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10 Relaxing Places To Live on Only a Social Security Check

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Matt Bills / Getty Images/iStockphoto

The main goal of retirement is to take some much-deserved time to relax. However, it can be challenging to find a carefree place to live that also doesn’t drain your bank account, especially if you don’t have too much saved up.

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If you don’t have a lot in a retirement account, you’ll most likely be depending on your Social Security benefits to sustain you after you stop working. According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly benefit for retired workers is $1,672.76. With that figure in mind, GOBankingRates took a look at the most relaxing places in the United States to find cities that are both peaceful and affordable.

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10. El Paso, Texas

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,399
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $600
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 133

For the history lover, El Paso offers a lot to see. Enjoy the Hueco Tanks State Historic Site, or the El Paso Mission Trail as part of your laidback lifestyle in the city of El Paso. 

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9. McAllen, Texas

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,328
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $719
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 127

McAllen offers many places to take in nature and reset. One of the main places to do this is the Quinta Mazatlan, a historical mansion and bird center. Visitors can admire the beauty of the mansion and its grounds while learning more about the birds that inhabit it. 

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8. Springfield, Missouri

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,373
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $760
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 124

Springfield prides itself on “large-city amenities and small-town hospitality,” according to the city’s website. The city also offers lots of outdoor sights to take in, including hiking trails and even caves. Plus, there’s plenty of golf to enjoy as well on one of Springfield’s nine courses. 

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7. Rochester, New York

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,609
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $905
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 122

Rochester has a rich arts culture to take in. See the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra play, or catch a show at the Rochester City Ballet. Keeping on the affordable side, you can explore one of Rochester’s many parks, including Ontario Beach Park on the northwest side of Lake Ontario. 

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6. Fort Wayne, Indiana

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,382
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $727
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 115

Fort Wayne is a great spot to kick back after putting in years of work. Enjoy the Fort Wayne TinCaps play at Parkview Field, or catch a glimpse of beautiful plants and wildlife at the Eagle Marsh Nature Reserve.

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5. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,614
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $869
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 106

One of the best parts about Omaha is the amount of free things the city offers. Walk through one of the city’s many parks or take a boat to one of the lakes. There are also tons of gorgeous gardens to take in. If you want to spend a little money and are looking for a full day of relaxation, Omaha has multiple spas waiting to pamper you. 

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4. Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,617
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $919
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 102

As an Albuquerque resident, you’ll live the easy life with a low cost of living and rent, while still being able to have fun in the variety of parks and museums the city has to offer. There’s also tons of trails to stay active, so if you want to take a nice stroll, you’ll have some pretty scenery to admire along the way. 

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3. Des Moines, Iowa

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,403
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $761
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 98

Des Moines offers something for everyone. Sports fans will love seeing its hockey team, the Iowa Wild, and Triple-A baseball team the Iowa Cubs. Outdoorsy people will love hanging out at the Des Moines River, and everyone will love the variety of bars and restaurants. 

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2. Tallahassee, Florida

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,624
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $962
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 94

Florida being a hub for retirees is a stereotype for a reason. Tallahassee offers rolling hills and rivers to visit, and is only a short drive away from a beach. There are tons of trails and wildlife to spot, as well. The low cost of living and the wealth of nature to take in make Tallahassee a smart choice for retiring.

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1. Lincoln, Nebraska

  • Cost of Living Per Month for One Person: $1,366
  • Avg. Monthly Rent & Utilities: $743
  • Rank on 191 Most Relaxing Cities: 61

Living in Lincoln will leave you with some expendable income after you pay for your cost of living, so you can enjoy shows in the city’s growing arts scene and attend their annual cultural events. 

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the best places to live on only a Social Security check based on the (1) average monthly benefit for retired workers, $1,672.76, sourced from Social Security Administration; (2) the overall cost of living and rent with utilities in each city, sourced from https://livingcost.org/; and (3) the most relaxing cities in the United States, as determined by a multitude of factors by LawnStarter. All data was collected and is up to date as of Sept. 19, 2022.

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