15 Affordable Places To Retire on the East Coast

Live comfortably on a budget in these idyllic East Coast retirement locales.

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Updated July 11, 2024
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If your retirement plan has you dreaming of living on the East Coast, you'll find affordable options that range from winter wonderlands to sandy beaches.

Check out the list of following budget-friendly retirement locations and see if one is right for you. 

Note: All median home sale prices are for December, and those prices and cost of living figures come from Redfin.

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Augusta, Georgia

Halfpoint/Adobe senior couple in hotel room

Augusta may be best known for hosting golf’s Masters Tournament at one of the most expensive country clubs in the world, but it can also be an affordable place to live, with a median home sale price of $199,250.

The city has one of the lowest cost-of-living indexes among the 269 urban areas tracked by The Council of Community and Economic Research. That makes Augusta a good choice if you are concerned about where you stand financially.

Melbourne, Florida

nadezhda1906/Adobe senior woman enjoying at tropical beach

More than 21% of the population in Melbourne is over the age of 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That could make it an attractive destination for retirees who want to live around people the same age.

Homes are also relatively affordable. The median home sale price in Melbourne is $334,000, compared to a national median sale price of $402,045.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Monkey Business/Adobe happy senior couple running on beach

Despite being a beach town, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has affordable home prices for retirees.

A home in Myrtle Beach sells for a median of $274,200, making the city attractive to those on a budget.

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Richmond, Virginia

Lumos sp/Adobe senior couple on their retirement

Richmond could be a good option if you want to live in Virginia while trying to avoid the high prices you might find in a bigger city such as Washington, D.C.

Redfin says the city’s cost of living is about 4% less than the national average, and the median home sale price is $350,000.

Wilmington, Vermont

gstockstudio/Adobe multi-generation family having dinner

Winters certainly can be a little tougher in Wilmington than in other East Coast cities, such as those in the Carolinas or Florida. But if you love the four seasons, this can be a beautiful city to enjoy.

The median sale price of a home is $224,000, helping it fit into retirees’ budgets.

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Rafa Fernandez/Adobe senior couple traveling in their car

If you love space, consider spending your golden years in Cape Canaveral. It is home to the Kennedy Space Center, and you'll love visiting its museum.

The city also has affordable homes, with a median sale price of $350,000.

Savannah, Georgia

Xavier Lorenzo/Adobe senior couple enjoying summer vacation

Savannah is known for its iconic squares filled with trees, gardens, and fountains.

It’s also affordable to live there, with the cost of living 8% lower than the national average and a median home sale price of $337,772.

Wilmington, Delaware

Anna/Adobe senior couple eating ice cream

Wilmington is located on the Delaware River and offers plenty of things to do for retirees in an affordable housing market.

The median sale price for a home in Wilmington is $259,900.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Tasneem H/peopleimages.com/Adobe older couple relaxing on the sofa

Check out Harrisburg if you’re interested in spending your retired years outdoors. The town is near the Appalachian Trail, state parks, and state forests.

Pennsylvania is also friendly to retirees because it doesn’t tax Social Security income, retirement account withdrawals, or pensions. The median home sale price is just $183,000.

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Raleigh, North Carolina

goodluz/Adobe senior couple meeting financial adviser

Raleigh is part of the Research Triangle in North Carolina, which may be appealing if you want to continue your education or mentor workers and students in the tech industry.

The city also has a relatively affordable housing market, but it might be a tad expensive for some folks. Homes in the city sell for a median price of $400,000.

Hartford, Connecticut

InputUX/Adobe seniors showing vitality while dancing

Explore Hartford as a retiree, especially if you’re trying to get away from New York City. The Big Apple is about 120 miles away and has a much higher cost of living.

Hartford has a 55% lower cost of living than Manhattan and has a median home sale price of $285,000.

Keene, New Hampshire

Fabio/Adobe Couple drinking beverages at balcony.

Enjoy the changing leaves in the fall or outdoor activities in the summer when you retire in Keene.

Homes sell for a median of $300,000, putting it well below the national median price. That can free up extra cash to enjoy the town’s culinary scene or attend events at Keene State College.

The Villages, Florida

Cavan for Adobe/Adobe smiling senior couple on sailboat

If you want to live in a 55-plus community when you retire, check out The Villages in Florida.

This planned community was built specifically for retirees and offers plenty of events. The median sale price for a home is $390,000, which is on the high side of affordability.

Mauldin, South Carolina

Kathy images/Adobe old golfer

Mauldin is a suburb of Greenville but has a lower price tag for housing. The city’s median sale is $323,000, compared to $427,465 in nearby Greenville.

The state also only partially taxes retirement account withdrawals.

Brunswick, Maine

Adam Radosavljevic/Adobe senior woman with short gray hair

If you want the opposite of Florida, head to Maine and check out Brunswick. It has a historic downtown with plenty to do, including eating at restaurants with fresh seafood.

The median sale price for a home is $375,000, making the area more affordable than other cities in Maine, such as Bar Harbor or Portland.

Bottom line

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe senior friends dancing together at beach

Visit one or more of these affordable retirement havens on the East Coast before you retire and see if one might be right for you.

Remember to factor in everyday costs such as groceries and annual costs like home and car insurance and property taxes. Chances are good that one of the places on this list will be the right fit for you.

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Jenny Cohen

Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.