In planning for retirement, deciding “where” is just as important as determining how much you should save. And while it’s easy to find beautiful cities throughout the United States, not all of us can afford to live in those places on a fixed income.
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GOBankingRates looked at the cities with the lowest rent and focused on locations with populations under 200,000 residents. Rather than break the bank or sacrifice for a less than desirable area, take a look at these eight beautiful and uncrowded cities to retire in.
- Cost To Rent: $662
- Population: 167,882
- Livability Score: 62
At the top of the list is the city with the lowest rent and a lot of historical significance, Springfield. The city is also home to a number of national parks so you can treat yourself to a nature walk whenever you feel like it. Though its livability score is below the national average, when compared to the Missouri average, Springfield has a 4% lower cost of living and 22% lower real estate prices.
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- Cost To Rent: $709
- Population: 66,258
- Livability Score: 83
Retirees looking for a city with a small-town-feel need look no further than Ames. This city has the second smallest population on this list, behind only Grand Forks. When compared to the state average, the crime rates here are lower. And with such a high livability score, the highest on the list as a matter of fact, Ames is sure to attract more and more people to its streets.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Cost To Rent: $827
- Population: 183,793
- Livability Score: 70
Although this city has the largest population on this list, Sioux Falls is the ideal retirement locale for those looking for a combination of urban and natural scenery. Those who live here spend a lot of time visiting the various museums and the natural falls the city is named for. Because the city is so lively, there’s no shortage of things to do whenever the family comes to visit.
- Cost To Rent: $841
- Population: 66,916
- Livability Score: 69
Victoria is home to less than 67K people and the Texas Zoo! Retirees can get their daily dose of beauty taking a walk through the Victoria Educational Gardens where admission is free and exotic species bloom year round. The city’s website details both a historic walking trail of Victoria as well as a Coastal Barbeque trail.
- Cost To Rent: $924
- Population: 123,195
- Livability Score: 69
Columbia may have an average livability score, but the city has a lot to offer retirees. The historic area is home to a number of museums and landmarks as well as state parks and hiking trails. And with colleges nearby, the city grows a bit during the school year, creating a nice mix of generations. And with 11% of the population over 65 according to the U.S. 2020 Census, there won’t be a shortage of older communities to socialize in.
Grand Forks, North Dakota
- Cost To Rent: $939
- Population: 55,839
- Livability Score: 74
Boasting a “lively, bustling community surrounded by tranquil, scenic farm country,” Grand Forks is a beautiful city to retire in. 11% of the population are over 65, signifying a significant retiree community. Even better, the city is full of natural beauty seen in the number of parks and the picturesque Japanese Garden. Be warned: this city experiences all four seasons, including a very cold winter.
- Cost To Rent: $949
- Population: 77,192
- Livability Score: 75
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Texas enjoys extremes in the other direction, boasting warm weather most of the year. As the second Texas city on this list, Baytown has a higher livability score and higher rent. Still, the overall costs of living here are 4% lower than the state average. Real estate prices are 33% lower, and rental prices are 9% lower. Also, Baytown is a coastal city, meaning you can enjoy a view of the San Jacinto Bay anytime you like.
San Angelo, Texas
- Cost To Rent: $972
- Population: 101,004
- Livability Score: 78
Much like the other Texas cities on this list, San Angelo is home to warm temperatures and a low cost of living. Here, the rentals are a whopping 12% lower than the state average. The city sits on the Concho River, creating beautiful scenery everywhere you look. Proudly rooted in its Southern Heritage, San Angelo is known for its 1860s U.S. army post, the Fort Concho National Historic Landmark, with original artifacts and weapons on display.
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Cost To Rent and Population are sourced from research conducted by Rent.com. Livability scores are sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected as of Sept. 23, 2022.