 8% Retirement Rule?

©Shutterstock.com
©Shutterstock.com

48. Madison, Wisconsin

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,870.97

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.48%

  • Livability score: 74

The cost of living in Madison is only 1.4% above average, but its high livability score may make that cost worth it. Groceries, healthcare and transportation are all below the national average.

Patricia Elaine Thomas / Shutterstock.com
Patricia Elaine Thomas / Shutterstock.com

47. Dallas, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,662.41

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 11.35%

  • Livability score: 69

Housing doesn’t come cheap in Dallas. The city’s median home value is $325,315.11. But retirees can save on healthcare and housing, both of which cost less than average here.

Steve Debenport / Getty Images
Steve Debenport / Getty Images

46. Arlington, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,558.13

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.51%

  • Livability score: 77

Arlington ranks high for livability, with a variety of local amenities and affordable local housing. The median home value in this city is $320,019.92. Groceries, healthcare and housing costs are also lower than average in Arlington.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

45. St. Petersburg, Florida

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,349.56

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 20.18%

  • Livability score: 70

The Sunshine City is known for attracting a higher percentage of older adults, so it’s not a surprise that it has one of the highest numbers of seniors on this list.

St. Petersburg is a city to consider for retirement, with great weather year-round and beautiful oceanfront views. But you might have to pay a little extra to get those views. The cost of living is a hair above the national average.

Read More: 10 Things Boomers Should Always Buy in Retirement

©Shutterstock.com
©Shutterstock.com

44. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,245.28

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 10.30%

  • Livability score: 73

Fort Worth has an excellent livability score, but it is the first city on the list where the cost of living is a smidge above the national average. Despite that, all expenditures except transportation are under the national average.

RAUL RODRIGUEZ / Getty Images
RAUL RODRIGUEZ / Getty Images

43. Spring, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,141.00

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 9.52%

  • Livability score: 77

Spring, Texas has a cost of living that is right at the national average. It has the lowest percentage of adults age 65 and older, but a high livability score, which is attractive to retirees.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

42. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $51,984.58

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 11.30%

  • Livability score: 66

In Charlotte, the cost of living is less than a percent below the national average. All expenditures are under the national average except for housing which is 3.3%, at $19,494.78 per year.

culbertson / Getty Images/iStockphoto
culbertson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

41. St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Total annual expenditures: $51,411.03

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.51%

  • Livability score: 63

Healthcare, housing and utility costs are all below average in St. Paul. And the median home value is not super high either, at $286,186.41

Find Out: 8 Things Boomers Should Sell Right Before Retiring

benedek / Getty Images
benedek / Getty Images

40. Spokane, Washington

  • Total annual expenditures: $51,411.03

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.31%

  • Livability score: 67

Spokane’s expenditures are mostly under the national average, except for housing, which is 14.9% higher than average. Its overall cost of living is only 1.4% below national average.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

39. Durham, North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $50,837.48

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.92%

  • Livability score: 70

Durham’s cost of living is only 2.5% lower than the national average, but with a great livability score and annual expenditures that are just below $51,000, it’s still a great place to retire.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

38. Richmond, Virginia

  • Total annual expenditures: $50,107.50

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.19%

  • Livability score: 72

The cost of living in Richmond is 3.9% lower than the rest of the nation. With a high livability score and expenditures that are all below the national average, it’s a great city to retire to.

constantgardener / Getty Images
constantgardener / Getty Images

37. Tucson, Arizona

  • Total annual expenditures: $49,898.94

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.20%

  • Livability score: 65

It’s no wonder retirees flock here with its low living costs. Groceries, housing and utility costs are all below the national average in Tucson.

Explore More: 16 Best Places To Retire in the US That Feel Like Europe

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

36. Houston, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $49,794.66

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.15%

  • Livability score: 67

Houston’s amenities, affordable housing and good weather make it one of the highest-rated cities on this list in terms of livability. The median home value in Houston is $268,661.25, and the average summer temperature is 83 degrees.

LUNAMARINA / Getty Images/iStockphoto
LUNAMARINA / Getty Images/iStockphoto

35. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Total annual expenditures: $49,116.82

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.59%

  • Livability score: 69

Jacksonville is a cheap place to retire near the beach. Although it’s Florida’s largest city, the cost of living is 5.8% lower than the national average.

peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto
peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto

34. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,917.58

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.85%

  • Livability score: 75

Once a steel town, Pittsburgh has undergone a revitalization that’s helped diversify its economy and boost its appeal, which may account for its high livability score. Yet, the cost of living is 9.1% percent below the national average.

In addition to low living costs, Pittsburgh has the sixth-highest percentage of seniors compared to the other places on this list.

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com
SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

33. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,813.30

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.12%

  • Livability score: 63

You can retire cheaply in Louisiana’s capital. Annual expenditures in Baton Rouge are less than $50,000 a year. It’s the third-lowest annual amount spent on utilities. Groceries, housing and utilities are all under the national average.

Trending Now: 7 Places To Retire That Are Similar to Europe but Way Cheaper

RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images
RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images

32. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,709.02

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.59%

  • Livability score: 78

Lincoln has one of the highest livability scores on this list, and yet most of the expenditures here are all below national average, except for healthcare. Healthcare is a whopping 34.4% higher than average.

sborisov / Getty Images/iStockphoto
sborisov / Getty Images/iStockphoto

31. Baltimore, Maryland

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,604.73

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.78%

  • Livability score: 57

In Baltimore, the cost of living is 8.7% lower than the national average. Housing is almost 40% cheaper than the rest of the nation, at about $11,360.94 per year.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,344.03

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 16.92%

  • Livability score: 53

Those who want to retire among their peers should head to Albuquerque — the Southwest city has one of the highest percentages of seniors of all the places in this study. It also has below-average costs for groceries, healthcare and utilities, making it a good choice for retirees who want to save.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

29. Tallahassee, Florida

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,239.75

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.41%

  • Livability score: 64

Among the most affordable places to retire, Tallahassee has some of the highest costs for utilities and healthcare. However, if you plan to ditch your car and be active in retirement, keep in mind the city ranks as one of the most affordable bike-friendly cities.

Discover More: I’m an Economist: Here’s My Prediction for Social Security If Biden Wins the 2024 Election

Kirkikis / Getty Images
Kirkikis / Getty Images

28. Lexington, Kentucky

  • Total annual expenditures: $47,187.61

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.30%

  • Livability score: 60

Lexington has more to offer than just beautiful horse farms. This city is one of the best places to retire on a budget thanks to a cost of living that’s about 9.5% percent lower than the national average. Grocery, utility, healthcare and housing costs are especially low here.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27. San Antonio, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,822.62

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.06%

  • Livability score: 71

San Antonio’s monthly expenditures are all under the national average, though some by just a hair. Housing costs are almost 25% less than the national average, at  $14,248.36 per year. The city also provides a wealth of opportunities to go exploring and great weather to explore in, making it one of the most affordable cities for active retirees.

Matt Bills / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Matt Bills / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,822.62

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.23% 

  • Livability score: 72

Although Omaha is Nebraska’s largest city, it’s actually a more affordable option than the state capital, Lincoln. The annual expenditures in Omaha are about $887 less than in Lincoln. Seniors living in the city could also find a wide range of activities such as bingo nights, walking groups and health seminars, making it another great city for active retirees.

hstiver / Getty Images/iStockphoto
hstiver / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,718.34 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.61%

  • Livability score: 64

Louisville is one of the most affordable places to retire. One of the most affordable expenditures is housing, at 29.1% lower than the national average, or $13,380.25 per year.

Read More: 8 Myths About Debt That Boomers Must Stop Believing Before They Retire

Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Kruck20 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

24. Knoxville, Tennessee

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,718.34

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.61%

  • Livability score: 66

In Knoxville, where cost of living is 10.4% lower than the national average, all expenditures are lower than the rest of the nation.

Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images
Steven_Kriemadis / Getty Images

23. Detroit, Michigan

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,249.07

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.85%

  • Livability score: 54

Michigan has a cost of living that is 11.3% lower than the national average here. But the lowest expenditure is actually housing, the lowest on this list, at 76.5% lower than average, or an astonishingly low $4,434.92 per year.

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

22. Buffalo, New York

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,144.79

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.28% 

  • Livability score: 63

Buffalo has a cost of living that’s 11.5% lower than the national average. Housing is 37.2% lower than average, as well, at $11,851.62 per year.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21. Lakeland, Florida

  • Total annual expenditures: $46,040.50

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 22.20% 

  • Livability score: 82

For a city with the highest livability score on this list, the cost of living is still 11.7% lower than the national average. Housing and transportation are also relatively low here.

Find Out: I’m a Financial Planner: 5 Ways Not To Spend Down Your Savings in Retirement

Tory Garcia / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Tory Garcia / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20. Kansas City, Missouri

  • Total annual expenditures: $45,831.94

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.86% 

  • Livability score: 58

Kansas City doesn’t have a big-city cost of living. In fact, annual expenditures are less than $46,000 here, and housing is 33% lower than the national average. However, the annual amount spent on healthcare- $7,191.69 -is on the higher side.

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Total annual expenditures: $45,258.39

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.36% 

  • Livability score: 68

The cost of living is about 13.2% below the national average in this city. Healthcare is especially affordable — the average annual expenditure to cover health costs in Cincinnati is $6,284.82.

Checubus / Shutterstock.com
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

18. Columbus, Ohio

  • Total annual expenditures: $45,049.82

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 11.21% 

  • Livability score: 73

If you live in Ohio, consider retiring in Columbus. The city offers retirees an affordable cost of living that’s 13.6% below the national average. It’s also one of the highest-rated cities on this list in terms of livability, with high scores for its local amenities and affordable housing.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $44,267.71

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.88%

  • Livability score: 65

Indiana’s largest city and capital is one of the cities where your paycheck stretches the furthest. The cost of living is 15.1% lower than the national average. Expenditures for housing, utilities and transportation are relatively low.

Check Out: Retirement Savings: 4 Expenses Retirees Regret Keeping in Their Budgets, According to Experts

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Total annual expenditures: $44,163.43

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 11.62% 

  • Livability score:61

Retirees who can handle cold winters will be rewarded with an affordable cost of living and ample amenities in Wisconsin’s largest city. The cost of living in Milwaukee is 15.3% below the national average. It’s also an affordable place to buy a home — the median home value is $189,303.13.

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15. Columbia, South Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $44,059.15

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 10.23% 

  • Livability score: 61

The cost of living in Columbia is 15.5% lower than the national average, with relatively low grocery, housing and transportation costs.

JTSorrell / Getty Images
JTSorrell / Getty Images

14. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Total annual expenditures: $44,007.00

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 13.55% 

  • Livability score: 69

The cost of living in the capital of Oklahoma is 15.6% lower than the national average. Groceries are relatively low here, too, at $4,258.66 per year. The city also has one of the highest livability scores, with a perfect score for its local amenities.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

13. Corpus Christi, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $43,642.02

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.38% 

  • Livability score: 69

Corpus Christi is one of the cheap places to retire near the beach. The cost of living in this south Texas city is 16.3% lower than the national average. Groceries are also lower here, at $4,173.22 per year.

Because of its location on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi features miles of beaches on Texas’ Gulf Coast. It’s also one of the most livable cities on this list, with lots of local amenities and great weather.

Read Next: 5 Signs Boomers Have Enough Savings To Last in Retirement

traveler1116 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
traveler1116 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

12. Rochester, New York

  • Total annual expenditures: $43,381.31

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.06% 

  • Livability score: 57

Rochester has a cost of living that’s 16.8% lower than the national average. Housing is among the lowest on this list, at 55.2% lower than the national average, or $8,454.66 per year.

Paul Sableman / Flickr.com
Paul Sableman / Flickr.com

11. Saint Louis, Missouri

  • Total annual expenditures: $43,120.61

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.00%

  • Livability score: 54

For a city its size, St. Louis offers an affordable cost of living that’s 17.3% below the national average. It also has affordable homes, with a median home value of $153,746.10.That leaves retirees with more money to enjoy the city’s attractions — including the opera, symphony, museums, theaters and major league sports teams.

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10. Greensboro, North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $43,120.61 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 16.00%

  • Livability score: 66

Greensboro’s cost of living is 17.3% lower than the rest of the nation. Housing here is especially affordable, at 33.6% lower than the national average, or $12,531.01 per year.

traveler1116 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
traveler1116 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

9. Tulsa, Oklahoma

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,964.18 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.39%

  • Livability score: 62

Retirees looking for affordable housing can find it in Tulsa. The median home value is  $196,017.42, and Tulsa’s average annual housing expenditure is $9,737.95.

Learn More: 9 Moves for Retirement Planning To Make Now If You’re Worried About the Economy

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

8. El Paso, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,755.62 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.08%

  • Livability score: 74 

This city on the U.S.-Mexico border is one of the cheapest places to live in the U.S., which is what makes it a good place to retire cheap. The costs of groceries, health and utilities are especially low in El Paso.

gnagel / Getty Images
gnagel / Getty Images

7. Wichita, Kansas

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,547.06 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.82%

  • Livability score: 60 

Wichita’s housing costs are 44.9% lower than the national average. Due to inexpensive homes and relatively low grocery, and transportation costs, Wichita makes the cut for one of the best cities to retire rich.

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,390.63 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 15.67%

  • Livability score: 64

Winston-Salem is one of the best places to retire on a budget thanks to a cost of living that’s  18.7% lower than the national average. Housing is also really affordable here, at 37.5% less than the national average, or $11,795.00 per year.

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

5. Lubbock, Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,077.79 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 12.58%

  • Livability score: 68

The cost of living in this city in northwestern Texas is nearly 20 percent lower than the national average. Among the cheapest places to retire, the cost of housing in Lubbock is a significant 42.4% lower than the rest of the nation, at $10,870.27 per year.

For You: I’m a Baby Boomer Who Had To Un-Retire: 3 Money Lessons I Wish I’d Known

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

4. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $42,025.65 

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.82%

  • Livability score: 75

Fort Wayne’s low cost of living makes it one of the best cities for retirement. This city in northeastern Indiana has a cost of living that’s about 19.4% below the national average. Plus, utilities here are 18.5% below national average.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Total annual expenditures: $40,409.28

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.14%

  • Livability score: 58

Known for being the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, this lively city in southwest Tennessee offers an affordable cost of living along with plenty of amenities.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2. Cleveland, Ohio

  • Total annual expenditures:  $37,697.94

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 14.98%

  • Livability score: 59

Cleveland has a similarly low overall cost of living and total annual expenditures. Here, annual grocery costs are  $4,204.70 and annual healthcare is $5,820.84, both below national average.

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1. Toledo, Ohio

  • Total annual expenditures:  $37,645.80

  • Percent of population age 65 and older: 16.22%

  • Livability score: 62

Toledo is the top choice to retire because its overall cost of living is 27.8% below the national average. While its livability score isn’t the highest on the list, the low annual expenditures make it worth it.

Cameron Huddleston contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: To find the cheapest places to live across America, GoBankingRates analyzed the largest 100 U.S. cities across the following factors; [1] annual retirement account needed to cover basic costs for people 65 years and older including annual amount needed for housing, annual amount needed for healthcare, annual amount needed for groceries, annual amount needed for transportation, and annual amount needed for utilities. All cost indexes were sources from Sperling’s BestPlaces, then multiplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual expenditure data for people 65 years and older to determine a yearly expenditure amount for all of the listed factors. The cities are ranked from smallest to largest annual expenditures. For a city to qualify it had to have a 10% or higher rate of seniors aged 65 and older, sourced from the American Consumer Survey from the US Census. The livability scores are sourced from AreaVibes and are included for each city to give supplemental information about quality of life. All information is up to date as of June 7, 2024.

More From GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 50 Cheapest Places To Retire Across America

Advertisement