17 US cities where retirement is affordable, taxes are reasonable, and healthcare costs less

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  • Personal finance site WalletHub released updated data on the best and worst US cities for retirees, and looked at affordability as a main factor.
  • Retirees are most likely to find low taxes and care costs in the south and southeast.
  • Many cities in Florida, Texas, and Alabama made the list, including Jacksonville, Tampa, Mobile, and San Antonio.
  • Read more personal finance coverage.

Some cities make it easier to stretch your retirement dollars than others.

To update its list of the best places in the US to retire for 2019, personal finance site WalletHub calculated which cities were the most affordable by looking at the overall costs of living, tax rates, inheritance and estate taxes, and the costs of both in-home and day care for seniors.

Cities in the southeast and in the south such as San Antonio, Texas and Tampa, Florida made the list, while Laredo, Texas and Cheyenne, Montana took the top two spots.

Here are the 17 most affordable cities for retirees, along with data on each state’s tax rates via WalletHub and median senior day care costs from AARP.


17. Jacksonville, Florida

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Jacksonville, Florida is a pretty affordable area, and seniors looking to get the most bang for their buck (and some sun) might enjoy this northern Florida city.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.44%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


16. Mobile, Alabama

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Alabama’s residents have the lowest cost of adult day services in the US.

State tax rates for a median income family: 9.11%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US6,760


15. Tallahassee, Florida

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In Tallahassee, residents will enjoy affordable taxes and care costs.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.44%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


14. Birmingham, Alabama

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Birmingham, Alabama is slightly more retirement-friendly than Mobile.

State tax rates for a median income family: 9.11%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US6,760


13. Knoxville, Tennessee

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Residents of Knoxville, Tennessee will enjoy low tax rates, and competitive care costs.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.73%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


12. San Antonio, Texas

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While taxes might be higher in Texas than in Florida and Alabama, a lower cost of senior care makes San Antonio a good city for retirement.

State tax rates for a median income family: 12.71%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US9,100


11. St. Petersburg, Florida (tie)

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Retirees in St. Petersburg, Florida will have similar costs to those in nearby Tampa.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.44%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


10. Tampa, Florida (tie)

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Tampa ties with St. Petersburg for its retiree friendliness, though care costs are relatively high in Florida.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.44%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


9. Orlando, Florida

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While it has a slightly higher cost of living index than some other cities in Florida, Orlando is fairly friendly to retirees in other costs.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.44%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


8. Gulfport, Mississippi

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Affordable senior care helps make this Mississippi beach town affordable.

State tax rates for a median income family: 11.99%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US11,700


7. Memphis, Tennessee

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Memphis, Tennessee is fairly affordable, and also offers fairly low tax rates.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.73%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US16,900


6. El Paso, Texas

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Affordable senior care and affordable living costs make El Paso, Texas a great place to retire.

State tax rates for a median income family: 12.71%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US9,100


5. Fort Smith, Arkansas

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This small town on the Oklahoma border offers a low cost of living.

State tax rates for a median income family: 11.25%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US20,800


4. Montgomery, Alabama

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A house in Alabama. Shutterstock

Montgomery, Alabama’s low costs of living and senior care gives residents an edge on making their retirement dollars stretch.

State tax rates for a median income family: 9.11%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US6,760


3. Brownsville, Texas

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This coastal city near the US-Mexico border is an affordable place to retire, thanks to low care costs for seniors.

State tax rates for a median income family: 12.71%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US9,100


2. Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Senior care can be costly in Cheyenne, Wyoming, but retirees will have low tax rates.

State tax rates for a median income family: 8.05%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US22,100


1. Laredo, Texas

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Residents of Laredo, Texas will have relatively low living and senior costs.

State tax rates for a median income family: 12.71%

Costs of adult day services per year: $US9,100