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If you're getting close to retiring and looking for the most affordable places in the US to retire to (or already retired but feel like the place your living could be cheaper) this could help.
Some of the most important factors for determining the cheapest states for senior retirement are tax rates for retirees, the cost of living (specifically for seniors) and of course health care costs. Granted you can't always just look at these 3 factors alone, but just by that metric the 3 cheapest states as of a recent Kiplinger study are:
Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas.
1) Alabama ranks at the top because most pensions and Social Security benefits are tax-exempt from state income tax. Also homeowners 65 or older don't have to pay state property taxes, with the added benefit of also getting numerous bonuses on country and local property taxes. The one catch the note is sales taxes are higher than average (a comined 9.15%), and food costs are not exempt from sales tax like in most states.
2) Arkansas has a very low cost of living, coming in at 7.5% below the national average. And even better, the average cost of buying a home in Arkansas is far below the national average. So you can set yourself up with a home and perhaps some land and live well within a fixed budget far easier vs most any other state in the US. Whats more is Social Security benefits are not taxes in AR but again the sales taxes are higher, so thats the one trade-off.
3) Arizona makes the list because the cost of living for seniors is about 4% lower than the national average. So when you are living on a budget that is a top consideration. They also mention great weather with lots of sunshine and mild winters, granted it is a hot state so its a personal preference there.
Those are the top 3 states, but other states coming in just behind them are:
Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Ohio. All those states are great choices if you factor in cost of living, taxes, home ownership costs and health care expenses vs any other state.
Then it comes down to the more personal considerations like climate, how close you are to your friends and family and how important that is to you and what amenities, hobbies, activities and things you want to be surrounded by. All those things will factor in and may have you crossing some of these places off your list. And I'm sure other considerations like country vs city living, the culture of the state, etc.
Lastly, the cheapest cities in the US for the seniors to retire:
1. Birmingham, Alabama
2. Detriot, Michigan
3. Jackson, Mississippi
4. Memphis, Tennessee
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Brownsville, Texas
7. Augusta, Georgia
8. Cleveland, Ohio
9. Akron, Ohio
10. Montgomery, Alabama
Curious to me that 3 of the top 10 are in Ohio. So I would say that would make Ohio a top consideration.
As this post is meant to help and inform seniors looking for the cheapest places to retire, think this study left any places of the list you would suggest? If so please post here and explain why they are great places for the cost to retire to.