Retired life can mean different things to different people, but nothing says peaceful bliss like spending your golden years near the water. A 2022 study by American Advisors Group showed that nearly all of the top 10 states where people want to live during retirement were on the coast.
According to SoFi, the average household headed by someone age 65 or older spent $48,791 per year or $4,066 per month. Housing was the biggest living expense, costing approximately $16,880 per year.
Unfortunately, not all waterside communities fit within this budget. Many coastal and lakefront areas well exceed the national average. So, while waterfront living may be in your retirement dreams, not everyone can make it a reality.
Living by the water can be costly, but there are exceptions. Here is how much it costs to retire in places near the water across the U.S.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach meets most retirees’ checklists. Its picturesque, quiet beaches, thriving art scene and mild climate make it the perfect place to retire. The city sits on Chesapeake Bay in the mid-Atlantic region. While it’s not cheap, it is moderately priced for a coastal community. The cost of living is 5.6% above the national average, with the median home cost at $320,700.
Located along the central Atlantic Coast and a mere 50 miles from Orlando, Melbourne is an affordable seafront community. According to Best Places, the cost of living is 9.1% lower than the national average.
Retirees will enjoy low taxes, a historic downtown and numerous water activities. Space enthusiasts can watch satellite launches on clear days. The city is also home to Indian River Lagoon, a 155-mile estuary. It was ranked No. 4 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best Places to Retire.
Lake Lure, North Carolina
If you are looking for small-town charm with breathtaking views, Lake Lure may be your destination. The lakeside community has numerous hiking trails that meander through towering woods.
Active seniors will enjoy finding waterfalls hidden throughout the area, with Chimney Rock in the background. The cost of living in Lake Lure is 1.3% higher than the national average, with houses costing around $327,400.
Lakeway is in Texas Hill County, just outside the state’s capital. With a population of just over 16,000, retirees enjoy less congestion than the neighboring areas. Located on Lake Travis, the city is known for its vibrant, varied nightlife and storied music scene.
Lakeway residents should expect to pay over the national average, as the cost of living is 32.8% higher. Real estate prices are high, with the median home cost coming in at $760,400. The view, however, just might be priceless.
If the cost of living is at the top of your concerns when choosing a place to retire, Biloxi may fit the bill. The cost of living in the Gulf Coast town is 15.9% lower than the national average. A home will cost you around $168,600, meaning you might just have enough money to travel the world and spoil your grandkids.
Retirees also can enjoy the beautiful beaches, nearby Ship Island, famed casinos and countless seaside excursions. The city was battered by Hurricane Katrina, but residents proved their resilience, working hard to restore historical markers like the Biloxi Lighthouse, built in 1848.
West Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Incorporated in 1639, West Yarmouth is steeped in history. The Cape Cod community is home to a pirate museum, salt and freshwater beaches, as well as a not-to-miss Sand Sculpture Trail each summer. Golfers can choose from one of four courses in town.
Retirees should expect to pay 12.5% more than the national average to live in the area. A home costs around $395,200, but there are multiple shorelines to establish residence, including Cape Cod Bay, Bass River and Nantucket Sound.
If a quaint resort community is more palatable, Bend might be the place for you. Situated on the Deschutes River, Bend is an idyllic Pacific Northwest town. Retirees can enjoy any number of water activities on the mountain river, including tubing, paddleboarding and kayaking. Nearby lakes anchor the postcard-like backdrop of the Cascade Mountains.
The view, however, will cost you. According to Best Places, the cost of living is 23.5% higher than the national average. The remote location, cool summers and charming boutiques might make it worth the higher price tag.
Solana Beach, California
If money is of little concern, Solana Beach offers retirees beachfront living at its best. The cost of living is 154% higher than the national average, with the median home costing $1.74 million. Located just miles above La Jolla, California, the seaside town is known for its surfing. The Pacific Ocean reaches as far as the eye can see and this is a year-round beach town.
More From GOBankingRates
- I'm a Self-Made Millionaire: 5 Stocks You Shouldn't Sell
- Costco: 9 Best Clothing Deals in February 2024
- What Makes a Good Bank in 2024, According to a Banking Expert
- I'm a Personal Finance Writer: These Are the Worst Money Mistakes I Made in 2023
Data is accurate as of Sept. 28, 2022, and is subject to change.