Who said spending your golden years by the sea couldn't be affordable?

By Meghan Overdeep
May 04, 2019
Kanokwalee Pusitanun/Getty Images

If you thought that living out your golden years by the sea wasn't possible on a budget, think again.

According to the Census Bureau, the average over-65 household in America requires $49,000 a year to cover everything from housing to food. While that might rule out a comfortable life in expensive beach towns like Naples, Florida, and Hilton Head, South Carolina, that doesn't mean life by the ocean is out of reach for the average retiree.

MarketWatch looked at beach towns across America, where the overall cost of living was significantly below average, housing was reasonably priced, and where there are plenty of things to see and do. And, shocker of all shockers, the four best are all in the South!

Thinking of retiring soon? Keep scrolling for the Southern beach destinations where the Cost of Living Index is below the countrywide average (100), and where you could spend roughly $40,000 a year without having to sacrifice a decent lifestyle—or water views.

Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

There's a reason this artsy beach town made our list of Our Favorite Small Towns in Mississippi. With its quirky storefronts, creative community, and time-worn architecture, this sleepy little city named for the bay it sits on feels old-fashioned Southern, but with a twist.

Pensacola, Florida

The city of roughly 50,000 was ranked 37th in the annual "best places to live" in America by U.S. News & World Report. This Florida spot has white sand beaches, a vibrant downtown, and affordable housing. What's not to like?

Fort Pierce, Florida

About an hour outside of Palm Beach, charming Fort Pierce boasts one of the best main streets in America. Plus, we hear it has excellent fishing.

WATCH: These Are The Best Small Towns For Retirement

Corpus Christi, Texas

The biggest city on the list, Corpus Christi is ideal for retirees who don't want to be too far from the action. But don't let its population fool you—there's plenty for nature lovers to enjoy here. Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of undeveloped barrier island in the world.

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