The 7 most affordable U.S. states to retire—and none of them are Florida (2023)

If you want to make your money stretch after retiring, look no further than the Great Lakes state.

Michigan ranks as the most affordable state to retire in 2022, according to a recent Bankrate analysis. This is due to a low cost of living and light tax burden for residents.

To compile the overall list of best states to retire, Bankrate ranked states according to five categories: affordability; health and wellness; culture and diversity; weather; and crime.

To calculate affordability, Bankrate analyzed the July 2022 Cost of Living Index from the Council for Community and Economic Research and property and sales tax rates from the Tax Foundation's 2022 rankings.

(Video) Lowest Cost States for Retirement / Affordable Place to Retire

Here are the seven most affordable states to retire, according to Bankrate:

  1. Michigan
  2. Tennessee
  3. Missouri
  4. Mississippi
  5. Kentucky
  6. Oklahoma
  7. Georgia

Despite its top ranking in affordability, Michigan didn't place as highly in other categories. It ranked in the 30s for health and wellness, culture and diversity, and weather, and ranked 29th for crime.

And although Florida is known to have good tax benefits for retirees, it came in at No. 18 for affordability since the state's cost of living has been rising, Bankrate reports. However, the state scored high marks in other categories, including ranking No. 1 for culture and diversity and No. 5 for weather.

When thinking about where to retire, there are a number of things to consider. Everyone has different priorities.

Ask yourself questions such as, "how will your income be taxed?" says Clark Kendall, president of Kendall Capital Management in Rockville, Maryland, and author of "Middle-Class Millionaire."

(Video) The Top 7 Most Tax Friendly States to Retire In

"Look at how you're going to spend your money, too," Kendall adds.

Additionally, you should think about which activities you'd like to pursue after retiring and what locations will make those possible.

"When you're considering a community, you have to think about what you still want to do," says Ginni Field, a real estate broker in Oceanside, California, who specializes in senior buyers and sellers. "Do you still want to be able to play golf, tennis or pickleball?"

Sign up now: Get smarter about your money and career with our weekly newsletter

Don't miss: Millennial and Gen Z workers aren’t saving enough for retirement—here are 3 tips to get on track

(Video) Top 10 Towns You Can Retire on $1658 a month in the Southern US


What state is best financially to retire in? ›

Iowa. This state topped the list from MoneyRates, tied with West Virginia, scoring points for nursing care capacity, a strong economy, and a low crime rate. Social security benefits are not taxed by the state, and beginning in 2023, retirement income is exempt for taxpayers over age 55.

Is Florida really a good place to retire? ›

Beyond its much-touted great weather, it's affordable, it offers a high quality of life, and it has decent healthcare resources. Plus, Florida has no state income tax, which helps with the affordability factor, and it has a huge population of retirees—and all the amenities and services they demand.

Is Florida the best state to retire in? ›

(The Center Square) – Virginia is the best state to retire in, according to a new analysis from WalletHub, edging out perennial stronghold Florida for the honor.

What state is best for seniors on Social Security? ›

Iowa tops the list for best states to live on just a Social Security check thanks to a number of factors.

What is the #1 retirement state? ›

Best & Worst States to Retire
Overall RankStateTotal Score
46 more rows
Jan 23, 2023

What are the 3 states that don't tax retirement income? ›

States That Don't Tax Retirement Income

Those eight – Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming – don't tax wages, salaries, dividends, interest or any sort of income.

What are the 6 reasons not to move to Florida? ›

Top 10 Reasons You Shouldn't Move to Florida
  • Florida is full of people. ...
  • There is a lot of traffic. ...
  • Home prices have risen significantly. ...
  • It's really hot and humid in the summer. ...
  • Florida has natural disasters like hurricanes. ...
  • It's home to many dangerous animals. ...
  • Florida has irritating insects.
Dec 1, 2022

Where is the nicest but cheapest place to live in Florida? ›

Cape Coral

It's easily one of the most affordable places to live in Florida. It's also one of the safest cities in Florida, with one of the lowest crime rates in the state.

Why are retirees leaving Florida? ›

It's not as reasonable living in Florida as it used to be,” he says. Some retirees are opting instead to relocate to places such as Alabama, Mississippi and the Gulf Coast of Texas, he adds, where “the cost of living is significantly less and you still have those nice warm climates, and you're near water.”

What part of Florida do most retirees live in? ›

Fort Myers

Fort Myers is located along Florida's Gulf Coast and the Caloosahatchee River. Over a third of the population is age 60 or older in this popular retirement destination, and the area has added over 5,000 new residents in the past year, the Census Bureau found.

What is the downside of living in Florida? ›

Since there are good reasons not to live in Florida. The drawbacks include severe weather, heat, humidity, sales taxes, fees, and the negative effects of urbanization.

What city in Florida do most people retire to? ›

Daytona Beach, FL

It's also attracted the attention of retirees. Its affordable gated housing communities and convenient proximity to top hospitals in the area and major airports have made Daytona Beach a retirement-friendly option for older Americans relying on a smaller income and desire a more serene lifestyle.

What states to avoid when retiring? ›

Places to retire
Worst States for RetirementWhy You Should Think Twice
1) IllinoisPoor fiscal health
2) CaliforniaExpensive, and its finances are in disarray
3) New YorkVery high taxes, including property taxes
4) Rhode IslandWorst-off state in the Northeast from a financial viewpoint; high taxes
6 more rows

What state has the best quality of life? ›

USA States With the Best Quality of Life
  • Washington. Washington state has the highest quality of life of all states in the USA. ...
  • Minnesota. Minnesota ranks second state with the best quality of life in the United States. ...
  • Utah. ...
  • New Hampshire. ...
  • Idaho. ...
  • Nebraska. ...
  • Virginia. ...
  • Wisconsin.
Sep 24, 2022

Where can I retire on $800 a month? ›

Ecuador. If you're looking for a country where you can retire outside the US comfortably with $800 per month and experience one of the most ecologically diverse places in the world, then Ecuador might be for you. The go-to city for US retirees in Ecuador is Cuenca, which also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Where is the #1 place to retire in the US? ›

1 retirement spot in the country, but a new list from the U.S. News and World Report found Lancaster, Pa., is the best place to retire in the United States. In fact, towns in Pennsylvania made up five of the top 10 ranked metropolitan areas, compared with four towns in Florida making the cut.

What is the cheapest state for seniors to live in? ›

Michigan ranks as the most affordable state to retire in 2022, according to a recent Bankrate analysis. This is due to a low cost of living and light tax burden for residents.
Here are the seven most affordable states to retire, according to Bankrate:
  • Michigan.
  • Tennessee.
  • Missouri.
  • Mississippi.
  • Kentucky.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Georgia.
Aug 31, 2022

What is the safest state to retire in? ›

10 Best States to Retire in 2021
  • 1. ( tie) Iowa. ...
  • (tie) West Virginia. Economy: 8 Crime/Safety: 16 Lifestyle: 6 Healthcare: 29. ...
  • (tie) Arkansas. Economy: 4 Crime/Safety: 46 Lifestyle: 8 Healthcare: 6. ...
  • (tie) Mississippi. Economy: 9 Crime/Safety: 24 Lifestyle: 10 Healthcare: 21. ...
  • (tie) Florida. ...
  • (tie) Kentucky. ...
  • Connecticut. ...
  • Missouri.
Feb 3, 2023

What is the best state to live in to avoid taxes? ›

Eight states have no personal income tax, including Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming. The states with the highest total sales taxes include Tennessee 9.55%, Louisiana 9.52%, Arkansas 9.51%, Washington 9.23%, and Alabama 9.22%.

Where can I retire to avoid taxes? ›

In addition, states in this category have friendly sales, property, estate and inheritance tax rates.
  • Alaska.
  • Florida.
  • Georgia.
  • Mississippi.
  • Nevada.
  • South Dakota.
  • Wyoming.

What states have the lowest property taxes for retirees? ›

States with No Property Tax for Seniors
  • Hawaii.
  • Mississippi.
  • New Hampshire.
  • New York.
  • South Carolina.
  • South Dakota.
  • Texas.
  • Washington.

What part of Florida is best to move? ›

14 Best Places to Live in Florida
  1. Naples. Nestled in the southwest corner of Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico, Naples holds the top spot for places to live in Florida. ...
  2. Sarasota. ...
  3. Melbourne. ...
  4. Jacksonville. ...
  5. Pensacola. ...
  6. Tampa. ...
  7. Fort Myers. ...
  8. Port St.
Sep 12, 2022

What is the best area of Florida to live? ›

Best Places to Live in Florida in 2022-2023
  • Sarasota, FL.
  • Melbourne, FL.
  • Jacksonville, FL.
  • Tampa, FL.
  • Pensacola, FL.
  • Daytona Beach, FL.

What is the nicest and safest place to live in Florida? ›

The safest place to live in Florida is Satellite Beach. You'll feel safe living in this quaint city on Florida's space coast, which is home to just over 11,000 people. In 2021, there were only six violent crimes in Satellite Beach, easily making it the safest place to live in Florida.

Where in Florida is the most affordable? ›

1. Titusville. Titusville, also known as the Space Coast, is the most affordable city in Florida.

Where is the safest and least expensive place to live in Florida? ›

The cheapest city to live in florida, and safest, is Cape Coral. It has a low crime rate and a population of roughly 183,942. According to Neighborhood Scout, their crime rate is only 12 per 1,000 residents.

Where should I not retire in Florida? ›

Florida is the place of retirement dream for many seniors looking for a place to spend their Golden Years, but some of its most popular destinations could be their worst nightmare.
Florida's 10 Worst Retirement Destinations
  • Brandon.
  • Town 'n' Country. ...
  • Wesley Chapel. ...
  • Navarre. ...
  • Deltona. ...
  • Land O' Lakes. ...
  • The Villages. ...
  • Plant City. ...
Nov 29, 2021

Are people moving to or away from Florida? ›

A lot has changed in 2022, but one thing stayed the same: Americans kept moving to Florida in large numbers. Some of them, however, are likely to regret it. From July 2021 to July 2022, Florida's population grew by over 22 million people, according to new Census Bureau data.

How much money do you need to retire comfortably in Florida? ›

To retire comfortably in Florida starting today, you will need to save at least $175,000.

What is the number 1 place to retire in Florida? ›

1. Lakewood Ranch. Lakewood Ranch earns the top spot on our list for 2023. It has an in-demand central west coast location and proximity to popular cities like Sarasota and Bradenton, and offers a variety of 55+ and all-ages neighborhoods, making it suitable for a variety of retirement tastes.

What city in Florida has the best quality of life? ›

Our list of the best places to live in Florida in 2023 is topped by Sarasota and Fort Myers, two cities along the state's western coastline south of Tampa. They're not as high-profile as Miami, but they're also much less expensive, with no shortage of culture and things to do and see.

Where is less humid in Florida? ›

During the winter, north Florida and the Panhandle is much less humid than South Florida due to colder winter temperatures. Remember, colder air holds much less water vapor than warm air, so the colder parts of Florida will be less humid that warmer areas further south.

Why would anyone move to Florida? ›

So why are people moving to Florida? It's largely because of the state's low taxes, job opportunities, and light regulatory and business-friendly government, all of which make the cost of living affordable for many lower- and middle-class Americans.

Are people happier living in Florida? ›

And their findings revealed Florida came in at #10 on the happiest states list, jumping into that spot from traditionally low or middle rankings. "Florida residents report a higher well-being in the purpose, community, social relationships, and physical health elements than a majority of states," they write.

Is it worth moving to Florida right now? ›

More and more people are moving to Florida these days, and for good reason! Sunny weather, affordable property, and no state income tax all combine to make an attractive territory where both young professionals and retirees looking to enjoy their golden years can come to have a great time.

What are the two best cities in Florida to live in? ›

Best Places To Live In Florida In 2023
  • Jacksonville. Population.
  • Cape Coral. Population. ...
  • Orlando. Population (City of Orlando) ...
  • Greater Miami Area. Population (Miami-Dade County) ...
  • Melbourne. Population (City of Melbourne) ...
  • Sarasota. Population (City of Sarasota) 54,764. ...
  • Tallahassee. Population. 197,102. ...
  • Pensacola. Population. 53,678. ...
Jan 5, 2023

Where is the safest place for seniors to live in Florida? ›

Safest Places to Retire in Florida
Metropolitan Statistical AreaCrimes Per 100,000 Inhabitants
1.The Villages, FL M.S.A.1,817
2.Punta Gorda, FL M.S.A.2,025
3.Naples-Marco Island, FL M.S.A.2,392
4.Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL M.S.A.2,590
18 more rows
Jan 16, 2023

What is the #1 city in Florida? ›

Florida Cities by Population
157 more rows

Which state is best for old age? ›

The Best & Worst States for Older Adults
StateRelative tax burden% of 65+ with Medicare coverage
7 more rows
Mar 15, 2021

Where is the safest cheapest place to retire in the US? ›

The safest and most affordable place to retire is Charleston, Illinois. Enjoy Lake Charleston, and take in all it has to offer on one of its many trails. The cost of living is the lowest on this list: $36,915 per year.

What state is the happiest living? ›

These 10 states received the highest Happiness Scores: Hawaii. Connecticut. Massachusetts.

What is the unhappiest state? ›

These are the five unhappiest states, according to the ranking:
  • Alabama.
  • Louisiana.
  • Kentucky.
  • Mississippi.
  • Arkansas.
  • West Virginia.
Oct 12, 2022

What US state has the happiest residents? ›

WalletHub this week released its "Happiest States in America" list for 2022, ranking Hawaii as No. 1.

Can you live off Social Security alone? ›

Living on Social Security alone is not only possible, but many retirees already accomplish that very feat every year. While the lifestyle associated with Social Security income isn't exactly luxurious, it doesn't have to equal rice and beans for the rest of your life, either.

Where is the cheapest place to retire on Social Security? ›


Mississippi has the lowest cost-of-living index of any state on the list, making it an excellent choice for those looking to stretch their Social Security checks.

Where is the cheapest place to live on Social Security? ›

Here's the list:
  1. Nebraska. 2022 Average Rent: $827. Overall Cost-of-Living Index: 91.8. ...
  2. North Dakota. 2022 Average Rent: $672. ...
  3. Indiana. 2022 Average Rent: $835. ...
  4. South Dakota. 2022 Average Rent: $744. ...
  5. Wyoming. 2022 Average Rent: $742. ...
  6. Kentucky. 2022 Average Rent: $741. ...
  7. Michigan. 2022 Average Rent: $849. ...
  8. Ohio. 2022 Average Rent: $785.
Aug 5, 2022

Where is the cheapest and safest place to retire? ›

The safest and most affordable place to retire is Charleston, Illinois. Enjoy Lake Charleston, and take in all it has to offer on one of its many trails. The cost of living is the lowest on this list: $36,915 per year.

What state has the best pay and lowest cost of living? ›

Cheapest vs most expensive state

The cost of living in America varies dramatically between each state. From Mississippi being the cheapest state to live in with a median household income of $46,511 to Hawaii being the most expensive state with a median household income of $83,173.

Which state has the best cost of living to income ratio? ›

1. Mississippi. Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the United States, with a cost of living 15.6% lower than the national average.

Where do the happiest retirees live? ›

1. Wilmington, North Carolina. Living on a coast boosts happiness, health and well-being, according to a 2020 report.

What state has the lowest cost of living for retirees? ›

Michigan ranks as the most affordable state to retire in 2022, according to a recent Bankrate analysis. This is due to a low cost of living and light tax burden for residents.
Here are the seven most affordable states to retire, according to Bankrate:
  • Michigan.
  • Tennessee.
  • Missouri.
  • Mississippi.
  • Kentucky.
  • Oklahoma.
  • Georgia.
Aug 31, 2022

What's the cheapest state to buy a house? ›

No. 1 cheapest state to buy a house in 2022: Iowa

Iowa came in at the top of the list with the lowest average median household income it takes to be able to afford a house. The largest housing markets in the Midwestern state include Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.

What is the #1 best state to live in? ›

Best States 2021
  • #1. Washington.
  • #2. Minnesota.
  • #3. Utah.
  • #4. New Hampshire.
  • #5. Idaho.

What are the top 3 cheapest states to live in? ›

Take a look at the 10 cheapest states to live in for 2022.
  1. Mississippi. Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. ...
  2. Kansas. ...
  3. Alabama. ...
  4. Oklahoma. ...
  5. Georgia. ...
  6. Tennessee. ...
  7. Missouri. ...
  8. Iowa.
Nov 1, 2022

What are the five best cities to retire? ›

Here are U.S. News and World Report's top 10 places for retirement in 2022 to 2023.
  • Pensacola, Fla.
  • Tampa, Fla.
  • York, Pa.
  • Naples, Fla.
  • Daytona Beach, Fla.
  • Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Allentown, Pa.
  • Reading, Pa.
Nov 1, 2022

Where can I live comfortably on Social Security? ›

Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington state and Wyoming don't tax any income at all. And on top of not taxing Social Security benefits, Oregon and Delaware have no sales tax.

What is the most overpriced state? ›

Hawaii. With a cost of living index score of 189.9 Hawaii is the most expensive state to live in right now. Groceries alone are 50 percent more expensive than the country's average though poverty remains low.

What city has the lowest cost of living? ›

If you're looking for an affordable place to call home, the following five cities are the cheapest in the nation, according to doxo.
  1. Maxton, North Carolina. Average bill costs: $1,025 per month (48.8% below national average) ...
  2. Mercedes, Texas. ...
  3. San Benito, Texas. ...
  4. Booneville, Mississippi. ...
  5. Marion, Virginia.
Oct 7, 2022

Where does Florida rank in cost of living? ›

Overall, the cost of living in Florida ranks as the 24th highest among states. It is important to note that this index reflects the annual average cost of living in 2021 and does not account for recent price increases due to inflation.


1. HSN | Tweak'd Haircare 02.13.2023 - 05 PM
2. Top 10 Caribbean Islands to Retire Comfortably Under $1,500 Monthly in 2022
(Caribbean Lifestyle by J-irie)
3. The 10 Best Places To Retire In The United States | Affordable & Cheapest
(Around The World)
4. States with NO State Income Tax!!!! Tax Friendly States
(World According To Briggs)
5. 8 Reasons Why Americans LEAVE Costa Rica [Why I Left]
(Traveling with Kristin)
6. The Best Rural Small Towns in Florida
(World According To Briggs)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duane Harber

Last Updated: 01/12/2023

Views: 5871

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duane Harber

Birthday: 1999-10-17

Address: Apt. 404 9899 Magnolia Roads, Port Royceville, ID 78186

Phone: +186911129794335

Job: Human Hospitality Planner

Hobby: Listening to music, Orienteering, Knapping, Dance, Mountain biking, Fishing, Pottery

Introduction: My name is Duane Harber, I am a modern, clever, handsome, fair, agreeable, inexpensive, beautiful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.