The Most Affordable Southern States To Retire In, Ranked

A new study reveals the states most and least expensive places for retirees.

After so many years of hard work, you deserve somewhere nice to settle down for a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, in today’s economy, that can be easier said than done. No need to fear though, because the South is home to some of the most affordable spots to retire in America. 

A new study from Seniorly reveals the best and worst states for budget-minded retirees to retreat. The results take into account eight important factors for seniors to consider when choosing their destination: cost of living, average retirement income, how much homeowners 65+ spend on housing, electricity bills, senior poverty rate, Medicare spending, home-health aid cost, and tax-friendliness for retirees. 

Couple enjoying retirement

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Because every individual has different priorities for their retirement and budget, some states that rank lower may actually be better suited. For example, Louisiana ranks low on the overall list, but health aides there come at a lower cost than anywhere else in the country except West Virginia. Likewise, the cost of living is lowest in states including Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama, and yet these states fall in the national rankings due to factors such as higher senior poverty rates and Medicare spending.

You may be surprised to know that Florida did not come out on top. While so many retirees flock to Florida every year, this report found that it is actually the 9th least affordable state to retire in the U.S. — the second priciest in the South. This low rating is due to high senior poverty rates, Medicare spending, and utility bills in the Sunshine State.

In the end, the Mountain region, especially Wyoming, Utah, Montana, and Idaho, proved the most economical, while East Coast hubs like Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey were shown to be the worst places for retirees to live on a budget. Southerners will be happy to hear that our states rank across the board at varying levels of affordability, so you can plan on a cost-effective retirement plan right here in our corner of the country—just perhaps not in Texas. 

From most affordable to most expensive, here are all the Southern states to consider retiring in. 

  1. Virginia 
  2. Delaware 
  3. West Virginia 
  4. Tennessee 
  5. Arkansas
  6. Georgia 
  7. South Carolina 
  8. Alabama 
  9. North Carolina 
  10. Mississippi 
  11. Missouri 
  12. Kentucky 
  13. Oklahoma 
  14. Maryland 
  15. Louisiana
  16. District of Columbia 
  17. Florida 
  18. Texas 

Learn more about these rankings and their cost breakdowns here.

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