The 15 best states to retire for a low cost of living in your golden years

Hanneke Luijting/Getty ImagesLow costs of living make for smooth sailing in retirement.

Choosing a state for retirement can be a big challenge.

Financial management firm Blacktower gathered data on property prices, population demographics, and more to put together a list of US states where retirees will get the most from their retirement savings. Blacktower also looked at the cost of living index created by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Centre, which includes costs of housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare in relation to the median cost, calculated as 100. The lower the index number, the lower the cost of living.

Here are the 15 most affordable states for retirees, including their cost of living index along with the average home price and the percentage of senior population from the Census Bureau.


15. West Virginia

Steve Heap/ShutterstockHarpers Ferry, West Virginia.

West Virginia has the lowest average property prices in the US according to this data, with the average home priced at $US146,596.

Cost of living index: 92.1

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 25.5%

Average property price: $US146,596


14. Iowa

Max Maximov MM/ShutterstockAn Iowa neighbourhood.

Iowa’s low costs of living aren’t the only thing that appeal to seniors. Low home prices and a quarter of the population over age 60 also make this state ideal.

Cost of living index: 92.1

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 25.5%

Average property price: $US173,561


13. Kentucky

Alexey Stiop/ShutterstockKentucky.

Kentucky has slightly lower average property prices than Iowa, and other costs are slightly lower in the Bluegrass state as well.

Cost of living index: 91.7

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 21.4%

Average property price: $US168,902


12. Texas

kan_khampanya/ShutterstockDallas, Texas.

Popular with retirees, Texas is also affordable. However, average property prices are higher here than many other places on this list.

Cost of living index: 91.5

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 16.8%

Average property price: $US211,441


11. New Mexico

New Mexico is ideal for retirees thanks to its relatively warm climate and affordable costs of living.

Cost of living index: 91.4

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 22.1%

Average property price: $US213,491


10. Georgia

ShutterstockA home in Savannah, Georgia.

Georgia’s relatively low cost of living and overall affordability makes it a pretty good place to retire, though the average home is more expensive than many of the other states on this list.

Cost of living index: 91.4

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 22.1%

Average property price: $US213,491


9. Indiana

Thomas Kelley/ShutterstockJeffersonville, Indiana.

Indiana can help your retirement dollars go further. With low average prices, buying a home is within reach in this state.

Cost of living index: 90.5

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $US167,504


8. Kansas

Jeff Zehnder/ShutterstockKansas State Capitol.

With affordable living and homes, Kansas has lots of opportunities to make your retirement money last.

Cost of living index: 89.6

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $US177,194


7. Michigan

Thomas Barrat/ShutterstockHarbour Springs, Michigan.

Michigan is fairly affordable for anyone retiring soon. With a cost of living index below 90, fairly affordable home prices, and no shortage of summer activities, this state is ideal for retirement.

Cost of living index: 89.5

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $US178,219


6. Alabama

Jim McKinley/Getty ImagesOrange Beach, Alabama.

Alabama’s affordable living costs and relatively cheap homes make it a more budget-friendly alternative to more-expensive Florida.

Cost of living index: 89.2

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $US175,256


5. Tennessee

JMcQ/ShutterstockSevierville, Tennessee.

Tennessee’s affordability and natural beauty makes this state perfect for retirees who want mountains nearby, without the higher costs of living in western states like Colorado or Washington.

Cost of living index: 88.9

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 21.5%

Average property price: $US203,449


4. Missouri

Eric Bowers Photo/Getty ImagesKansas City, Missouri.

Missouri offers fairly affordable living, and a variety of environments from rural to urban.

Cost of living index: 88.3

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $US187,682


3. Arkansas

Sean Pavone/ShutterstockLittle Rock, Arkansas.

Arkansas’s costs of living are pretty low, and an index well below 90 helps this state take one of the top three spots.

Cost of living index: 87.7

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $US157,514


2. Oklahoma

ShutterstockA home in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is the second-most affordable state for retirement according to this data, from home prices to overall costs of living.

Cost of living index: 87.2

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 20.5%

Average property price: $US165,943


1. Mississippi

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesA boardwalk in Mississippi.

Mississippi takes the top spot for affordability, with the average home price under $US150,000 and low costs of living all around. Retirees will see their money go much further here than it would in other states.

Cost of living index: 86.7

Per cent of population aged 60 and older: 20.6%

Average property price: $US147,408

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