Best Places to Retire for Under $40,000


San Antonio River walkBy Emily Brandon

Many baby boomers who haven't saved enough to retire well are contemplating delaying retirement. But if working into your 70s isn't possible (or appealing), moving to a place with a much lower cost of living can help stretch your retirement savings and finance a better quality of life.

A retirement income of $40,000 per year certainly won't go very far in Honolulu or Miami, but there are plenty of other places where it can fund a comfortable retirement lifestyle. If you're willing to relocate to a place with a low cost of living and affordable housing, this modest retirement income could give you access to interesting activities and top-notch medical care.

Producing a retirement income of $40,000 is a realistic goal for many retired couples, even those without a traditional pension. The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. For a married couple each receiving the average amount, that's a retirement income of just under $30,000 per year. Add to that a modest nest egg of $250,000, and that could bring your retirement income to around $40,000 per year, depending on how the money is invested, your drawndown strategy, and the inflation rate.

To find places where retirees can live well on less than $40,000 per year, U.S. News analyzed recently released 2011 Census Bureau data. We screened for places with the lowest housing costs for people age 60 and older, including mortgage payments for people who had one, other housing costs for people who have paid off their mortgage, and the typical rent for renters, as well as the proportion of their budget retirees spend on housing costs. Then, among the places where people age 60 and older spend the least on housing, we picked cities with the best amenities seniors will need, including major medical facilities, services for seniors, colleges, and cultural and outdoor activities.

Here are 10 great places to retire on less than $40,000 per year in 2013:

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crazy ray

Gee, most of these places are in the deep south where you have to share your lives with religious nuts and inbred racists. No thanks, Nimrod.

November 29 2014 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seems like Pittsburgh is the only place I would want to live. I do not like the south or the midwest; the people there are just too "twitchy" for me. New Mexico is way too hot. I guess it's" to each his own". And as far as the person squawking about "death camps"-you know, buddy, the Inuit used to put their sickly elders on ice flows and let them float out to sea. Or if you like, we could let you die in the garden-lions would eat you. Your choice.

November 12 2013 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to smick1953's comment
Ron Simmons

I was saying the same thing. Only the winter weather is Pittsburgh is its downfall.

November 12 2013 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unless you plan to retire near Charlotte retiring in SC is basically living in the sticks. The further you get from the larger cities the more you will encounter a whole different culture. Basically they dont like the influx of northerners coming down south. If you do come down make sure you live in the transplant areas. Dont be fooled by the \"southern\" drawl and how everyone sounds so hospitable. Believe me it is PHONEY. As far as getting work. Home Depot and Lowes love the yankees because they show up and they work.

November 12 2013 at 9:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rtgarton's comment
Ron Simmons

Thumbs up!

November 12 2013 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

it can\'t be the s.f.bay area. it\'s way too expensive

November 12 2013 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it can\'t be the s.f. bay area. wow, how expensive are these sky-high costs?

November 12 2013 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I live in Shreveport, Louisiana and make far less than 40K, I do just fine on my retirement

November 12 2013 at 2:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Joey Piccanozi

i'm 58.. i figure by the time i can't work any longer, the fascists will have their death camps up and running.. any, and all, pre-existing conditions will be welcome.. see y'all there..

November 12 2013 at 2:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

NYC Rocks in retiremnt .. So much to see and do

November 12 2013 at 11:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Sylvan's comment

Nothing beats NY food. Nothing

November 12 2013 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

NYC, pleeze

November 12 2013 at 9:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

40k a year? Most people aren't making that in their working lives!

November 12 2013 at 11:32 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

The problem with Columbia is two fold. First, it is hotter than hot there. Secondly, and worse, it is home of University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

November 12 2013 at 10:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply