Retirees on a fixed income who carefully watch their budget would probably love to find a place with low housing costs, relatively affordable health care, and an inviting climate.
Fortunately, several places in the South fit the bill. These are pockets of affordability that also happen to offer a good quality of life for seniors.
In some of these cities, you might have to supplement your income to live more frugally, but if you do, you could retire on just $1,500 a month in these 10 Southern cities.
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This classic town in western Texas is full of history, adventure, and outdoor activities. That makes it perfect for the active retiree looking for a nice way to spend their golden years on a budget.
You can find one-bedroom apartments in Odessa for around $1,000. So, before you retire, consider visiting Odessa to see if it’s a candidate to be your new home during your golden years.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
It’s not often you’ll find both a charming historic town and an affordable cost of living, but Eureka Springs is an exception to that rule.
The city offers Victorian homes, natural springs, a walkable downtown, and a cost of living that’s 76.3% of the national average, according to Best Places.
There are museums, art galleries, and restaurants, as well as parks and outdoor recreation. Plus, Redfin says the median home price is just $206,000.
If you are looking for a bustling, medium-sized city, Chattanooga can be a good choice. It has a historic downtown, art, restaurants, and access to the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains.
There’s also the Tennessee River for those who can’t imagine retiring far from the water.
Redfin says the median home price here is $304,000, so you might have to search for a bargain — or make a sizeable down payment — to make homeownership affordable here. But it is possible to get a one-bedroom apartment for around $1,000.
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Lake Charles, Louisiana
If you love great Cajun food, hunting, fishing, and the pull of the bayou, then look to Lake Charles for an affordable retirement.
You can find a one-bedroom apartment for well under $1,000, and it is possible to find small homes for under $200,000.
Tallahassee can be a good choice if you want all the perks of a Florida retirement — no income tax, palm trees, warm weather year-round — without the expensive price tag you’ll find in many other cities throughout the Sunshine State.
Redfin says the median home price in Tallahassee is $263,000, and bargain hunters can likely score an even better deal.
Lynchburg is a historic mountain town located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its access to beautiful neighborhoods and hiking trails makes it a favorite of retirees.
The median price for a home here is just $209,400, Redfin says. That makes Lynchburg a great place to find an affordable lifestyle with all the amenities of a medium-sized city.
Lubbock can be a delightful place for retirees to settle down. It’s a smaller, more navigable city than Houston or Dallas, yet it’s home to a major university, Texas Tech.
You can easily find apartments here for well under $1,000, according to Rent.com listings.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is another medium-sized city where you will find culture, access to a major research hospital, and a walkable downtown.
Despite all those perks, homes cost a median of just $270,000, and you likely can do even better. That means you’ll be able to comfortably retire on a fixed income, yet you’ll still have access to the vibrant quality of life you get from a bigger city.
If your retirement dreams include spending sunny days on the golf course, head to Ocala and hit the links.
Moving to Ocala can be your key to a classic retirement in the Sunshine State, complete with zero state income tax.
Just bear in mind that median home prices can be a bit higher here, at $310,000. So, you'll have to look hard to find something that works within a $1,500 budget.
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The warm weather in Shreveport can make the city enticing for retirees. You will also find Cajun culture and a low cost of living.
The median home price here is a bargain-basement $162,000, which can really help you to get ahead financially.
That makes Shreveport a great place to enjoy entertainment and music, incredible Southern food, and access to critical health care during your golden years.
The average Social Security check is more than $1,700, meaning a budget of $1,500 a month might even leave you with extra money to sock away or spend on the grandkids.
Retiring to one of the affordable cities on this list can help boost your fortunes during your golden years, especially if you retire early with a modest nest egg that requires you to live frugally.
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