10 Best Florida Cities To Retire on $3,000 a Month
Many people prefer to retire to warm locales, where the climate is temperate, the scenery is lovely, and the amenities are great. To meet all of those criteria, Florida has plenty of appealing destinations, if you just know where to look. Since many people are on a fixed income, or living mostly on Social Security benefits at this stage of life, finding towns that are affordable plus beautiful is a big perk.
In fact, a GOBankingRates study identified 10 Florida locations where you can live on less than $3,000 a month, including the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment, groceries, utilities and healthcare in areas popular with retirees. With the cost of living averaging $3,274.77 a month nationally, Florida offers some bargain locations that are beautiful to boot.
So, if you’re close to retirement age, which cities in the Sunshine State should land on your list to consider? Start with these 10 spots.
10. Panama City
- Monthly expenditures: $2,966.46
- Percent of population 65 and older: 18.9%
- Livability: 69
The population of those 65 and older is near to 20% in Panama City. Though the total monthly expenditures are the largest on this list, a couple can still take care of their essential expenditures on a social security income.
Retirement Savings: Here’s How Much Cash Baby Boomers Need To Retire in the Next 5 Years
Learn: 6 Big Shakeups to Social Security in 2023
- Monthly expenditures: $2,990.66
- Percent of population 65 and older: 20.1%
- Livability: 70
The delightfully named Cocoa, Florida has a nice livability score, of 70, and more than 20% of its population is age 65 or older. Monthly healthcare costs are $585.25, right about the national average.
Take Our Poll: Are You Concerned About the Safety of Your Money in Your Bank Accounts?
- Monthly expenditures: $2,839.90
- Percent of population 65 and older: 19.5%
- Livability: 69
In Pensacola, retirees will be happy to find that the average rent is $1,559, or $428.44 less than the national average. Additionally, monthly grocery costs are $362.01, also less than the national average.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,931.55
- Percent of population 65 and older: 20.7%
- Livability: 75
Deland has an excellent livability score of 75, and 20.7% of the population are aged 65 and older. However, there’s a cost to such a good score here, with monthly healthcare costs and monthly utilities cost being above the U.S. average.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,945.80
- Percent of population 65 and older: 15.3%
- Livability: 79
Bartow may have a slightly lower population aged 65 and older but with a livability score of 79, and rent that is $357.44 lower than the national average, or $1,630 per month.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,920.86
- Percent of population 65 and older: 38.2%
- Livability: 70
Inverness has a lot going for potential retirees. A livability score of 70, a significant percentage of the population that’s aged 65 and older-38.2%, for starters. Rent is $1,617, more than $300 below the national average. However, groceries and utilities are slightly more expensive than average.
Find Out: Retirees Confess What They Wish They’d Done With Their Money
- Monthly expenditures: $2,932.98
- Percent of population 65 and older: 22.9%
- Livability: 78
In Titusville, where the livability score is high, retirees will find themselves in the company of 22.9% of the population that is aged 65 and older. All other expenditures are below the national average.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,950.28
- Percent of population 65 and older: 19.6%
- Livability: 82
In Eustis, retirees will find a very good quality of life, with a livability score of 82. Total expenditures are less than $3,000, with rent at $1,646, a bit more than $300 below the national average. Groceries, healthcare and utilities are a bit higher than average, however.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,932.05
- Percent of population 65 and older: 15.8%
- Livability: 84
Milton is another Florida town where the livability score is high, boding well for amenities for retirees. All of the expenditures are below the national average except for utilities, which are only about $25 above. And rent is $1,642, more than $300 cheaper than the rest of the nation.
Social Security: Proposal for $2,400 Extra in Checks Expanded and Reintroduced in Congress
*Pensacola, Florida pictured.
1. Lake Wales
- Monthly expenditures: $2,750.65
- Percent of population 65 and older: 27.0%
- Livability: 74
Lake Wales takes the top spot on this list with the best of everything. Not only does it have the lowest overall monthly expenditures, which is $500 below the national average. The livability score is a decent 74, and rent is the lowest on this list, at $1,430 per month.
More From GOBankingRates
- Houses in These Cities Are Suddenly Bargains
- See GOBankingRates' Top 100 Most Influential Money Experts and Vote for Your Favorite
- 3 Things You Must Do When Your Savings Reach $50,000
- 48 Easy Things You Can Do To Live Better and Save Money
*Port Orange, Florida pictured.
Methodology: For this study, GOBankingRates found the best cities in Florida to retire on $3,000 dollars or less. GOBankingRates used Zillow March 2023 data to find the thirty cheapest cities in Florida in terms of (1) average 2023 monthly rent. GOBankingRates then used Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for every city on the list, looking at (2) grocery, (3) utilities 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 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 a person 65 and older could survive on $3,000 or less. In order for a city to be qualified for the study, it had to have a livabilty score of 65 or higher as sourced from AreaVibes and its population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65 according to the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. For final rankings all qualified cities were ranked by (5) total monthly expenditures, (6) % of population over 65 and (7) livability with the lowest score being best. Factor (7) was weighted 1.5x. All data was collected on and up to date as of May 8, 2023.