Low cost housing
Moving to a place with lower housing costs can improve your retirement finances. If you sell a home in an expensive city and buy or rent in another city with more reasonable housing costs, you may be able to boost your retirement savings, retire sooner or enjoy a higher quality of life. A recent U.S. News analysis compared the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States as potential retirement spots. The study included data about housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market and access to quality health care. These are the cities with the most affordable housing that scored highly on the U.S. News Best Places to Retire 2019 ranking. Consider these low cost places to retire in 2019.
1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh combines low housing costs with a high quality of life. The median cost of homeownership is $1,134 per month for retirees making mortgage payments and $477 monthly for those with paid-off homes, according to Census Bureau data. The median home price among older homeowners is $142,800. Renting is also an affordable option for retirees who don't want the responsibility of maintaining a home. The median rent for people age 60 and older is $667 per month. Pittsburgh is an ideal retirement spot for retirees who are no longer able to drive. Free public transportation on the bus and rail systems is provided to residents age 65 and older.
2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
You don't need a fortune to retire in Grand Rapids. The median home price among people age 60 and older is just $171,100, according to Census Bureau data. Retirees with paid-off homes have median housing costs of $453 per month. Those who are still making mortgage payments are charged a median of $1,121 monthly. Renting an apartment can be a good way to test out a potential retirement spot and easily move on if the neighborhood doesn't suit you. The median rent is $769 per month in the Grand Rapids metro area.
3. Nashville, Tennessee
The housing prices in this melodious city will sound like music for your retirement budget. Older homeowners face monthly housing costs of $1,236 with a mortgage and $429 with a paid-off home. The median home value among people age 60 and older is $234,000. Renting an apartment costs a median of $829 per month in Tennessee's state capital city. There are also tax perks for Tennessee residents who plan to work in retirement. The state of Tennessee doesn't tax earned income, but does tax dividend and interest income.
4. San Antonio, Texas
Retirees who settle in San Antonio get to enjoy the amenities of the city as well as the peaceful beauty of the Texas Hill Country. Retirement near the scenic vineyards and wildflower-covered hills won't bust your retirement budget. A home in the San Antonio metro area costs a median of $161,800. Residents age 60 and older pay a median of $1,293 in monthly housing costs if they have a mortgage, but that drops to $451 monthly among retirees who are mortgage-free. The median rent is $830 per month. An added bonus: There's no state income tax in Texas.
5. Lakeland, Florida
Waterfront property doesn't have to be expensive if you consider retirement in this inland Florida area with 38 lakes. The median home price for people age 60 and older is just $146,500. Retirees with a mortgage pay a median of $1,140 per month in homeownership costs. Monthly expenses drop to $410 among retiree homeowners who have paid off their mortgage. Renters age 60 and older are charged a median of $826 per month. Retirees in Lakeland enjoy mild winters, but watch out for the humid summers and accompanying air conditioning bills. There's no state income tax in Florida, which helps to keep costs low for retirees with part-time jobs.
6. El Paso, Texas
This western Texas city borders Mexico and New Mexico, and is located directly across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez. Home prices are among the lowest of any metro area in the country, costing those age 60 and older a median of $107,600. Retirees without a mortgage pay only $384 in monthly housing costs. Older homeowners who are making monthly mortgage payments pay a median of $990. Rent is also affordable, with retirees paying a median of $621 per month.
7. Daytona Beach, Florida
Retirement near the beach can be enjoyed on a modest budget in Daytona Beach. The median home price among people age 60 and older is $185,300. Retirees who have paid off their mortgage have a median of just $426 in monthly housing costs. Older homeowners with mortgages pay a median of $1,174 per month. Renting an apartment in Daytona Beach costs a median of $924 monthly. But don't expect a quiet retirement in this dynamic city that contains the headquarters for NASCAR and hosts several large motorsports events each year.
8. Palm Bay-Melbourne, Florida
The home of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is often referred to as the Space Coast. A beach retirement along the Atlantic Ocean can be enjoyed at a reasonable price in the metro area that includes Palm Bay, Melbourne and Titusville. The area has affordable housing, costing retirees age 60 and older a median of $1,207 per month with a mortgage, which declines to $442 among those with a paid-off home. The median home price is just $191,200. You could also rent an apartment on a modest retirement income. Renters pay a median of $899 to live along this part of Florida's east coast.
9. Greenville, South Carolina
Located about halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, Greenville has considerably more affordable housing than these larger cities. The median home value among people age 60 and older is only $157,400. Mortgage-free retirees can live in Greenville for a median of $324 per month, while those making mortgage payments have $1,057 in monthly housing costs. Renting a house or apartment allows you to test out a retirement spot before committing to a home purchase. It costs a median of $699 per month to rent a home in Greenville.
10. McAllen, Texas
McAllen residents enjoy some of the lowest housing costs in the United States. The median home price among people age 60 and older is only $72,900. The McAllen area, which includes Edinburg and Mission, is the only metro area in the country where the median home value is a five-figure sum. Retirees with mortgages on their homes pay a median of $1,082 per month to live in McAllen, but homeowners without mortgages have significantly lower costs of just $350 per month. Renting is also a good deal, costing retirees a median of $577 monthly.
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