Forum Thread

Cheapest Cities and States for Seniors to Retire

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 5 Posts
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?

    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.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    I'm not surprised to see those states in the top 3. Cities in the last list aren't necessarily known for their beauty either. No offense to those who live in them. I do hear that Colorado is especially a nice state to retire in, especially for what health benefits the climate and altitude provides. Florida has always been known to be a retirement state. I was surprised that it still makes the list. I guess I figured the cost of living might have gone up considerably in the past decade, but then again, it all depends on where in the state you choose to retire.
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    Colorado and Arizona have been on my radar for a while. I wonder how the economic disparity in Florida should effect its ranking. I've heard for a long time its a state of the have and have not's. Anyone here retire or planning on retiring in Florida have an opinion on this?
  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?

    Things change quickly. Washington state used to be very reasonable, now? RUN.
    My thought having lived in many states is to ask a state if they tax retirement income. I'd never considered that question until I lived in Michigan from 2015 - 2019. Michigan does not tax Retiree incomes, at all.

    However, when I told my House Rep. if the mandated No Fault Auto Insurance (highest in the nation) was not changed to
    Voluntary No-Fault for retirees (fixed income), I would leave the state.

    I bought a modest home in Indiana this past July and made my threat valid. More people must have done the same because they announced (this fall) that changes for retirees would be coming in 2020. So, if you can sell and purchase a home with little or no payment, it might pay to move to MI and work part time. Weigh it out.

  • Are you sure you want to delete this post?
    I wish I can make a move ji ji ji