Four Most Affordable Retirement Cities For Boomers

Four Most Affordable Retirement Cities For Boomers

If you are one of the many baby boomers who plan to move when you retire, but you don’t have the hefty nest-egg needed to live in some of the most popular retirement destinations, no worries. There are plenty of affordable retirement cities that still have great health care, good weather, and the “wow factor” of regional recreation and cultural activities to fill the days of even the most active and adventurous retirees.

The best and most affordable places to live for aging Boomers offer such benefits as mild or warm climates, low property taxes, lower housing costs, special income-tax rates and breaks for senior citizens, quality healthcare, good public transportation, senior job opportunities, and low crime rates. With a little research, you can find such appealing retirement spots in almost any region of the country. Here are four of our favorites:

·    Louisville, Kentucky – With a median price of only $128,000 for a single family residence, affordable Louisville offers southern hospitality, a pleasantly mild climate, and exciting recreation options such as the famed Louisville Slugger Museum and the Kentucky Derby.

·    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – “Pitt,” as it is fondly called by locals, is a college town (U of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon) with many friendly neighborhoods and an inexpensive lifestyle. The median price of homes in and around Pittsburgh is in the low $120s, and the state of Pennsylvania offers senior-friendly tax breaks.

·    South Bend, Indiana – Another college town, with a serene local campus, South Bend is also just south of Notre Dame, so it appeals to longtime fans of Fighting Irish football. Home prices are remarkably affordable, averaging just over $82,000. Retirees with a penchant for golf will enjoy the numerous courses in the area.

·    Tyler, Texas – With its Rose Festival, the beautiful Azalea Trail, and the bustling University of Texas–Tyler within the city limits, this community is a draw for active baby boomers. While housing prices are a bit higher here with a median price of around $140,000, the state of Texas does have a very senior-friendly tax structure.

In today’s struggling economy, finding an affordable retirement city is more important than ever. The Administration on Aging reports that the median income of men 65 and over is $27,707 – and is only $15,362 for women in that age group. Many baby boomers are facing this money crunch. Although retirement may have reduced your income somewhat, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer a reduced standard of living. If you relocate to the right city in the right state, your retirement dollars can go further.

Why Boomers are Retiring Overseas

Why Boomers are Retiring Overseas

The baby boomer generation is changing the conversation about retirement, with many choosing different models of retirement living – from co-housing communities, to working throughout retirement, to retiring overseas. In this age of information, ease of travel, and global awareness, an overseas retirement is not only appealing, but is also entirely feasible for many boomers.

Benefits of Retiring Abroad

Of course, the appeal of overseas living in the second half of life varies from person to person. Some baby boomers are seeking the excitement and exotic locales they may have missed while working their way up the corporate ladder and raising the kids in safe suburban communities. Some are looking for cheaper real estate, while others may want a peaceful environment and warm or mild climate. Whatever the impetus for exploring overseas options, expat retirees can reap many benefits:

  • Re-imagining your life – Often, baby boomers have spent the majority of their lives pursuing the normal “American dream,” including a 9-to-5 job, spouse and kids, a family home, and all of the normal joys – and stressors – that go along with these things. Upon retirement, some boomers are realizing that they have an opportunity to do something completely new, and to live an entirely different lifestyle in exciting, novel surroundings.
  • A lifestyle upgrade – Many retirees who move to foreign destinations – such as Ecuador, Costa Rica, or Nicaragua – find that they can live a much more “posh” lifestyle on less money than they could in the U.S. The cost of housekeeping and gardening help is low, often international medical insurance is significantly less expensive, and in many areas there are activities and recreation destinations available that can make a resident feel like they are on constant vacation.
  • Lower living expenses – Whether retiring to a European destination or a more exotic locale such as Thailand, many expat boomers find daily living expenses to be much more reasonable. Health coverage, rent, meals, and entertainment can be much cheaper than the same expenses “back home.”
  • Great benefits for retirees – Many countries offer incredible special benefits and discounts to all retired persons, and some offer even more to entice foreigners to spend their retirement years within their borders. Breaks on public transportation, public services, and utilities are available to seniors in many places. Panama, for example, has the “pensionado” – a program for seniors (open to foreign retirees) that gives between 15% and 50% off of such things as transportation, fine dining, theatre and sporting event tickets, medical care, and even domestic airfare.
  • Real estate bargains – Although there are some very pricey foreign retirement locales, a number of places offer real estate at amazingly low cost. Some boomers have even found it possible to own more than one home – such as a quiet rural home with land and a “downtown” condominium – because real estate is so much more affordable in places such as Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Boomers are definitely retiring overseas in increasing numbers as evidenced by the growing number of social section checks being sent to overseas addresses. If you choose to join them and retire overseas yourself, you may find you can live the life you’ve always wanted for much less than you have ever dreamed you could. Check out some listings of overseas destinations, and begin to imagine your own retirement adventure!

Boomers Seek Affordable Retirement Cities and Towns

By now you have heard Boomers are turning 65 starting now.   There is much talk of delayed retirements because of the bad economy and because of the financial conditions that have wrecked havoc on our retirement savings.  However time marches on and as we Boomers enter the mid 60s, our retirements will be happening at increasing rates, no matter what.

The times are ones of austerity and tight budgets.  Looking at the costs of retirement is a necessity.  If you are a Boomer looking for a lower cost of living in retirement, then finding affordable housing without reducing your quality of life would help. Housing is one of the largest retirement expenses.  So where can one find places for affordable retirement in towns and cities that boomers want to live in.

Affordable retirement communities are listed in this article.  By communities they are talking affordable towns and cities, not specific retirement communities, but the article gives some mid size towns and cities like Asheville NC, Bellingham WA,  Charleston SC,  Fayetteville AR,  Gainesville FL to name a few.

As far as actual affordable retirement communities, being a specific property rather than a town or city, here are 194 Affordable retirement community listings in the database of 55CommunityGuide.com.

Boomers looking for affordable retirement homes should consider moving to a small town to find reduced living costs as well as Cheaper retirement homes available in small towns.

In this article a Realtor lays out the case that you may get a better price on your retirement home purchase using a Buyer Agent.

The AARP just cames out with their list of Affordable Cities for Retirement.  Three cities from Texas: San Antonio, Houston and Austin are in their top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Retirement list.  This AARP study included cities of at least 100,000 and compared cost of living, job market, and expenses like average cost of groceries, health care and transportation.  It also looked at housing costs as a portion of income. Other affordable cities from their top ten are: Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh PA, Buffalo NY, Rochester NY, Nashville TN, Louisville KY, Birmingham Alabama.

Best Cities for Boomers (CityRetirement.com) points out many of today’s retiring seniors are opting for city sidewalks over country roads, thanks to an ever-growing list of amenities. Plus, many people find that the pace of city life helps them think younger and maintain their interest in life as they age.

College towns are also very popular Boomer towns and offer a great value with lots of amenities. Boomers have a lot of reasons to retire to a college town.

Retiring overseas is also know to be among the most affordable retirements.

So these are some of the resources Boomers may use to locate affordable  places, communities, towns and cities for their retirement homes.

Additional tips:

  • Buying home resales are normally cheaper than buying new homes from the builder.
  • Tips for Buying a Home in a 55 Plus Community
  • Buying on the outskirts of the metro area is cheaper than the closer in communities
  • The government has many perfectly nice independent living communities that are income qualified.