These Are the Best Beach Towns in America for Retirees in 2018

Retiring and moving to the beach full time sounds like a dream come true. But for some retirees, the shocking price of oceanfront real estate is a real eye-opener. Owning even a small slice of paradise comes at a premium, and that doesn’t even consider other factors like HOAs, maintenance fees, taxes, and the inflated cost of living in resort towns.

But even if you haven’t managed to save several million dollars for your nest egg, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of having sun-kissed skin and sandy toes all year long. SmartAsset recently released a list of the most affordable beach towns for retirees.

Ahead, check out some of the most affordable beaches where you can put down permanent roots without breaking the budget.

15. Ormond Beach, Florida

Ormond Beach

Ormond Beach, Florida | Stephen Barnes/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $169,900
  • Median annual property tax: $1,900
  • Median monthly housing cost: $901

Florida, right? But seriously, there are lots of Florida towns on the list for a very important reason: retirees can find their dream homes at affordable prices in this warm and welcoming place. Ormand Beach is a resort destination with a small town feel, with plenty of stuff to do from shopping to restaurants and community events.

Next: Gulfport, Florida

14. Gulfport, Florida

man and woman enjoying retirement at a beach

Retirement | EpicStockMedia/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $144,300
  • Median annual property tax: $1,184
  • Median monthly housing cost: $870

Described as quirky and quaint, this beach town offers a little something for everyone. The Gulfport Art Walk caters to artistic types and collectors alike, while the food and arts festivals throughout the year give a healthy dose of culture.

Next: Gulf Shores, Alabama

13. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Gulf Shores | nick1803/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $236,600
  • Median annual property tax: $774
  • Median monthly housing cost: $907

Situated on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Gulf Shores offers white sand beaches, tasty seafood, golf courses, fishing, and outdoor recreation as adventurous or tame as you like. The housing prices here are a little higher than others on the list, but the taxes are low and the living is good.

Next: Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

12. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Amusement park

Myrtle Beach | Sean Pavone/iStock.com/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $173,600
  • Median annual property tax: $734
  • Median monthly housing cost: $842

With 30,000 permanent residents and a reputation for fine seafood, expansive beaches, and temperate weather all year, this is a popular vacation destination and an increasingly desirable place to retire. It has all the attractions of a resort town that you want but none of the hassle.

Next: Fort Walton Beach, Florida

11. Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Fort Walton Beach, Florida | Jens_Lambert_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $164,100
  • Median annual property tax: $1,188
  • Median monthly housing cost: $937

Situated between Pensacola and Panama City, this beach town has the impossibly white beaches and crystal-clear water that Floridians love. This slice of paradise is known for being incredibly family friendly with lots of activities, making it the ideal spot for your relatives to visit after you retire there.

Next: Melbourne, Florida

10. Melbourne, Florida

two hearts drawn on perfectly white sand of paradise beach

Two hearts on sand | anyaberkut/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $125,400
  • Median annual property tax: $1,135
  • Median monthly housing cost: $849

Home values are going up in Melbourne. That’s because the location — next to the River Lagoon on Florida’s Space Coast — is so appealing, with beaches, fishing, golf, and plenty of sunshine. There are also festivals like the Independent Filmmaker’s Festival, Arts Festival, Aviation Day, and Oktoberfest.

Next: Fort Pierce, Florida

9. Fort Pierce, Florida

Fort Pierce Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida | CG Photos/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $89,100
  • Median annual property tax: $902
  • Median monthly housing cost: $777

It’s not called “Sunrise City” for nothing. Located on the Atlantic Coast, this haven has old world charm and modern amenities that will appeal to residents and visitors of all ages. You won’t believe the relentlessly affordable home prices, either.

Next: Daytona Beach, Florida

8. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida | tomh1000/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $117,200
  • Median annual property tax: $1,080
  • Median monthly housing cost: $757

Think beyond spring break and NASCAR. Daytona Beach has plenty to offer retirees, including a legendary boardwalk, surfing, restaurants, cultural attractions, and more. There’s even a Smithsonian-affiliated museum there.

Next: Freeport, Texas

7. Freeport, Texas

Happy retirement

Happy retirement | Tom Merton/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $71,000
  • Median annual property tax: $1,122
  • Median monthly housing cost: $565

You won’t believe the affordability of the homes and housing costs in Freeport. This little-known retirement destination may not get a lot of attention, but it’s worth checking out if you’re on the hunt for a new fun and relaxing place to call home.

Next: Ocean Springs, Mississippi

6. Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Ocean Springs Mississippi

Ocean Springs, Mississippi | Rauluminate/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $151,500
  • Median annual property tax: $1,287
  • Median monthly housing cost: $920

Two miles east of Biloxi you’ll find Ocean Springs, a small community with Southern charm, new businesses popping up every day, and an impressive arts scene. The property taxes are high compared to some others on the list, but you get a lot for the money house-wise.

Next: Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

5. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Happy couple sailing retirement

Happy retirement | UberImages/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $150,800
  • Median annual property tax: $1,106
  • Median monthly housing cost: $729

The Mississippi Gulf Coast is full of small towns that are perfect for retirement, and Bay St. Louis is one of the best. Retirees can enjoy activities such as festivals and historic attractions, and everything is affordable — including the home prices.

Next: Port Arthur, Texas

4. Port Arthur, Texas

happy couple on the beach

Sunset | anyaberkut/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $64,300
  • Median annual property tax: $1,003
  • Median monthly housing cost: $588

Looking for an affordable place to call home during your golden years? Port Arthur has charm and a thriving community of other retirees, too. They’re likely drawn to the extremely affordable home prices and monthly housing costs.

Next: Biloxi, Mississippi

3. Biloxi, Mississippi

Mississippi,

Biloxi | Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $149,100
  • Median annual property tax: $1,012
  • Median monthly housing cost: $785

You probably already know that Biloxi is a gambler’s paradise. But beyond just taking your chances with the slots, Biloxi has a ton of other things for retirees to enjoy. Lighthouses, history, natural landmarks, fine dining, entertainment, and a community of others with the same goals in life will make this new town feel like home.

Next: Pensacola, Florida

2. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola Florida

Pensacola, Florida | alex grinchenko/iStock/Getty Images

  • Median home value: $145,700
  • Median annual property tax: $1,109
  • Median monthly housing cost: $850

Once you see the beauty of the pristine Pensacola beaches, you won’t believe how cheap the houses are here. This former European settlement has so much to see and do along with a year-round agreeable climate you’ll love to live in.

Next: Gulfport, Mississippi

1. Gulfport, Mississippi

Gulfport, Mississippi

Water tower and buildings in Gulfport, Mississippi | Rex_Wholster/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus

  • Median home value: $116,200
  • Median annual property tax: $952
  • Median monthly housing cost: $819

What makes the perfect retirement city? A combination of location, affordability, and activities. You’ll love living in Gulfport. There are tons of things to do, and the home prices won’t hurt your budget. It’s the best place in the country to spend your golden years.

Read more: The 13 Biggest Regrets People Have About Retirement

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