For those thinking about retirement, it might seem daunting to live with a strict budget from month to month. However, there are several factors to consider that can make the budgeting process less intimidating and allow people entering retirement to feel more prepared.
When choosing a city to retire in, it’s important to consider cost of housing, groceries, healthcare and overall livability. In order to streamline the process, GoBankingRates has compiled a list of the 11 best cities to retire with a budget of $2,500 a month.
11. Omaha, Nebraska
- Monthly expenditures: $2,126.22
- Livability: 72
Omaha’s rent falls in the middle range: A one-bedroom apartment averages $1,166. What ranks Omaha lower on the list, however, is the steep monthly healthcare cost of $562 and the hefty monthly grocery average of $398. Despite those sizable expenses, the livability in Omaha (72) is quite high.
10. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Monthly expenditures: $2,061
- Livability: 61
Milwaukee falls at No. 10 on this list, with monthly rent at $1,231 and groceries among the most affordable on the list, at $383. While Milwaukee offers monthly living for under $2,000, the city ranks the lowest on the livability scale, at 61.
9. Buffalo, New York
- Monthly expenditures: $2,040
- Livability: 63
Buffalo is the No. 3 most expensive city on this list, thanks to the second-highest rent ($1,215) and grocery costs ($406) each month. But the healthcare expenses ($419 per month) fall in the middle of the pack. All things considered, living in New York state is going to be expensive, but Buffalo is a cheap alternative to New York City.
8. Des Moines, Iowa
- Monthly expenditures: $2,029
- Liability: 75
Des Moines may not be the best place to settle for social people as only 14% of the city’s population is over 65. Monthly rent for a one-bedroom in this city ranks highest on this list, at $1,138, and the city features the second-highest monthly healthcare costs, at $495. Living in Des Moines, however, could be worth it, as the livability score is 75.
7. Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Monthly expenditures: $2,015.15
- Livability: 63
Scranton features a monthly rent of $1,174 and a lively retired community as 20% of the city is 65 or older. The city does showcase pricier monthly grocery costs, at $398.
6. Sebring, Florida
- Monthly expenditures: $2,009
- Livability: 65
Sebring offers amazing opportunities for residents looking for a vibrant social life as 36% of the city’s population is over 65. The rent for Sebring falls at $1,148 for one bedroom, and the city’s grocery costs are the highest on this list, at $417.
5. Sierra Vista, Arizona
- Monthly expenditures: $2,007
- Livability: 78
Sierra Vista is a great option for social adults as over one-fifth of the population in the city is 65 and older. With monthly one-bedroom rent at $1,171 and a livability score of 78, the city offers amazing social opportunities with an impressively low cost of living.
4. Toledo, Ohio
- Monthly expenditures: $1,893
- Livability: 62
Toledo offers a one-bedroom apartment for an average of $1,148 and the cheapest grocery costs on this list, at $372. The monthly healthcare costs in Toledo are also very low: $373. The city is great for retirees who are looking for a place to live with an abundance of recreational activities and a stable housing market.
3. Akron, Ohio
- Monthly expenditures: $1,868
- Livability: 63
Akron is also a top contender for retirees as it offers the lowest monthly healthcare costs on this list, at $359. With rent costing $1,124 for a one-bedroom apartment, the city offers multiple appealing factors for those looking to find a place to settle down during their retirement.
2. Little Rock, Arkansas
- Monthly expenditures: $1,822
- Livability: 64
Little Rock takes second place on this list, with rent costing $1,055 and an impressively low healthcare cost of $372. While this city features a lower livability number, the great rent and healthcare costs make it a fantastic city for retirement.
1. McAllen, Texas
- Monthly expenditures: $1,812
- Livability: 81
McAllen made the No. 1 spot as the best city to retire on a monthly budget of $2,500 or less by offering the most budget-friendly expenditures compared to the rest of the U.S. and the top livability score among these 11 cities. Rent averages $1,042, $885 less than the U.S. mean. Groceries typically cost $379, significantly lower than the U.S. average of $412.
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To find the best cities to retire on a monthly budget of $2,500 dollars or less, GOBankingRates first used Zillow’s 2022 rent data to find cities that have an (1) average monthly rent of $1,250 dollars or less. GOBankingRates then used Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for each listed city, looking at (2) grocery and (3) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amount for both grocery (“food at home”) and healthcare costs for people aged 65 and older in order to find how much a person 65 and over would spend on groceries and healthcare in each city on a monthly basis. GOBankingRates then added monthly housing, grocery, and healthcare costs together to find where in the a person 65 and older could survive on $2,500 or less. In order for a city to be qualified for the study, its population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65 according to the (4) Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey; and have a livability score above 60, (5) as sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of June 8, 2022.