Cheapest Retirement location in the US?

Well, my investments in Star Trek collectable salad forks have been going well, and so my mind turns once again to retirement fantasies.

In truth I shall retire to central Mexico. I like Mexico a lot. But that being said, I wonder what the cheapest place in the US would be to retire?

A difficult part of all this is the need to balance the cost of buying a home to the cost of maintaining a lifestyle. Cheap places to live (like Florida with no income tax) are expensive to buy into. Cheap real estate prices (like downtown Camden, New Jersey) are offset by the high cost of heating and bulletproof underwear.

So, considering all those, which place in the US might be the cheapest place to bu a home and retire to?

We’re looking at rural New Mexico, but I’m not sure if that’s the cheapest place to go. Most of our decision is based on climate (shorter, less frigid winter). I’m still not sure I’ll be happy being away from a bustling metropolis, but the winters are freekin’ killing me. Maybe by then we can afford to have two residences.

Well, there’s all that flyover country, but it’s cheap for a reason - can you imagine retiring to Nebraska? I mean, I’m sure it’s a lovely place to live and all but…

Not data, but I do like the South, myself. It rarely snows, housing is cheap outside of the big cities, full of pleasant places. One drawback is that as you get older, if you find yourself unable to drive most Southern cities have no real serious public transit options.

Tennessee has no State Income Tax.

Land/rent is cheap, as is food.

It’s quiet, & if you pick the right spot, nice amenities.

As a former resident of rural New Mexico, I can attest that it is indeed cheap. In fact, Hobbs was once very recently ranked as the cheapest city to own a home in the USA by a very significant margin. I’m not sure exactly what metrics they used, and what sized cities they covered. Also, it’s probably no longer the cheapest due to some recent construction.

The book retire on less than you think addressed this issue a bit. The consensus seems to be that southwest America is the best (Arizona, New Mexico, etc) due to low cost housing and lower taxes. However I would assume tons of places in the midwest are cheap for housing.

Well, Las Vegas used to be cheap, but you missed that boat about 5 years ago.

There are other places in Nevada that could still be considered inexpensive - some smaller towns that will be growing in the next ten years, but still have cheap land.

I always thought a good place to go would be Thailand - never been there, but have heard it is quite beautiful, inexpensive, politcally stable - just seemed like a nice place to settle, but I should probably maybe kinda go there first to see, doncha think?

How about a cruise ship ?

Neither does Washington.

It’s not as cheap to live here as it would be in a less desirable place, but I remember hearing last year that Bellingham, WA is a popular place for retirees. Housing prices are still moderate. A lot of retirees live in ‘The County’ (which would be Whatcom County). Being outside of town, land is fairly inexpensive. It seems that there are a lot of older people living in gigantic houses in the county. (Of course there are more modest houses and small houses as well. But I do see a lot of large homes.) Bellingham itself is home to a Western Washington University, so there’s a younger crowd here as well. (Sort of a problem for me and my friends. People come here to go to school, so they’re too young for us. They come back when they retire, so they’re too old for us. People in their late-20s to early-40s seem to come here to have families.)

I live in Birch Bay. It’s a seaside summer holiday community where most of the year-round residents are retirees. That’s changing though, and Birch Bay is growing rapidly. My friend realised a 50% profit when he sold his house to me, and I’d be closing in on a 100% profit if I were to sell it now. But my house would still sell for less than half the price of a house in, say, Orange County, CA.

Whatcom County still has cheap property. The summers are cool, and the Winters are not too cold. There’s snow, and it will get down into the 20s; but nice in a cozy house. Vancouver Canada is very close, which is an advantage.

There are posts about desert locations. As much as I like cool-ish weather (Summers here are generally around 80°F) I really like deserts too. I can deal with the dry heat of the high desert, and I really enjoy the scenery. My mom lived in Phoenix where it gets up to 120°F. A bit hot for me, but she had a nice shady patio. Nice in the Winter if you don’t like it too cold. I used to go to Las Vegas for a friend’s birthdays in the Summer. 104°F was quite pleasant. Deserts seem popular with retirees. I’ve heard that older people like it hot. The scenery is breathtaking if you know how to look at it. Land and housing is often very inexpensive. (Of course coming from L.A. everywhere seems inexpensive! :wink: )

The Google ads are shilling for Malaysia. Actually, I know some people around here who are going to do just that. Mexico will fine for me. It is more than just money. I just want to get back to Latin America.

Where Jimmy Hoffa went?

Collectible Star Trek Salad Forks!!111!!!

Damn, I just sold mine on ebay for $3 for 100.


Having too many browser windows opened lately, is it? :slight_smile:

Isn’t property tax a bigger issue for retirement than income tax? Texas has no state income tax, but the property taxes are killer: even though real estate is still fairly chearp here, the people I know that are near the end of their 30-year mortgages are often paying more per month in property taxes than they ever had to pay as a house payment.