10 Best Cities With Populations Under 100K for Retirees

The Fred Hartman Bridge spanning the San Jacinto Bay in Baytown, Texas located in Harris County just outside of Houston with a large oil refinery in the background.
Art Wager / Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are so many important considerations retirees have to make. Since income often becomes restricted at this stage of life, their budget is usually at the top of the list — but so is where to live.

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Related: 6 Things You Must Do When Planning For Retirement

Many retired folk prefer to settle down away from big cities where it can be complicated to get around or difficult to meet people, and relocate to quieter towns where they can engage in more hobbies and activities. If that sounds like you, the cities on this list might be of great interest.

To find the best places with populations under 100,000 for retirees, GOBankingRates pulled data from ApartmentList, the Census Bureau, Sperling’s Best, the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey and AreaVibes. Hopefully they are just the the right size for you — and affordable, too.

10. Noblesville, Indiana

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,979.92
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:  $1,101.44
  • % of population 65 and older: 11%

Noblesville, population 70,926, may have the highest expenditures on this list, but it is still under the U.S. average in costs of monthly groceries and healthcare. 

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9. Universal City, Texas

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,970.43
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,132.44
  • % of population 65 and older: 14%

In Universal City, population 19,808, it makes sense that 14% of the population is age 65 and older when you consider its high livability score of 83 and overall low cost of living. People here spend, on average, $403.19 per month in groceries and $434.80 in monthly healthcare.

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8. Kennewick, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,902.56
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,070.00
  • % of population 65 and older: 15%

Kennewick, population 84,488, also draws a larger percentage of folks age 65 and older. Good livability and low monthly costs are always a winner. Though you will pay a smidgen more than the U.S. national average in monthly grocery costs here, monthly healthcare is almost $60 lower per month than the national average.

7. Loveland, Colorado

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,897.37
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,062.89
  • % of population 65 and older: 19%

Loveland, population 77,194, has the highest percentage of adults age 65 and older. With a livability score of 83 and monthly expenditures below $1,900 per month, it’s a great place to retire on a budget.

6. Hopkins, Minnesota

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,896.23
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,108.78
  • % of population 65 and older: 14%

Hopkins, population 18,573, has low monthly expenditures overall. You will pay slightly more for your monthly groceries than the rest of the nation, but with a livability score of 80 and other costs being low, it still ranks pretty high on this list.

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5. Temple, Texas

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,873.44
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,008.22
  • % of population 65 and older: 15%

In Temple, population 85,416, 15% of the population is aged 65 or older. Here you will pay about $8 more per month for your monthly healthcare costs, but it’s still cheaper than Universal City overall.

4. Roanoke, Virginia

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,861.27
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $941.11
  • % of population 65 and older: 17%

Roanoke has the second largest population on this list, 98,865, and the second highest percentage of residents aged 65 and older, but it has the third lowest cost of rent and a monthly groceries average lower than the national average. You will pay about $50 more than the national average in monthly healthcare costs, but it will be worth it.

3. Apple Valley, Minnesota

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,858.54
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $1,074.33
  • % of population 65 and older: 14%

Apple Valley, population 55,638, is a place where the healthcare is affordable at an average of $339.39 per month, and the livability score is a high 87. There’s also plenty of other folks aged 65 and older. What’s not to love.

2. San Angelo, Texas

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,806.59
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $851.44
  • % of population 65 and older: 16%

Coming in at No. 2 on this list is San Angelo, with a population of nearly 100,000, 16% of which are aged 65 and older. Here, rent falls below $900, and monthly grocery costs are below the national average at $404.94 per month. You do pay almost $100 more per month in healthcare than the national average, but with high livability and low costs, you won’t mind.

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1. Baytown, Texas

  • Monthly expenditures: $1,707.66
  • 2022 1-bedroom rent:   $868.89
  • % of population 65 and older: 12%

Topping this list is Baytown, population 82,480. It ranks highest due to having the lowest rent and monthly grocery and healthcare costs below the national average, at $418.97 and $419.80 respectively. It also has a growing number of residents aged 65 and older. 

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find the best places with populations under 100,000 for retirees, GOBankingRates first used ApartmentList’s data to find (1) average 2022 one-bedroom rents and; (2) Census Bureau population data. GOBanking Rates then used Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for each selected city, looking at (3) grocery and (4) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amount for both grocery (“food at home”) and healthcare costs for people aged 65 and older to determine how much a retired person might spend on groceries and healthcare in each city monthly. GOBankingRates then added monthly housing, grocery, and healthcare costs together. In order for a place to be qualified for the study, its population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65, (5) according to the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey; and (6) must have a livability score of 75 or above, as sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of October 3, 2022.

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About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. Her articles and essays about finances and other topics has appeared in a wide range of publications and clients, including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times, Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for numerous business clients. As someone who had to learn many of her lessons about money the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and live a better quality of life.

 
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