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Where to Live in Retirement on a Budget


Following a budget is incredibly important during retirement because of fixed income, and in these 10 places you can still live the good life.

Following a budget is incredibly important during retirement because of fixed income, and in these 10 places you can still live the good life, according to AARP The Magazine.

This year, when AARP looked for desirable locales for people over the age of 50, it did so with the challenge of limiting income to a mere $30,000. However, all the cities and towns had to offer good food, fun freebies and sporting opportunities

plenty of things to do during your free time as you enter retirement.

These 10 cities (listed in alphabetical order) are “the most livable, budget-friendly places in the U.S.” for senior citizens to live in comfort. It could be that the cost of living or taxes are low or that home prices are inexpensive. The AARP list does not take into account, so you could be looking at winters that hit the low teens at night or that don’t even hit freezing.

Bangor, Maine

Population: 32,817

Median home price: $110,400

Median property tax: $1,303

Downtown. Photo by Blaine Puckett

Admittedly, the weather in Maine isn’t ideal for retirees who looked forward to sun and sand during their Golden Years. One thing retirees will like is that Maine is the biggest spender in the nation on health, residential and personal care.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Population: 62,035

Median home price: $108,900

Median property tax: $1,161

The Broadway Bridge

The official AARP listing also includes Deltona and Ormond Beach, actually. Florida is, obviously, a stalwart on many lists of places to retire thanks to the beautiful weather, the beaches and the large retirement community, which means retirees have plenty to do and people with which to socialize.

Erie, Pennsylvania

Population: 101,047

Median home price: $106,600

Median property tax: $1,899

Erie Lake and the Presque Isle Lighthouse

The growth rate for Pennsylvania’s senior population is the second slowest in the country and the state has a low life expectancy, according to MoneyRates.com. And if you’re not quite ready for retirement, but are looking for a new home for the end of your career and into your Golden Years, then Pennsylvania in general might be a good choice for physicians.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Population: 190,411

Median home price: $114,200

Median property tax: $1,830

Downtown. Photo by Rachel Kramer.

Last year, MoneyRates.com named Michigan as one of the worst states to retire in. So even if the median home price and property tax is low in Grand Rapids, MoneyRates had been concerned with the state’s cold weather and the state’s shrinking senior population.

Greenville, South Carolina

Population: 60,709

Median home price: $127,600

Median property tax: $753

The Falls in downtown. Photo by CantoV Yousef Abdul-Husain

In general, the cost in the South is lower than other parts of the country. More than that, for people looking to live in South Carolina, the southern states usually rate as the friendliest in the country.

Louisville, Kentucky

Population: 253,128

Median home price: $128,200

Median property tax: $1,116


NerdWallet has also named Louisville one of the best cities for retirees considering a number of factors important to retirees on a fixed income. For instance, 12.6% of the population is over the age of 65, a doctor’s visit costs $83 and the cost-of-living measure is just below the national average.

Plus, Louisville is by far the biggest city on this list.

Pocatello, Idaho

Population: 54,777

Median home price: $127,500

Median property tax: $1,179

Historic downtown

The cost-of-living index in Pocatello is 88, which is far less than the national average of 100. And it’s definitely possible to live comfortably in retirement on $30,000 since the median income isn’t much more than that.

Pueblo, Colorado

Population: 107,772

Median home price: $102,600

Median property tax: $765

River walk. Photo by David Shankbone.

The cost-of-living measure in Pueblo is just 87.1, which is far below the national average of 100. Although temperatures in Colorado may not be what retirees were envisioning—it can drop to the 20s in January—the state has one of the fastest senior population growths, according to MoneyRates.

Sherman/Denison, Texas

Population: 61,787

Median home price: $79,400

Median property tax: $1,158


The cost of living in Texas is notoriously below the national average, which means towns and cities in the Lone Star State regularly snag at least one entry on these types of lists. Psychiatrists might want to consider finishing out their career here, since it’s the top-paying metro area for their field.

South Bend, Indiana

Population: 100,800

Median home price: $82,500

Median property tax: $846

The Studebaker National Museum displaying automobiles, wagons and carriages is located in South Bend

One thing to consider for people looking to purchase a home in South Bend: the area has a potential to be a housing bubble, according to Bloomberg. In the last year the median housing price has increased 14%, but unemployment (already a high 9.4%) also increased a little.

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