Moving to One of These Cities Can Save Retirees at Least $10K

See where the cost of living is well below the national average.

If you’re accustomed to city life, you might want to stay in a city when you retire. But if you want to stretch your nest egg as far as possible, you might want to consider relocating to a city with a lower cost of living. Fortunately, there are a few major cities where the cost of living for retirees is significantly lower than the national average.

To find the best retirement cities, GOBankingRates analyzed the 200 biggest cities by population in the U.S. We found the cities where retirees can save $10,000 or more by looking at the difference between the average annual cost of living for retirees in each city, and the average national cost of living for retirees, which is $49,542. Of the 200 cities analyzed, six made the cut as the most affordable places to retire.

Cities Where Retirees Could Save $10K or More
RankCityAnnual Cost of LivingDifference Between Average National Cost of Living and City’s Cost of Living
1Akron, Ohio$36,166$13,376
2Brownsville, Texas$37,157$12,386
3Dayton, Ohio$37,157$12,386
4Cleveland$38,147$11,395
5Toledo, Ohio$38,395$11,147
6Rockford, Ill.$39,435$10,107

Ohio Is the Most Affordable State for Retirees Who Want to Live in a City

If you’re wondering where to retire, you might want to consider Ohio. Of the six U.S. cities where retirees can save money compared to the national average, four are located in the Buckeye State: Akron, Dayton, Cleveland and Toledo. Overall, Ohio is one of the most affordable states to retire in, though you would still need to have over $1.1 million saved for retirement there, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

Housing Costs Greatly Affect Overall Affordability

The average rent in all six of the cities where retirees can save $10,000 or more is less than $1,000, and in Akron, Dayton and Toledo, the average rent is less than $800. Dayton has the cheapest housing overall, with the average rent at $734 and a median home value of $52,400. Toledo — which is one of the places where your retirement will cost you less than $50,000 a year — also has cheap housing, with costs that are 69 percent cheaper than the national average, another GOBankingRates study found. 

Brownsville has the highest median home value on this list — $90,700 — but it has the lowest average grocery and utility expenditures of the cities included in this ranking, which helps to bring overall costs down. It’s one of the best places to live on only a Social Security check, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

Expect to Pay a Lot for Groceries and Utilities, Regardless of Where You Live

The overall cost of living is significantly lower in these six cities compared to the national average, but there isn’t a huge difference in grocery or utility costs. The average annual grocery expenditure in the U.S. for people age 65 and older is $3,815, and in Brownsville, which has the lowest average grocery expenditure on this list, it’s $3,357. The average annual utility expenditure in the U.S. for people age 65 and older is $3,572, and in Brownsville, which also has the lowest average utility expenditure on this list, it’s $3,250.

Where you can save is on healthcare. The average annual healthcare expenditure in the U.S. for people 65 and older is $6,620; in Cleveland, it’s $5,428; and in Akron, it’s $5,561. Affordable healthcare helps make Akron one of the best cities to retire on a budget of $1,500 a month, another GOBankingRates study found.

If you don’t want to live in a major city, your options for an affordable retirement are even greater. Click through to see the places where your retirement will cost less than $50,000 a year.

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