Best Places To Retire in Texas on $2,000 a Month

Abilene is a city in Taylor and Jones counties in West Texas, United States.
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Texas is a huge state of more than 268,000 square miles and 1,800 cities and towns. Even so, there are less than a handful of places where retirees can live on $2,000 a month — none of which are major cities you normally hear about, like Austin and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

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To find these best cities, GOBankingRates sourced the cost-of-living index from Sperling’s Best Places and applied it to top customer expenditures, including groceries and healthcare from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the average cost of living in each city. It also sourced the monthly estimates of the median rent paid for new leases from Apartment List — all of which are in the $700 to $800 range. Finally, it used AreaVibes to find cities that had a livability score of at least 67 and where at least 10% of the population is 65 and over.

If you’re considering the Lone Star State as a place to relocate during your golden years, take a look at the three best places to retire in Texas on $2,000 a month.

Killeen, Texas

  • One-bedroom rent: $786.89
  • Monthly expenditures: $1,647.72

Killeen, Texas, is located in east-central Texas and has a population of about 156,000, according to the latest U.S. census. It has a 65-and-over population of 11% and is also home to Fort Hood Army Base. Thousands of active military and veterans live in the area. The city is only one hour and 10 minutes from Austin and about 2.5 hours from Dallas. It’s much more affordable than both, though. 

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Killeen has a livability score of 67, which is considered average. Factors that play into the city’s livability score include a crime rate that’s 20% lower than the Texas average. Its cost of living and rental prices are also 4% lower than the Texas average. Monthly grocery costs in Killeen are a modest $399.68, while monthly healthcare costs are $461.15.

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Midland, Texas

  • One-bedroom rent: $736.89
  • Monthly expenditures: $1,660.82

Midland, Texas, is located in West Texas about halfway between El Paso and Fort Worth. It has a population of 168,000, according to the most recent U.S. census. Midland is home to a host of attractions, including the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, the Marion Blakemore Planetarium, the George W. Bush Family Home, the 1-20 Wildlife Preserve, the Haley Library and History Center and the Midland Rockhounds baseball team. It’s also a three-hour drive from Big Bend National Park.

The percentage of the population that is 65 and over in Midland is 10%. Midland’s livability score is 72, which is considered excellent. Contributing factors include the crime rate, which is 9% below the Texas average, and the city’s amenities, which include grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries and parks. Monthly grocery costs in Midland are $427.98 and monthly healthcare costs are $497.95.

Abilene, Texas

  • One-bedroom rent: $759.78
  • Monthly expenditures: $1692.28

Abilene, Texas, is located in west-central Texas and is about 150 miles west of Fort Worth. It has a population of approximately 125,000, according to the latest census.

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The city has plenty of attractions for Texas history buffs, including Frontier, Texas!, an interactive museum focused on the early days of Abilene and the Old West. There’s also Fort Phantom Hill, the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, the Grace Museum, the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene and the Abilene Zoo.

Abilene has a livability score of 75, which is considered exceptional. The crime rates in Abilene are 5% lower than the Texas average, and the cost of living is 5% lower than the Texas average. Rental prices are also 10% lower than the Texas average. Monthly grocery costs are $402.75 in Midland and it’s $529.75 for healthcare costs.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined where in Texas to retire on $2,000 per month based on (1) ApartmentList data to find (2) average 2022 one-bedroom rent in Texas cities. GOBankingRates then researched Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for each listed city, looking at (3) grocery and (4) healthcare index scores. GOBankingRates additionally 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. In order for a city to be qualified for the study, its (5) population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; and (6) have a livability score of 65 or above, sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of September 30, 2022.

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 15 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle and The Seattle Times. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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