12 Exciting Cities Where You can Retire on Only $2,000 per Month

Stressed about the finances of retirement? These cities offer a great lifestyle at an affordable price.
Updated May 8, 2024
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You made all the smart money moves — you saved for retirement, lived below your means, and worked hard.

But now that you’re at retirement age, you might realize that you don’t have enough saved for the retirement you want. Or maybe you'd just rather spend money on your travels rather than your home base.

In either case, you might want to explore towns with a more reasonable cost of living. If you’re looking for a comfortable and enjoyable life in retirement, these cities allow an affordable lifestyle without sacrificing any fun.

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Des Moines, Iowa

pabrady63/Adobe iowa city skylines during sunset

With a thriving arts scene, weekly farmers market, and bustling downtown, Des Moines is a lively city to call home. It's a great place to help you avoid throwing money away on a trendy retirement location you don't love.

As a resident, you can make a tradition of witnessing the National Balloon Classic, an event where hundreds of hot-air balloons depart at once.

Average monthly expenses are around $1,660, and the cost of living in Iowa is 89% of the national average. It’s a win-win for your wallet and your lifestyle.

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Greeley, Colorado

Jacob/Adobe aerial view of Greeley Colorado in autumn

As a state, Colorado is fairly expensive with the cost of living at 105% of the national average. But if you’re interested in the state’s outdoors but don’t want the price tag, Greeley might be the perfect solution.

The average monthly expenses clock in at $1,699, which is only a fraction of other cities in the state. Plus, if you live in Greeley, you can attend the annual Greeley Stampede, one of the largest Fourth of July rodeos in the country.

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Felix Mizioznikov/Adobe Lake Charles port harbor

The city of Lake Charles is located along the lake with the same name, which is one of the only lakes in the state open for swimming. The city also offers a downtown area filled with unique dining options and a growing art scene.

With average monthly expenses of $1,566, Lake Charles is a great place for bargain-hunting retirees. In fact, the cost of living in the state of Louisiana is only 94% of the national average.

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe skylines in the city of oklahoma during day time

Oklahoma City is the capital of the state and has a bustling zoo, botanical gardens, and multiple museums. The Paseo Arts Festival is a favorite local event that draws crowds. 

Each year, there are food vendors, special art displays, and extended gallery opening hours for visitors to enjoy.

You might be landlocked, but that won’t stop you from having fun. Plus, the cost of living in Oklahoma is 86% of the national average, and monthly living expenses in the city are $1,774.

Fort Wayne, Indiana

o mine/EyeEm/Adobe Promenade Park in Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne is known for its parks and rivers that run throughout the city. There are public gardens, a museum of art, and unique exhibits at the local zoo as well.

Promenade Park is a favorite local hangout, with porch swings, accessible trails, and a children’s canal for the grandkids. You’ll also find games of cornhole and table tennis.

Indiana’s cost of living is 90% of the national average, and monthly expenses in Fort Wayne are around $1,700.

Independence, Missouri

Julien/Adobe kansas city missouri evening skyline

The cost of living in Missouri is 89% of the national average. If you’re looking for a cheap city in the state, you might consider Independence. This Kansas City suburb offers ample outdoor fun for an average cost of $1,753 per month.

Independence is steeped in American history and offers activities for all ages. One of the most popular attractions is the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, which details the life of former president Harry S. Truman.

Longview, Texas

Roberto/Adobe Gregg County

ith mild weather and a walkable downtown area filled with restaurants, Longview is a great place to call home.

For retirees with grandkids, Longview offers the Jack Mann Splash Pad as a place to cool off during summer and the Longview World of Wonders as an educational place to learn and explore.

The average monthly expenses for living in the city are $1,746. Even though there are some expensive cities in the state, the overall cost of living in Texas is 93% of the national average.

Bossier City, Louisiana

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Shreveport Louisiana USA

Bossier City is known for the Louisiana Boardwalk, which looks like a miniature version of the Las Vegas strip but is actually an outlet shopping mall along the Red River.

There are a large number of shopping and dining options to keep you entertained for hours. Plus, Louisiana’s cost of living is 94% of the national average, and monthly expenses to live in this city are around $1,749.

Lansing, Michigan

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Lansing Michigan USA Downtown Skyline

Lansing, the capital of Michigan midway between Detroit and Grand Rapids, is an affordable city within an affordable state.

The cost of living in Michigan is 92% of the national average, and the average monthly expenses to live in Lansing are $1,610.

The city boasts beautiful parks, outdoor adventures, and museums. Locals also love to tour the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center and Michigan History Museum.

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Bellevue, Nebraska

Jacob/Adobe aerial view of the Omaha Suburb of Bellevue Nebraska

The average monthly expenses in Bellevue total $1,830. It’s one of the pricier cities on this list, even though the cost of living in Nebraska is 92% of the national average.

However, Bellevue is beautiful, and one of the main attractions is Fontenelle Forest. The forest is actually a not-for-profit nature center and is one of the largest in the country.

The forest has 17 miles of trails and accessible pathways throughout, which makes it a great spot for retirees of all ages.

Fargo, North Dakota

FiledIMAGE/Adobe fargo street sign

With a shopping mall, local zoo, indoor sports arena, multiple parks, and golf courses throughout the city, Fargo has almost everything you could look for in a place to call home. 

Residents love to rent kayaks at Lindenwood Park and enjoy the river during the summer months.

The average monthly expenses are $1,680, so there will be room in your budget for local adventures. In general, North Dakota offers an affordable lifestyle, and the cost of living is 97% of the national average.

Cincinnati, Ohio

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe cincinnati ohio usa

Cincinnati offers the perks of life in a big city — countless food options, a bustling downtown, public transportation, museums, and public art installations — combined with the mellow nature of life in the Midwest.

If you’re looking for an affordable place to call home and value city life, then Cincinnati might be a great fit. Average monthly expenses in the city are $1,629, and the cost of living in the state is 92% of the national average.

Bottom line

bernardbodo/Adobe summer sparkles

Whether you’re ready to retire or just planning with years ahead of you, it's important to know that there are affordable cities in the United States.

And affordable doesn’t have to mean boring. These cities offer arts and culture, local events, outdoor entertainment, nature, and fine dining.

Still, planning for the future can be stressful, so it's better to address any financial before you retire.  Small steps can go a long way in preparing you for your next chapter in the affordable city of your dreams.

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