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10 Most Affordable Places to Retire in 2024

More than 40% of non-retired investors plan on moving to a different city or region in retirement. There are many reasons why someone may want to relocate for retirement, but affordability seems to be driving the trend, with people citing lower living costs (44%) and lower taxes (34%) as reasons they plan to move.

Relocating to a city with a lower cost of living is a great way to improve your financial outlook in retirement—especially in today’s economic climate of high inflation. By selling a home in an expensive city and moving somewhere with more reasonable housing and living costs, you may be able to retire sooner, increase your nest egg, lower your required monthly retirement income, or enjoy a higher quality of life.

So, where should you relocate in order to enjoy an affordable yet fulfilling retirement? U.S. News considered housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market, and access to quality health care data and compiled this list of the best, most affordable places to retire in 2024:

1. Youngstown, Ohio

This northeastern Ohio city is within about an hour’s drive of both Pittsburg and Cleveland. Home to Youngstown State University, the area’s largest employer, Youngstown offers retirees parks, golfing, performing arts, a bustling downtown with restaurants and shopping, and affordable housing.

2. Hickory, North Carolina

Located between Asheville and Charlotte, Hickory, North Carolina, offers outdoor lovers plenty of opportunities for boating, fishing and hiking. The city is located at the foot of the Blue Mountains, offering scenic views, year-round moderate temperatures, and a low cost of housing.

3. Springfield, Missouri

As the Queen City of the Ozarks, entertainment abounds in Springfield with plenty of music, dining, museums, shopping and more. Outdoor enthusiasts will also love the nearby parks, trails and caves. Springfield has a cost of living that’s much lower than other areas of the United States.

4. Brownsville, Texas

Located at the southernmost tip of Texas, Brownsville offers retirees a year-round semitropical climate and a short drive to the Gulf of Mexico coast. Parks, trails, bike paths and attractions like SpaceX South Texas offer plenty of opportunity to enjoy the coastal weather. Plus, the city is much more affordable than Austin or Houston.

5. Huntington, West Virginia & Ashland, Kentucky-Ohio

The Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH tristate area is located along the banks of the Ohio River. The area is home to Marshall University; an abundance of outdoor activities; and plenty of local theaters, museums and shops. Low housing costs and affordable living expenses make the tristate a very affordable option for retirees.

6. Fort Wayne, Indiana

This northeastern Indiana city boasts affordable housing and cost of living for retirees on a budget, plus a big city, small-town feel. Fort Wayne offers attractions like a children’s zoo, art museum, restaurants, shopping and more. Plus, neighboring Amish communities and farmland give Fort Wayne residents plenty of access to local produce and goods.

7. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Have dreams of retiring in wine country, but it isn’t in the budget? Consider Winston-Salem, a walkable community located among three North Carolina wine regions. This city features a vibrant downtown, centuries-old historic sites, cobblestone streets, heirloom gardens, outdoor adventure and a celebrated culinary scene.

8. Mobile, Alabama

This cultural center of the Gulf Coast is full of history and is less than an hour away from beaches. From museums to music festivals—water-based adventures to historic gardens—there’s plenty to do in Mobile. Plus, this growing city is an affordable place for retirees to call home.

9. Toledo, Ohio

With low home prices, it’s easy to enjoy a high quality of life in Toledo on a fixed retirement income. On the western edge of Lake Erie and near the border of Michigan, Toledo offers plenty of boating and fishing, plus museums, attractions and a vibrant restaurant scene.

10. South Bend, Indiana

Home of the University of Notre Dame, this college town offers retirees and students an affordable cost of living, plus plenty of sporting events, museums, concerts and lectures. Outdoor lovers will stay busy in South Bend’s four-season climate enjoying winter sports, as well as fishing and boating in the summer.

Looking for more? Check out the Best States for Retirement in 2023 and The 7 Best Retirement Friendly Cities

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