When we imagine retirement, many of us have visions of relaxing, taking up new hobbies, traveling to exotic places, being a part of a community, and feeling like we have reached another important milestone in our lives. Living our retirement dreams takes forward planning and an amount of financial discipline. Before we take a brief look at some beautiful, and fairly low-cost places to live in retirement, let’s just remind ourselves what good financial planning can help us avoid. According to AARP:

  • 1 in 10 homeowners owe more than their home is worth.
  • In 2013, almost 1 in 3 households aged 55 and above did not have any retirement savings.
  • 6 in 10 people 50 and older give financial support to an adult family member.

Planning early and putting aside money will help prepare you for retirement. Those who do plan ahead may consider moving to a new place to enjoy retirement. Here are four cities to consider.


Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tulsa is a small city with an art deco downtown district, art museums, a lot of green space, and the Arkansas River flowing through it. After sitting in traffic and behind desks for all those years, retirement often encourages us to get fit. The good news is that Tulsa has over 25 miles of walking and cycling trails. Tulsa also boasts an international film festival, a cultural festival, and it has just celebrated its third Indian Art Festival. The median house price in Tulsa is just $125,000, with a sales tax of 5.5%, and there is no state tax on Social Security benefits.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

As George Strait sang in his #1 hit, “I Can Still Make Cheyenne,” there are lots of reasons why people do make Cheyenne their retirement home. This “Magic City of the Plains” has a lot of history attached to it. The spirit of the West lives on in its friendly, slow-paced style of life, open spaces, and low-rise buildings. The local police sponsor “Neighborhood Night Out” events just so everyone can feel part of their community and stay close to their neighbors. On a larger scale, the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days attracts rodeo fans and visitors from all over the country. The median house price is $201,800, and the overall cost of living hovers around the national average. Plus, Wyoming boasts no State income tax and no tax on Out-Of-State Retirement Income making it even more attractive to retirees.

Cañon City, Colorado

Not to be left out of the country music scene, this beautiful and intriguing city was immortalized by Jerry Jeff Walker with his opening line of “Navajo Rug: It’s just a Cañon, Colorado diner, a waitress I did love.” There is a lot to love about Cañon City. Retirees can enjoy the skiing, the mountain vistas, and unique excursions, and avoid expensive, tourist-laden locations such as Vail or Breckenridge. Cañon City has every sort of activity from wineries to museums, and from kayaking to riding through the Royal Gorge. The population is around 30,000, so no big-city bustle for retirees! The median house price is $124,000, and the overall cost of living hovers around 9% below the national average leaving plenty of discretionary spending power.

Port Charlotte, Florida

Many retirees long for warm winters when they can “shovel sunshine,” not snow, sit on the beach, and visit all the places the travel ads tell them about such as Walt Disney World, St. Augustine (America’s first city), the World Golf Hall of Fame, and Cape Canaveral; the list goes on. But, again, many retirees cannot afford to live in Naples or Miami Beach. The good news is that by living in Port Charlotte, you can still enjoy the Florida lifestyle with a median house price of $150,600, and an average cost of living index that is 94% of the national average.

Port Charlotte has many miles of fresh and saltwater canals, and is right on the shore of Charlotte Harbor; Florida’s second largest bay. With good road links, retirees can enjoy easy travel to every tourist attraction in the state.

Where Will You Live When You Retire?

We have so many beautiful towns and cities to choose from – both local and far off. Wherever you may want to live, it pays to plan ahead to be sure you will have the finances you need to meet your goals. However you answer the question “where will you live when you retire?”, the sooner you start thinking and planning, the more certain your future can be.

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