15 Best Places in Texas for a Couple To Live Only on Social Security

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The average monthly Social Security benefit is just about $1,827, according to U.S. News — double that for a couple. For couples who rely solely on Social Security funds for their support, their benefits won’t be enough to live in some U.S. cities without a secondary income source.

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However, for retirees who live in Texas, or for those looking in the state for an affordable place to live and play when their work years are done, there are some options.

GOBankingRates compiled a list of the 15 best cities in Texas for a couple to live off just Social Security. The study factored in the cost of living, livability and the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment and combined the scores to determine the cities where you can support yourself on your monthly benefits.

See the best places in Texas for a couple to live only on Social Security.

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15. Austin

  • Cost of Living Score: 119.3
  • Livability Score: 72
  • Average Rent: $1,440.40

With a cost of living nearly 20% higher than the United States average, Austin is the most expensive Texas city for retirees on the list. The average rent of a one-bedroom apartment, also the highest in the study, contributes to that.

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14. Sherman

  • Cost of Living Score: 80.3
  • Livability Score: 65
  • Average Rent: $902.60

The 20% below-average cost of living sounds attractive, but the 65 livability score — the second lowest on the list — drags down Sherman.

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13. Corpus Christi

  • Cost of Living Score: 83.1
  • Livability Score: 69
  • Average Rent: $975.33

The thought of living near the waters of the Gulf of Mexico probably draws some retirees to Corpus Christi. But they’ll pay for it. At a tick under $1,000 a month, the average rent in the city is the fourth highest in the study.

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12. Tyler

  • Cost of Living Score: 82.8
  • Livability Score: 70
  • Average Rent: $1,063.40

The soils of Tyler, about 100 miles southeast of Dallas, are ideal for growing roses, and the city hosts the annual Texas Rose Festival. Despite the second-highest housing costs on the list, many Texas retirees find it a rosy place to live.

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11. Odessa

  • Cost of Living Score: 88
  • Livability Score: 62
  • Average Rent: $526.20

At just $526 per month, Odessa’s average apartment rental is dirt cheap. But its overall rating is dragged down by its livability score, which is the lowest in the study.

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10. Killeen

  • Cost of Living Score: 78.5
  • Livability Score: 67
  • Average Rent: $747.67

Killeen has housing costs and a cost-of-living score in the lowest five among the 15 ranked cities. Unfortunately, its livability score of 67 is among the lowest, too.

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9. Lubbock

  • Cost of Living Score: 79.9
  • Livability Score: 68
  • Average Rent: $758.80

Lubbock is the home of Texas Tech University, so retirees will feel a youthful invigoration around them. The cost of living is 20% lower than the national average, too.

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8. Victoria

  • Cost of Living Score: 85.4
  • Livability Score: 69
  • Average Rent: $865.20

Victoria is between Houston and San Antonio but cheaper to live in than both. The cost of living is about 15% below the national average.

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7. San Antonio

  • Cost of Living Score: 89.7
  • Livability Score: 71
  • Average Rent: $1,029.80

If retirees have an interest in sports, San Antonio is the only city in the study with a professional sports franchise — the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. While the average rent is third highest in the study at more than $1,000, the overall cost of living still is about 10% below the national average.

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6. Midland

  • Cost of Living Score: 98.6
  • Livability Score: 72
  • Average Rent: $717.40

Midland’s cost of living is just a hare below the national average, but the average rent is affordable: just $717 per month.


5. El Paso

  • Cost of Living Score: 81.4
  • Livability Score: 74
  • Average Rent: $901.40

In the far southwestern corner of Texas sits El Paso, located on the Mexican border. It’s livability score is in the top five in the study, and retirees will pay about $900 a month in rent.

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4. Abilene

  • Cost of Living Score: 78.1
  • Livability Score: 75
  • Average Rent: $838.20

Abilene ranks as the most affordable city in the study, about 22% below the national average. It’s livability score is in the top five, too, making Abilene a good prospect for relocating retirees.

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3. San Angelo

  • Cost of Living Score: 81.6
  • Livability Score: 77
  • Average Rent: $871.60

Retirees will find plenty to do along the Downtown San Angelo River Walk, which provides opportunities to take in parks, gardens, music and, of course, the golf courses. San Angelo’s rent and cost of living are low and its livability score is high.

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2. College Station

  • Cost of Living Score: 92.8
  • Livability Score: 78
  • Average Rent: $843.20

With a livability score of 78, College Station is tied for the No. 1 spot in the study in that category. Only five spots have a lower average rent.

1. Longview

  • Cost of Living Score: 85
  • Livability Score: 78
  • Average Rent: $888

Longview is in the eastern part of Texas, sitting 65 miles west of Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s no wonder it came in tops in the GOBankingRates study of best places for retirees in Texas. It’s tied with College Station for livability, has a cost of living 15% below the national average and has an average rent of $888.

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the best places in Texas for a couple to live on only a Social Security check based on (1) the average monthly benefit for retired workers ($1,619.67), sourced from Social Security Administration, and doubled; (2) the overall cost of living in each city, sourced from Sperling’s Best Places; (3) average 2022 rent for a one-bedroom apartment as sourced from ApartmentList,; and (4) livability scores sourced from AreaVibes. Factors (2) through (4) were scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factor (4) was weighted double in final calculations. All data was collected and is up to date as of June 2, 2022.