Even if you have a lot of money saved up heading into your golden years, it doesn’t hurt to get the biggest bang for your buck when you’re calculating how much you’ll need in retirement.
After all, rent is just one part of the budgeting equation — you still have to ration for other basic necessities as well as possible travel plans and fun activities, so finding an affordable home in retirement should be a priority. If you’re thinking about downsizing or just looking for save money, look for places to retire where rent is under $1,000 a month.
10. Mesa, Ariz. — $880
If you’re seeking an affordable place to retire, then you might want to consider the city of Mesa. Although the city has the highest median rent for a one-bedroom home on this list, it’s still cheaper compared to most places across the country. Mesa is also the third-most popular city for people ages 65 and over in GOBankingRates’ study, and sits just 18 miles from Phoenix, making it an ideal location for retirees looking to enjoy city life in their golden years.
9. Pensacola, Fla. — $813
On the other side of the country is the warm city of Pensacola. The median rent price for a one-bedroom is $67 cheaper than Mesa, Ariz., where the rent averages $880 a month. Although the Southern city has the highest population of residents ages 65 and over on this list, it’s not the most ideal city for safety. Pensacola scored a 6 on a scale of 5 to 100, according to Neighborhood Scout. But, in a town where the average temperature never falls below 60.5 degrees, it might be an ideal place to retire based on weather alone.
8. Lincoln, Neb. — $810
Lincoln, Neb., is the capital city of the Cornhusker State and nestled in one of the biggest counties in the country. The median price for a one-bedroom home in Lincoln in $810, which is still over $300 more expensive than the cheapest city on this list. However, Lincoln has a higher safety score compared to the other cities, and the percentage of seniors in the population is 12.1 percent.
Bigger Budget? Best Cities to Retire on a Budget of $1,500 a Month
7. Rochester, N.Y. — $775
Although Rochester is located in one of the most expensive states in the country, the median price for a one-bedroom home is surprisingly cheap. With nearly 750,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county that houses Rochester is also the most populous on GOBankingRates’ list. For people who wish to exercise in retirement, Rochester scored the highest for walkability — but you might not find that many residents 65 and older walking around. The senior population in Rochester is just over 10 percent.
6. Detroit, Mich. — $650
A one-bedroom home in America’s Motor City will cost you an average of $650 to rent each month. Although it’s cheap to retire and live in Detroit, the lack of safety might be a big issue for residents. The city scored a 2 on a scale of 5 to 100 in terms of safety, which could help explain why you can rent a one-bedroom home for less than $700.
5. El Paso, Texas — $634
Everything might be bigger in Texas, but that’s not true when it comes to the price of renting a one-bedroom home. El Paso doesn’t have the cheapest median rent price on this list, but it’s an appealing place to retire overall when you factor in safety, county size and walkability. This Texas city is one of the best places to live on only a Social Security check.
4. Tucson, Ariz. — $620
You can save over $200 if you rent a one-bedroom in Tucson compared to Mesa, Ariz. But, similar to Detroit, the safety score for Tucson is on the low end, which might help explain why you can rent a one-bedroom home for such a low price. On the bright side, you don’t have to be born into wealth to enjoy your golden years in Tuscon — you only need about $55,000 a year to live comfortably in this desert city.
3. Tulsa, Okla. — $599
In the Southern city of Tulsa, you can enjoy a one-bedroom home for just under $600 a month, which is the third-lowest rental price on GOBankingRates’ list and one of the lowest in the country. Tulsa also has the fifth-highest population of senior residents at 13.1 percent — tied with the city of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Click to find the best place to live on a fixed income in Oklahoma.
2. Fort Wayne, Ind. — $500
At $500 a month, Fort Wayne has the second-lowest rental price for a one-bedroom. It’s also the fourth-safest city on this list and located in one of the biggest counties in the country. Overall, the cost of living in Fort Wayne is 12 percent below the national average, according to PayScale.
1. Toledo, Ohio — $475
The city of Toledo tops GOBankingRates’ list of the best cities to retire where your rent is under $1,000 a month. Although the Glass City’s safety score is relatively low, Toledo is a very walkable city and has a large population of seniors at 13.4 percent.
Click through to find the cheapest places to retire and make your money last.
More on Retirement Planning
- How Long $1 Million in Retirement Will Last in Every State
- Here’s Why These 20 Cities Are the Worst for Retirees
- This Is What a Comfortable Retirement Will Cost You in Every State
- Watch: How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefits in 60 Seconds
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Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed the 100 largest U.S. cities in which median rent for a one-bedroom home is $1,000 or less per month, based on Zillow’s September 2018 data. In order for a city to be included in the ranking, the city must have a minimum safety score of 5. Safety scores were sourced from Neighborhood Scout, and operate on a scale from 1 to 100, with 100 being the safest. The percentage of the population that is aged 65 and older was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau. Walkability scores were sourced from from WalkScore.com, where each city was given a score from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best. Walkable neighborhoods were defined as those having access to public transit.
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