7 of America's Most Affordable States to Retire - And None of Them Are Florida (2023)

If you're looking to earn a living in retirement, look no further than the Great Lakes State.

According to a recent report, Michigan is the most affordable state to retire in 2022Bank rate analysis. This is due to the low cost of living and the low tax burden on residents.

To compile the overall list of the best states for retirement, Bankrate ranked states according to five categories: affordability; health and well-being; culture and diversity; time; and crime.

To calculate availability, Bankrate analyzed July 2022Cost of living index outside de Council for Social and Economic Researchand property and sales tax ratesTax Foundation Rankings 2022.

Here are the seven best states for retirement, according to Bankrate:

  1. Michigan
  2. Tennessee
  3. Missouri
  4. Mississippi
  5. Kentucky
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Georgia

Despite its top ranking in affordability, Michigan doesn't rank as high in other categories. It was ranked for health and well-being, culture and diversity, and 1930s weather, and 29th for crime.

And while Florida is known to offer good tax breaks for retirees, it came in at No. 18 for affordability as the state's cost of living has risen, Bankrate reports. However, the country received high marks in other categories, including No. 1 for culture and diversity and No. 5 for time.

When thinking about where to retire, there are a few things to consider. Everyone has different priorities.

Ask yourself questions like: "How is your income taxed?" says Clark Kendall, president of Kendall Capital Management in Rockville, Maryland, and author of "The Middle Class Millionaire."

"Watch how you spend your money," adds Kendall.

In addition, you should think about what activities you want to do after retirement and in which places this is possible.

"If you're thinking about a community, you have to think about what else you want to do," says Ginni Field, an Oceanside, Calif., real estate agent who specializes in senior buyers and sellers. "Do you still want to be able to play golf, tennis or pickleball?"

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7 of America's Most Affordable States to Retire - And None of Them Are Florida (1)


Why Jim Cramer Warns Against Retiring in Your Thirties or Forties


7 of America's Most Affordable States to Retire - And None of Them Are Florida? ›

A new study identifies a rugged group of states — Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho — as the most affordable destinations for American retirees.

What is the safest most affordable state to retire in? ›

A new study identifies a rugged group of states — Wyoming, Utah, Montana and Idaho — as the most affordable destinations for American retirees.

Are retirees leaving Florida? ›

Once thought of as the ideal place to live out one's golden years, Florida is quickly losing favor with retirees. Remote workers and the wealthy are flocking to the state and driving up home prices, leaving those on a fixed income feeling the pinch.

Where is the cheapest place to retire in the US 2023? ›

The top five states where your money will go further are Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming. While Wyoming ranks in the top ten for quality of life, the other four are at the tail end of the list, it and the others are laggards with respect to health care when compared to the other states.

Where can I retire on $800 a month? ›

Ecuador. If you're looking for a country where you can retire outside the US comfortably with $800 per month and experience one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world, then Ecuador might be for you. The go-to city for US retirees in Ecuador is Cuenca, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.

What state is best financially to retire to? ›

1 state to retire for high quality of life: Massachusetts. Massachusetts is the best state for retirees based on the quality of life. While the state ranked in the bottom half of the list for affordability, it scored top marks for health care, coming in at second place.

What states do not pay Social Security taxes? ›

Fortunately, there are some states that don't charge taxes on retirement income of any kind: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

Why seniors are leaving Florida? ›

“In addition to inflation, housing prices and increasing costs of living in Florida, retirees are also leaving for other reasons,” says Dutch Mendenhall, Founder of RAD Diversified REIT. “Higher auto and home insurance along with a 7% sales tax on already high-inflation goods can put a strain on retirement income.”

What is the number 1 state to retire in? ›

The best state to retire: Vermont

Vermont quietly has a lot going for it, including very good scores in public health, crime, quality of life, and cost of living. It also has lower-than-average housing costs as well as reasonable taxes for retirees.

Where can I retire instead of Florida? ›

20 States That Are Better Than Florida For Retirees Florida has been a popular state for people to retire to but Rhode Island, Delaware, and Ohio may also be great states for retirees. Florida has been a popular state for people to retire to. But Rhode Island, Delaware, and Ohio may also be great states for retirees.

Where to retire on $3,000 a month? ›

5 Awesome Places to Retire on $3,000 a Month or Less
  • If You Want to Be Near the Beach: Gulfport, Fla.
  • If You Desire Access to Arts and Culture: Duluth, Ga.
  • If You Want to Be Close to a Transportation Hub: Alton, Ill.
  • If You Crave the Outdoors: Coeur d'Alene, Ind.
  • If You Want to Live Someplace Totally Foreign: Malta.
Jan 27, 2021

Where is the cheapest warm place to retire? ›

8 Surprisingly Affordable Cities With Great Weather for Retirees
  • Tarboro, North Carolina. ...
  • Melbourne, Florida. ...
  • Lakeland, Florida. ...
  • Mountain Home, Arkansas. ...
  • Mount Airy, North Carolina. ...
  • Kingsport, Tennessee. ...
  • Roanoke, Virginia. ...
  • College Station, Texas.
Jan 26, 2023

Where is the cheapest and safest place to retire in South America? ›

Panama. Named to the top spot of “Best Places to Retire in 2022” on International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index, Panama has become a popular retirement destination.

Where can I live in $1 500 a month in the US? ›

Best Cities to Retire on a Budget of $1,500 a Month
  • Casper, Wyo. Total Monthly Expenditures: $1,473. ...
  • Davenport, Iowa. Total Monthly Expenditures: $1,472. ...
  • Lubbock, Texas. Total Monthly Expenditures: $1,456. ...
  • Lorain, Ohio. Total Monthly Expenditures: $1,442. ...
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa. ...
  • Lawton, Okla. ...
  • Lynchburg, Va. ...
  • Grand Forks, N.D.
Apr 12, 2019

What is a good monthly income for a retired person? ›

According to data from the BLS, average incomes in 2021 after taxes were as follows for older households: 65-74 years: $59,872 per year or $4,989 per month. 75 and older: $43,217 per year or $3,601 per month.

Can a retired couple live on $3,000 a month? ›

Whether you can retire on $3,000 a month depends on several factors, including your living expenses, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits. If you have a low living cost and can supplement your income with a part-time job or a generous pension, then retiring on $3,000 a month is certainly possible.

What state has the best quality of life? ›

“We realized no one had done a comprehensive quality-of-life comparison between states; other studies made comparisons across countries only.” Massachusetts and Minnesota were the two states with the highest living standards in the U.S., according to the study.

How do I get the $16728 Social Security bonus? ›

To acquire the full amount, you need to maximize your working life and begin collecting your check until age 70. Another way to maximize your check is by asking for a raise every two or three years. Moving companies throughout your career is another way to prove your worth, and generate more money.

What is the top 10 best states to retire in? ›

Here are the 10 best states to retire in, according to WalletHub:
  • Colorado.
  • Wyoming.
  • Delaware.
  • New Hampshire.
  • South Dakota.
  • Minnesota.
  • Idaho.
  • North Dakota.
Apr 15, 2023

What state has the lowest tax burden for retirees? ›

1. Alaska. Alaska is the most tax-friendly state for retirees because it has no state income tax or tax on Social Security. And its sales tax rate is the fourth lowest on our list - fifth lowest in the U.S. But keep this in mind: The cost of living in Alaska is higher than in most states.

At what age are pensions not taxable? ›

If you receive pension or annuity payments before age 59½, you may be subject to an additional 10% tax on early distributions, unless the distribution qualifies for an exception.

At what age is Social Security not taxable? ›

Social Security can potentially be subject to tax regardless of your age. While you may have heard at some point that Social Security is no longer taxable after the age of 70, this isn't the case. In reality, Social Security is taxed after age 70 if your income exceeds a certain level.

Why do people move out of Florida? ›

The other reasons that people leave the state after moving here are varied: “A nearly 14,000-member Facebook group for people moving out of Florida has cited severe weather, low wages, crowded beaches, changing politics, and steep housing prices as reasons people left.”

Where do most seniors live in Florida? ›

Cape Coral / Fort Myers

Cape Coral/Fort Myers tops this list for recreation and entertainment, offering a wide spectrum of activities for every retiree. It's home to the most active retirement communities in Florida.

Where do most elderly live in Florida? ›

With its beautiful weather and Gulf of Mexico beaches, Naples and the entire Fort Myers area is one of the best places to live in Florida for retirees. Naples is a quiet area, with many choices in active retirement communities.

Where is the happiest place to retire? ›

The United Arab Emirates claim the top spot for the happiest place to retire. The study reveals that the United Arab Emirates is the happiest place to retire with an overall score of 7.76. It comes as no surprise that with the average yearly temperature being 27 degrees and 3,508 hours of sunshine, they came out on top ...

What is the best state to retire in the U.S. News and World Report? ›

Pennsylvania and Florida towns took top spots for places to retire, according to U.S. News & World Report. The yearly list of Best Places to Retire in the U.S. named Lancaster, Pennsylvania as the No. 1 place to retire for 2023.

Where do most people retire? ›

Florida was the most popular destination, followed by North Carolina, Michigan, Arizona and Georgia. About 1 in 8 retirees who relocated out of state reported doing so to cut housing expenses, up from 1 in 15 in 2019.

What is the safest part of Florida to retire in? ›

Share: The waterfront hamlets of Satellite Beach and Marco Island top our list of the safest places to live in Florida in 2023, while the safest large cities in Florida are Cape Coral and Port St. Lucie. Whether you're just starting a family or retired, safety is always a major concern when searching for a home.

How much does the average 70 year old have in savings? ›

The Federal Reserve also measures median and mean (average) savings across other types of financial assets. According to the data, the average 70-year-old has approximately: $60,000 in transaction accounts (including checking and savings) $127,000 in certificate of deposit (CD) accounts.

Can I live off Social Security alone? ›

Living on Social Security alone is not only possible, but many retirees already accomplish that very feat every year. While the lifestyle associated with Social Security income isn't exactly luxurious, it doesn't have to equal rice and beans for the rest of your life, either.

What is the cheapest place to live for seniors? ›

23 Cheap Places Where You Will Want To Retire
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma. ...
  • Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. ...
  • Sioux Falls, South Dakota. ...
  • Chattanooga, Tennessee. ...
  • Sherman, Texas. Cost of living for retirees: 13.0% below U.S. average. ...
  • St. George, Utah. ...
  • Roanoke, Virginia. Cost of living for retirees: 8.7% below U.S. average. ...
  • Spokane, Washington.

Where is the cheapest place to live on the water? ›

15 Affordable Beach Towns in the U.S. Where You Can Actually Live
  1. Deerfield Beach, Florida. Population: 86,339. ...
  2. Daytona Beach, Florida. Population: 74,437. ...
  3. Jacksonville, North Carolina. Population: 72,896. ...
  4. Gulfport, Mississippi. ...
  5. Port Arthur, Texas. ...
  6. Pensacola, Florida. ...
  7. Biloxi, Mississippi. ...
  8. Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Jan 21, 2023

Where is the safest place to retire? ›

Iceland. Canada might be closest; but, if you sail east a little more than halfway between North America and Northern Europe, you'll hit Iceland, which has claimed the title of the safest country in the world every year since the mid-2000s.

Which South American country has the best quality of life? ›

Montevideo, Uruguay

It has also ranked the highest among the Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, which evaluates per capita income, education levels, and the average life expectancy of the residents.

What southern states have the lowest cost of living? ›

Likewise, the cost of living is lowest in states including Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama, and yet these states fall in the national rankings due to factors such as higher senior poverty rates and Medicare spending.

What is the cheapest state to live down south? ›

1. Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. It also has the lowest average housing costs in the nation at 33.7% below the national average.

Where can you live off $2,000 a month? ›

The Best Cities To Retire on $2,000 a Month
  • Abilene, Texas.
  • Baytown, Texas. ...
  • Parma Heights, Ohio. ...
  • Des Moines, Iowa. ...
  • Florissant, Missouri. Monthly expenditures: $1,684.79. ...
  • Longview, Texas. Monthly expenditures: $1,700.42. ...
  • San Angelo, Texas. Monthly expenditures: $1,700.42. ...
  • North Royalton, Ohio. Monthly expenditures: $1,715.74. ...
May 25, 2023

Where can you live in the US for $1,000 a month? ›

  • New Bern, N.C. Median rent price: $1,000. ...
  • Rock Hill, S.C. Median rent price: $1,000. ...
  • Tallahassee, Fla. Median rent price: $990. ...
  • Beaumont, Texas. Median rent price: $997.50. ...
  • Winston-Salem, N.C. Median rent price: $945. ...
  • Shreveport, La. Median rent price: $950. ...
  • Las Cruces, N.M. Median rent price: $945. ...
  • Champaign, Ill.
Jul 22, 2016

Is $1,500 a month enough to retire on? ›

That means that many will need to rely on Social Security payments—which, in 2021, averages $1,544 a month. That's not a lot, but don't worry. There are plenty of places in the United States—and abroad—where you can live comfortably on $1,500 a month or less.

What is the average Social Security check? ›

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average monthly retirement benefit for Security Security recipients is $1,781.63 as of February.

What is the average 401k balance for a 65 year old? ›

The average 401(k) balance by age
AgeAverage 401(k) balanceMedian 401(k) balance
5 more rows

What is the average Social Security check at age 65? ›

The average Social Security benefit amount for a retired beneficiary at age 65 was $1,389 per month in December 2021, according to the most recent data available from the Social Security Administration. Social Security Administration. Annual Statistical Supplement, Table 5.

How much do most people retire with? ›

The Federal Reserve's most recent data reveals that the average American has $65,000 in retirement savings. By their retirement age, the average is estimated to be $255,200.

What is considered a wealthy retired couple? ›

In a study of retirees with less than $1 million in assets, EBRI found wealthy retirees tend to have several things in common. They tend to have paid off their homes and don't have credit card debt or auto loans. They also have more than $320,000 saved for retirement — though what each household needs will vary.

Can you retire with only Social Security income? ›

It can be possible to retire on your benefits alone, then, if you're able to decrease your expenses significantly. Also, if you're married and your spouse is entitled to Social Security (either based on their own work record or through spousal benefits), that can make it easier to retire on Social Security alone.

Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in the United States? ›

In its report, Niche also ranked the cheapest places to live in the U.S. At the top of the list this year is Brownsville, Texas. Brownsville has been steadily rising in Niche's Lowest Cost of Living ranking over the past few years, placing number six in 2021, number three in 2022 and finally, number one in 2023.

Which state has the lowest overall cost of living? ›

Mississippi. Mississippi has the lowest cost of living in the United States. With a cost of living index of 83.3, expenses are nearly 17% less than the national average. Mississippi's housing costs are the lowest in the nation.

What state has to lowest cost of living? ›

Based on the cost of living index – which measures the relative cost of goods and services in a particular location – the cheapest states to live in are Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama, and Georgia. These states have a cost of living index below 89, which is significantly lower than the national average of 100.

Which major US city has the lowest cost of living? ›

According to their methodology, America's cheapest city is Harlingen, Texas, a small city of less than 72,000 people at the southern tip of Texas near the Mexican border.

What is the number 1 place to live in the US? ›

Topping the 2023-24 list: Green Bay, Wisconsin. The magazine called Green Bay "The perfect mix of big-city amenities complemented with a Midwestern, small-town feel."

What is the #1 city to live in in America? ›

1 best U.S. city to live in is Cambridge, Massachusetts—see which other cities made the list. Niche released its list of the best U.S. cities to live in 2023.

What is tax friendliest state? ›

MoneyGeek's analysis found that Wyoming is the most tax-friendly state in America, followed by Nevada, Tennessee, Florida and Alaska. States that received a grade of A all share something in common: no state income tax. Washington and South Dakota — which both received a B — also have no state income tax.

Which state has the best tax breaks for seniors? ›

1. Delaware Taxes. Congratulations, Delaware – you're the most tax-friendly state for retirees! With no sales tax, low property taxes, and no death taxes, it's easy to see why Delaware is a tax haven for retirees.

What are the cheap blue states to live in? ›

Regarding affordability, the report indicates that Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are the most affordable states with Arizona, Nevada, and Florida being the least affordable. The researchers came to this conclusion by using features such as credit score, mortgage debt, paid family leave, and median income.

Is Florida a cheap state to live in? ›

Is it expensive to live in Florida? Though the state has long had a reputation for being an inexpensive place to live, housing costs are high. Rents and sale prices are both well above national averages. However, the overall cost of living in the state is about on par with the national average.

What is the most expensive state in the US? ›

1. Hawaii. Hawaii is truly a paradise, but it is also the most expensive state in America to live in. The cost of living in Hawaii overall is 86% higher than the national average, and the cost of housing in Hawaii is a jaw-dropping 207% above the national average.

Which US state has the best quality of life? ›

“We realized no one had done a comprehensive quality-of-life comparison between states; other studies made comparisons across countries only.” Massachusetts and Minnesota were the two states with the highest living standards in the U.S., according to the study.

Where is like California but cheaper? ›

Most affordable? Mississippi, with housing 61% cheaper than the Golden State. Then comes Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia at 60%, Kentucky at 56% and Oklahoma and South Dakota at 55%.

What states have the highest wages and lowest cost of living? ›

12 Cities With Really High Salaries and Really Low Costs of...
  • Midland, Texas.
  • Olathe, Kansas. ...
  • Raleigh, North Carolina. ...
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota. ...
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia. ...
  • Pearland, Texas. ...
  • Round Rock, Texas. Average household income: $107,314. ...
  • Chesapeake, Virginia. Average household income: $81,261. ...
Jun 12, 2023


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