5 Best Affordable and Charming Places to Retire in the U.S.


5 Great Places To Retire That Are Affordable And — Surprise!– Not In Florida

Florida has long been a favorite destination for retirees leaving behind the nine-to-five grind; gray, cold winters; or a lifestyle that’s far more harried than it is happy. But the Sunshine State isn’t the only place that beckons with benefits for retirees who want to enjoy life more while, hopefully, spending less. Taking into consideration a moderate cost of living, tax exemptions for retirement income and quality health care, the following cities are giving Florida a run for its money in terms of attracting retirees. In addition, all of the locations have received four or five stars — the highest rating — from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

1. Savannah, GA


Population: 145,862

Cost Of Living: 88

Median Home Price: $225,000

4-Star Hospital: Effingham Health System (Springfield)

Retiree Perks: One of Kiplinger’s top 10 tax-friendly states for retirees; Social Security income is tax-exempt

If you’re into the arts, then you might want to consider moving to Savannah. With the Savannah College of Art and Design as one of its crown jewels, this city offers many school-sponsored activities that are open to residents, an annual Savannah Film Festival featuring more than 100 films, and public institutions providing free tuition to residents age 62 and older.

2. Richmond, VA


Population: 228,783

Cost Of Living: 95

Median Home Price: $258,000

5-Star Hospital: Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center (Mechanicsburg)

Retiree Perks: Social Security benefits aren’t taxed; residents 65 and older can deduct up to $12,000 per person of income from IRAs, pensions, and other retirement accounts

Richmond is a city that’s, well, rich in cultural offerings. The University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts features programming that includes dance, theater, music, live broadcasts, visual arts, lectures, and more. For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s the Virginia Capital Trail, which runs 52 miles between downtown Richmond and the Jamestown Settlement near Williamsburg.

3. Hanover, NH


Population: 11,500

Cost Of Living: Not available

Median Home Price: $265,000

4-Star Hospital: Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital

Retiree Perks: New Hampshire residents pay no taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions, or distributions from their retirement plans; there’s no sales tax

Home to Ivy League Dartmouth College, Hanover offers a lively and diverse mix of culture, art, and outdoor sporting and recreational activities. Retirees welcome the opportunity to spend their non-working years in a lovely bucolic town where events and activities are open to residents young and old alike. Concerts. Sporting events. Theatrical performances. All are on hand in Hanover, all year long.

4. Olympia, WA


Population: 52,555

Cost Of Living: 106

Median Home Price: $345,000

4-Star Hospital: St. Anthony Hospital (Gig Harbor)

Retiree Perks: Washington has no state income tax, which means income from pensions, Social Security, and retirement account withdrawals are tax-free.

Just an hour away from high-priced Seattle, Olympia offers affordable living in an area that features plenty to do, indoors and out. The historic Capitol Theater showcases independent and classic films. An annual Arts Walk displays photography, sculptures, paintings, and more. Kenneydell Park is home to 40 acres and 1,000 feet of freshwater beach. And the South Sound Wine Trail winds its way right through Olympia.

5. Waterville, ME


Population: 16, 646

Cost Of Living: Not available

Median Home Price: $147,000

4-Star Hospital: Northern Light Inland Hospital

Retiree Perks: Maine offers a property tax credit of $300 for eligible residents 65 or older; retirees can deduct up to $10,000 in income from retirement plans and pensions; Social Security income is exempt from state taxes

Located along the leisurely Kennebec River, Waterville is home to Colby College where retirees are invited to visit the Colby College Museum of Art for free. A nine-hole municipal golf course welcomes players aplenty from April to late October; Quarry Road, with more than eight miles of trails, beckons cross-country skiers who are totally into the outdoor life.


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Sandra Murphy

Sandra Murphy

Holds a master's degree in professional writing and has more than 15 years of experience writing for national and international entities.

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