20 Best West Coast Cities To Retire on $2,500 a Month

7 min Read

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

benedek / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The West Coast offers diverse, beautiful climates, beaches within driving distance and many other perks that people desire when they’re looking for a place to retire. But the West Coast brings along hefty renting and housing prices, as well.

When the average Social Security benefit is $1,782 a month, and the average total retirement income is between $3,000 and $5,000 a month, options for places to live on the West Coast might seem limited. However, GOBankingRates still found 20 cities on the West Coast that you can retire on around $2,500 a month, give or take.

Check out these cities that give you the benefits of the coast without the cost.

20. Chico, California

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,679.79
  • Livability: 63

What you might not know about Chico is that it has one of the biggest municipal parks in the country. Bidwell Park offers a nature center, golf course, biking trails and hiking paths. It’s one of the pluses about living in this small town, along with the low monthly cost of living.

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19. Yuma, Arizona

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,677.99
  • Livability: 63

Yuma has a ton of history, along with some great parks to take family and friends when they visit. Entertaining at home? The cost of groceries in Yuma is remarkably low, coming in at just $354.51 a month on average. 

18. Albany, Oregon

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,618.20
  • Livability: 72

The museums and water gardens help make Albany a serene place to live. Additionally, healthcare costs are lower than most places, coming in at just $560.06 a month on average, so you can hopefully stay healthy without having to break into your savings.

17. Carson City, Nevada

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,611.56
  • Livability: 71

Living in Nevada’s capital city gives you close access to Lake Tahoe, and relatively low rent at just $1,592 a month on average. Healthcare isn’t too expensive either: you’ll spend around $639.14 on average every month. 

16. Gresham, Oregon

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,607.57
  • Livability: 65

Just east of Portland, you’ll find Gresham. The town has a little over 100,000 people and offers a quieter life than the bustling city next door. You’ll also enjoy low healthcare costs, coming in at just $530.77 a month on average.

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15. Hanford, California

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,589.92
  • Livability: 68

Hanford is in California’s Central Valley, with plenty of parks to enjoy the area’s abundant sun. Taking care of yourself is easy in Hanford, with one of the lowest average monthly healthcare costs on the list. You can expect to pay just around $526.66 a month.

14. Tacoma, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,586.96
  • Livability: 66

This Washington city offers beautiful mountains and close proximity to the Puget Sound, which will delight all who love the outdoors. Healthcare is also affordable, with the average cost being around $517.29 a month. 

13. Lakewood, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,582.86
  • Livability: 60

Just 20 minutes south of Tacoma, you’ll find Lakewood, and “lake” is in the name for good reason: Lakewood has plenty of lakes and gorgeous parks for you to enjoy. The healthcare costs run you the same as Tacoma, so it’s another great affordable option for retirees in Washington — who don’t have to pay state income tax, by the way.

12. Redding, California

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,572.64
  • Livability: 63

Housing is very affordable in this northern California city. To rent in Redding, it will cost you about $1,482 a month, which is a pretty good deal for the area. Redding also features lots of hiking trails, rivers and parks to take walks around the town. 

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11. Madera, California

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,571.67
  • Livability: 60

Those who have a taste for wine will love the plethora of wineries in Madera. You’ll also benefit from low healthcare prices, with the average monthly payment being around $536.04. 

10. Walla Walla, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,566.60
  • Livability: 63

Another appearance from Washington on the list, the small town of Walla Walla has a population of just over 30,000, so you’ll have a pretty quiet and peaceful way of life. Healthcare costs are only about $510.85 monthly on average.

9. Springfield, Oregon

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,556.51
  • Livability: 68

If you recognize the name from “The Simpsons,” you’re onto something, as Springfield, Oregon, is where creator Matt Groening got the name. Besides pop culture notoriety, residents will also enjoy relatively low monthly grocery bills, with the average spend coming in around $373.63.

8. Moses Lake, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,555.50
  • Livability: 70

As you might have guessed, Moses Lake has a very prominent lake that its residents love to visit. Retirees in Moses Lake can also look forward to low healthcare costs, with the average monthly amount being around $559.47.

7. Kingman, Arizona

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,551.83
  • Livability: 74

Kingman is home to the Route 66 Museum, so you can celebrate all things Americana in the town. You’ll also find housing very affordable, with the average monthly rent hovering around $1,428. 

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6. Sierra Vista, Arizona

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,488.56
  • Livability: 79

People who live in Sierra Vista love the mountains and nature they’re treated to on a daily basis. You’ll also be treated to low monthly grocery costs, coming in at around $357.51 a month on average.

5. Spokane Valley, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,413.10
  • Livability: 75

Enjoy all the beauty of Washington for an even lower price. Spokane Valley has the lowest monthly cost for healthcare on this list, coming in at $495.03 on average.

4. Tucson, Arizona

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,365.04
  • Livability: 65

Tucson offers some of the cleanest air in the world! In addition, you’ll find beautiful desert landscapes and rich cuisine in the city. Healthcare is pretty reasonable as well, costing about $500.33 a month on average. Groceries will only run you about $357.89 a month.

3. Yakima, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,349.61
  • Livability: 62

Retire in Yakima, and you’ll enjoy views of Mt. Adams, as well as rivers and parks near your neighborhood. Healthcare is affordable as well, costing just $509.09 a month on average. And if you’re renting, you’ll only spend about $1,470 a month.

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2. Pahrump, Nevada

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,338.55
  • Livability: 62

Just 62 miles west of Sin City Las Vegas, you’ll find the quiet town of Pahrump. Because the elevation is higher, you’ll enjoy cooler temperatures than Vegas. Residents benefit from low monthly rents (about $1,448 on average, which is the lowest on this list) and low healthcare costs (about $513.78 a month on average).

1. Spokane, Washington

  • Monthly expenditures: $2,315.74
  • Livability: 67

You’ll get the most bang for your buck as a retiree if you move to Spokane. There’s breathtaking sights, four seasons and plenty of bars and restaurants for retirees to enjoy. Plus, you’ll only pay about $1,450 a month for rent, and $495.03 a month for healthcare. 

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: For this study, GOBankingRates found the best west coast cities to retire on a budget of $2,500 dollars or less. GOBankingRates used Zillow March 2023 data to find every city on the east coast (AZ, CA, NV, OR, and WA) that has an (1) March 2023 monthly rent of $1,700 dollars or less. GOBankingRates then used Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living index for every city on the list, looking at (2) grocery and (3) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates 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 to find where a person 65 and older could survive on $2,500 or less. In order for a city to be qualified for the study, it had to have a livability score of 60 or higher as sourced from AreaVibes and be one of the 1,500 largest housing markets according to Zillow. All data was collected on and up to date as of April 26, 2023.