AARP The Magazine Names Its Top 10 Places to Live on $100 a Day

×
Two people eating and drinking wine on the San Antonio River Walk (Alamy)

What makes a town a good place to live? Which features are essential? Cultural institutions, proximity to natural beauty, recreation opportunities-to a rich, fulfilled existence? Do you need a sports team to be happy, or a symphony orchestra? A ballpark or a ballet? Bustling neighborhoods or bucolic parks?

Of course, cost of living enters the equation -- especially for those, like retirees, living on a fixed income. Mindful of the distinction "between living cheaply and living well," AARP The Magazine has compiled its annual list of the best places to live for Americans over 50, choosing cities that offer affordable amenities in addition to low-cost essentials.

The editors posited an income of $100 a day, or $36,500 a year, and assumed a tax rate of 25%. That left $27,375, or $2,281 per month. Next, they sought out cities with a median housing cost of $192,000, which translates to a mortgage payment of approximately $719 a month. So after paying for housing, their theoretical retirees would have $1,562 a month left over for everything else -- food, leisure, entertainment, cultural enrichment, the works.

An initial list of 200 cities was culled down to 10 by a focus on "things that make life worth living: the arts and culture, colleges, restaurants, community." Click through the gallery below to see which places made the cut.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

114 Comments

Filter by:
David

The writer left out insurance and taxes on that $192k house ... and these day, likely association fees.

January 16 2013 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ephphilon

The author has obviously never been to Omaha. It is by no means a flat place; the Missouri River Valley ecotone is quite hilly, in fact! That is precisely why the other side of the river is called Council Bluffs, IA.

January 16 2013 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
musikhut

You'd have to be a fool to be making $36K a year and jump into the payments for a $192K house.

January 15 2013 at 6:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
aslithytoveredux

My plan is to have no mortgage payment ... so I could get by on a lot less.

January 15 2013 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lynnbakker

Love Roanoke Va area. We lived there until our job was finished. Smith Mountain Lake was our home. $100. per day maybe possible for the Roanoke but not at the beautiful Lake.

January 15 2013 at 1:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
svhtwo

Most retirees do not make this amount. Article seems to be more about advertisements at the end.

January 15 2013 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WillowRaven

Ok... $100/day ...for 30 days... thats $3000/month. I don't know about anyone else however for me, on SSDI, that far exceeds my income (I'll be 48 in a couple of months, so close to the age 50 in your article). I don't see how retirees and those over 50 on a limited income could live comfortably at that expense. It would be nice to see something a bit more "realistic". If I had $3000/month, I'd be living a LOT more comfortable than I am now, too!! Honestly, why not find out what the average 50+ year old has per month (those who worked 'average' jobs, not those who were CEO's and such) and THEN tell us where they could go to 'live comfortably' in a good neighborhood with all these nice amenities.

July 22 2012 at 3:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to WillowRaven's comment
aslithytoveredux

Exactly !

January 15 2013 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sammy

"$1,562 a month left over for everything else -- food, leisure, entertainment, cultural enrichment, the works."
Wow, I want to live in a place where I don't have to pay taxes, utilities or anything so mundane as gas in the car. Where i can just spend all my money after paying my mortage on cultural enrichment. Where on God's green earth is there such a place? Just one place, come on tell me where that place is!

July 21 2012 at 7:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jngall

A hundred dollars a day?!?!? Don't I wish!!! I have to live on a hellof a lot less than that!!!

Who do you think I am, a right-wing Romnepublican???

July 20 2012 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
fsnlb

You would have to earn 52,000 a year after taxes to afford to life on $100.00 a day. Most of us retired do not have that kind of money. And we life nicely on a lot less the $100.00 a day.

July 20 2012 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply