15 Affordable Places To Retire in the South

RETIREMENT - RETIRED LIFE
Enjoy warm weather and an affordable cost of living in these Southern cities.
Updated April 11, 2024
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Southern states can be good options for retirees who want warm weather and good food.

But what about affordability? Check out these cities that are great for retirees who want to enjoy retired life without hurting their wallet before you retire.

Editor's note: All housing cost figures are for December 2023 and come from Redfin.

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Savannah, Georgia

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe forsyth park in savannah georgia

As you prepare for retirement, perhaps dreams of living in a city with a rich history will enter your mind. If so, Savannah can be a great choice.

The city is the oldest in Georgia and is well-known for its iconic squares and greenery.

In addition, Georgia doesn’t tax Social Security income and only partially taxes retirement account withdrawals and pensions. However, the median sale price for a home is on the higher side, at $337,772.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Kevin Ruck/Adobe pier in Myrtle Beach South Carolina drone aerial

Despite being on the water, Myrtle Beach is a surprisingly affordable place to live.

The median sale price for a home in Myrtle Beach is $274,200, compared to a national median price of $402,045.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Christopher Boswell/Adobe Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga offers plenty of outdoor activities for active retirees, including strolling the city’s Riverwalk along the Tennessee River.

It’s also affordable, with a median sale price of $310,000.

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Huntsville, Alabama

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe huntsville alabama usa skyline

Huntsville is home to some out-of-this-world sites, such as the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

It also has homes with affordable prices. The city’s median sale price is $314,495.

Corpus Christi, Texas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe corpus christi skyline during sunset

You don’t have to live in Florida to take advantage of a great location on the Gulf Coast.

Check out Corpus Christi as a possible retirement location. The city’s median home sale price is $256,000, making it an affordable place to live.

Little Rock, Arkansas

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe arkansas skyline at sunset

The capital of Arkansas has plenty to offer retirees, including shops and restaurants in the River Market District or exploring the outdoors with activities near the Arkansas River.

According to Redfin, the cost of living is 5% lower than the national average. The median sale price for a home is just $220,000.

Gainesville, Florida

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe gainesville florida

Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, which U.S. News & World Report ranked in a tie for No. 6 among all public colleges. Retirees can attend the school if they want to pursue additional education.

The city is also one of the more affordable places for housing in Florida, with a median sale price of $272,500. That compares to a median sale price of $403,500 for the state as a whole.

Athens, Georgia

Robert Hainer/Adobe downtown of athens georgia at dusk

Athens is another college town and is home to the University of Georgia.

You can also afford to shop and eat in the city’s downtown shops and restaurants, as Athens has a cost of living 6% lower than the national average. The median sale price for a home is $322,000.

Greenville, South Carolina

digidreamgrafix/Adobe Town of Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is home to a variety of outdoor activities and nearby state parks. The cost of housing is a bit high, with a median sale price of $427,465.

However, South Carolina is considered tax-friendly for retirees. The state doesn’t tax Social Security income and only partially taxes retirement account withdrawals and pensions. In addition, property taxes are among the lowest in the country.

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Augusta, Georgia

Kevin Ruck/Adobe augusta georgia

Augusta is home to golf’s Masters Tournament, but the city has plenty to offer for retirees, whether or not they like to hit the links.

The median sale price for a home is $199,250, making this a very affordable place to live.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Chansak Joe A./Adobe north carolina state building in fall

With its Research Triangle, North Carolina is becoming a destination state for tech companies. The area, which includes Raleigh, is home to three major universities and more than 700 international companies.

Housing is a bit pricey, though, with a median sale price of $400,000.

The Villages, Florida

Ryan Tishken/Adobe steel bridge for golf carts

Some retirees prefer to live in an area specifically geared for them, and The Villages is one such place. The city is mainly made up of 55-plus retirement communities that cater to retirees.

It’s also affordable, with a median sale price for a home of $390,000. It helps that Florida is a tax-friendly state with no tax on income, Social Security, retirement account withdrawals, or pensions.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe baton rouge louisiana

Baton Rouge has plenty of Southern charm, as well as museums and historic sites to keep you busy when you retire. It's also home to Louisiana State University.

Homes in the city have a median sale price of $219,950.

Richmond, Virginia

Kevin Ruck/Adobe richmond skylines

The Virginia state capital of Richmond might be a good option if you want a Southern city with cooler weather in the fall and winter.

The city’s cost of living is 4% less than the national average, making it more affordable to live there than in other parts of the state. The median sale price for a home is $350,000.

Biloxi, Mississippi

SeanPavonePhoto/Adone biloxi lighthouse in mississippi at midnight

Explore the amazing things the Gulf Coast has to offer in Biloxi — including plenty of delicious seafood and a unique nightlife with casinos.

The median sale price for a home in the city is $237,250. And if you are trying to get ahead financially, you'll be happy to learn that Mississippi doesn't tax Social Security, retirement account withdrawals, or pensions.

Bottom line

NDABCREATIVITY/Adobe enjoying retirement at home

Whether you plan to retire early or want to work for many more years, the cities on this list offer affordable — and warm — places to spend your golden years.

So, weigh all the most important factors about retirement and decide whether an affordable place in the South is the right destination for you.

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Author Details

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.

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