While the average U.S. retiree will work until around 64 years of age, some may find the drive to grind through their 9-5 to an early retirement. Your occupation won’t be the only factor determining how quickly you can race to retirement, though. Choosing to live in a more affordable city with financial opportunity can also help you accrue that retirement nest egg.
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And while many retirees look to states with more traditional retirement hubs, you could find your opportunity to save money for retirement in major cities or Midwestern hidden gems. Want to skip to the good part? Here are 10 great U.S. cities that can help you make it to an early retirement.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Average State Salary: $62,900
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 19.2%
- Median Home Sale Price: $315,000
- Livability: 70
Colorado Springs is a great place for nature-lovers to settle down, while still keeping their eyes on the prize of an early retirement. The number of high-paying jobs combined with an above-average salary of $62,900 across the state could create a good opportunity for young professionals to start saving quickly.
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Cedar Rapids, Iowa
- Average State Salary: $51,140
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 19.6%
- Median Listing Price: $232,450
- Livability: 76
The City of Five Seasons, Cedar Rapids is known as an affordable place to purchase a new home. Housing costs are low, while the average income is eight percent above the national average. Locals believe the city is family friendly and has a good sense of community.
- Average State Salary: $47,940
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 18.5%
- Median Listing Price: $564,945
- Livability: 81
Boise was listed as one of the top cities buyers should be looking at right now because of the amount of housing currently available. This plus an affordable cost of living could make Boise a great option for the more outdoorsy retiree who can benefit from the proximity to Idaho’s state parks and hot springs.
- Average State Salary: $55,490
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 19.7%
- Median Home Sale Price: $175,900
- Livability: 75
If you make your nest in the City of Bridges, you could find a great deal on a home in the city’s ninety unique neighborhoods, some of which are known for their ethnic and cultural diversity. Pittsburgh is also home to some heavy hitters in the tech industry, whose high-paying positions hike up the state’s average salary.
- Average State Salary: $49,330
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 18.3%
- Median Home Sale Price: $192,500
- Livability: 66
You could be part of one of the most up-and-coming cities by retiring early in Knoxville. On top of the low average home sale price, the city’s real estate prices are 18 percent lower than the state average. Tennessee also has one of the lowest income tax rates in the country, which will certainly help your savings.
- Average State Salary: $55,160
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 21.5%
- Median Listing Price: $79,700
- Livability: 54
The birthplace of Motown, the wider automotive industry, and some dedicated football fans, Detroit could be the birthplace of your retirement nest egg. The low listing price of homes and high percentage of high-paying jobs make this city a viable option for early retirement.
- Average State Salary: $59,650
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 20.9%
- Median Home Sale Price: $135,000
- Livability: 55
This affordable midwestern city boasts a high employment-to-population ratio and low cost of living, at 20 percent below the national average. The healthcare industry is the biggest employer in the city, and high-paying jobs sit just over 20 percent.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Average State Salary: $47,740
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 17.3%
- Median Listing Price: $335,000
- Livability: 63
The appeal of Baton Rouge extends beyond the fact that you can find quality Cajun food and celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans every year – although that might not hurt. The city is currently seeing a fair amount of real estate inventory and price reductions on listings, meaning you could easily save on buying property there.
- Average State Salary: $51,950
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 17.5%
- Median Listing Price: $341,000
- Livability: 69
With 270 days of sunshine per year and 22 miles of beaches, Jacksonville certainly sounds like a bright idea for an early retirement. Its lower real estate and rental prices make it a more affordable option for the popular retirement state.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Average State Salary: $51,950
- Percentage of High-Paying Jobs: 12.6%
- Median Home Listing Price: $339,950
- Livability Score: 62
Myrtle Beach has become not just a vacation spot, but one of the more affordable beach towns in the nation. Younger families are starting to look at settling down in Myrtle Beach, and with the booming economy of a port city, you could find opportunity and enjoy an early retirement of sand and surf or green golf turf.
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Average State Salary statistics are sourced from Indeed. Percentage of High-Paying Jobs refers to data recorded in Occupational Employment and Wages reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2021. Identified the five major occupational groups with the highest mean hourly wage in the U.S., then added the percentages of each city’s labor force who work in those occupations. Median Listing Prices and Home Sale Prices are sourced from Realtor.com. Livability Scores are sourced from AreaVibes. All data is accurate as of Sept. 22, 2022.