These Are the 15 Cities Where You Can Retire for Less Than $1,000 per Month

Enjoying a carefree and happy retirement is what everyone dreams about. Having $1 million is the benchmark, but getting there isn’t easy, especially if you make the classic retirement savings errors. Even if you don’t have $1 million when you’re done working, you can still enjoy your golden years if you retire in the right location. Sticking to your budget is easy in these cities where you can retire for less than $1,000 per month.

GoBankingRates looked at how much retirees spend on housing, property taxes, utilities, groceries, and healthcare each month, and found the cities where they spend less than $1,000 per month.

We’ll spend a lot of time in one part of the country, especially when we get to the top 10, but we’ll break away twice (pages 12 and 13) before we reach the most affordable retirement city in the United States.

15. El Paso, Texas

An international bridge crosses the Rio Grande which forms the U.S.-Mexico border

El Paso, Texas | John Moore/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $893.25

Population: 683,080

This city in western Texas is one of the most low-income cities in the United States, which is bad if you’re working but perfect if you’re retired. Its proximity to the Mexico border isn’t really an issue. El Paso has one of the lowest burglary rates in America and has one of the highest livability scores in the country from AreaVibes.

Next: Questions and answers about our next city.

14. Pasadena, Texas

Pasadena

Pasadena, Texas,  is a suburb of Houston. | Webstar15/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $892.87

Population: 153,351

Maybe you’ve never heard of Pasadena, Texas, but have you heard of Houston? Pasadena is a suburb that’s just a few miles from downtown. What does that mean for retirees? Well, they get the amenities and easy access to the big city, but they can retire for less than $1,000 per month.

Next: A city in what is surprisingly the best state for retirement.

13. Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines skyline at sunset

Des Moines is the largest city in Iowa. | iStock

Total monthly cost: $891.55

Population: 215,472

Believe it or not, Iowa tops the list of best states for retirees, and Des Moines is the capital city. You can retire for less than $1,000 per month, but the ample museums and other entertainment venues are other reasons why it’s one of the best cities for retirement in America.

Next: It’s affordable, but there are reasons to steer clear of this city.

12. Tulsa, Okla.

tulsa city skyline

Oklahoma’s capital is affordable for retirees. | alex grichenko/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $882.57

Population: 403,090

With a monthly cost of $882.57, Tulsa is definitely one of the most affordable large cities for retirees. But between the toxic environment and expensive car insurance, we’re guessing a lot of retirement-age people might think twice about putting down roots in Tulsa.

Next: It’s not shocking to see a city from this state make our list.

11. Columbus, Ga.

Columbus, Georgia, USA

Your dollar can go a long way in Columbus, Georgia. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $880.61

Population: 197,485

Georgia is one of the least expensive states to live in, so it’s not shocking to see one of its cities make our list (we’ll visit another one in a few minutes). Your dollar goes a long way, and you can retire for less than $1,000 per month and have quite a bit left over for other expenses.

Next: Shifting demographics aren’t anything to be scared about in this city.

10. Montgomery, Ala.

Montgomery, Alabama

Retirees on a budget should consider the capital of Alabama. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $878.92

Population: 200,022

The fact that Montgomery is one of America’s shrinking cities shouldn’t scare retirees at all. When you account for all the major expenses, you can retire for less than $1,000 per month here. The city’s rich history and southern charm make it a winner for AreaVibes reviewers.

Next: There are activities galore for retirees.

9. Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont-Texas

It costs less than $900 a month to live in Beaumont. | Rex_Wholster/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $876.10

Population: 118,299

Beaumont is near the Gulf of Mexico between Houston and Lafayette, Louisiana. There are a ton of activities in town, such as the Thomas Edison Museum and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and retirement living is cheap at a little more than $876 per month.

Next: You won’t get the tax rates of the neighboring state, but this city won’t break your retirement budget.

8. Shreveport, La.

Bossier City, LA, USA

Shreveport is actually closer to Dallas and Houston than New Orleans. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $873.91

Population: 194,920

You get a Louisiana address in Shreveport, but the city is closer to Dallas and Houston than New Orleans. Even though you don’t get the low sales and income tax rates here like you do in Texas, you can still retire for less than $1,000 per month.

Next: It’s in the middle of nowhere, but this city is far from boring.

7. Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo Farm Fields

Amarillo might be a bit isolated, but that could be the lifestyle some retirees are looking for. | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $860.40

Population: 199,582

You might feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere in Amarillo, and in a sense you are. Oklahoma City is the closest big city, and Dallas and Denver are roughly equidistant. But just because it’s on the small side doesn’t mean it’s boring. There’s a lot to do. You can go hiking in Palo Duro Canyon State Park just outside of town, and how many other cities with less than 200,000 people have their own symphony and opera halls?

Next: Let’s stay in this region.

6. Lubbock, Texas

Buildings and architecture downtown city skyline Lubbock, Texas

You can rent a one-bedroom in Lubbock for $550 a month. | ChrisBoswell/ Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $846.91

Population: 252,506

Do you want to know why you can retire for less than $1,000 per month in Lubbock? It’s because the rent is so cheap. A one-bedroom place goes for $550 a month, and if you need the additional space you can nab a two-bedroom for $700.

Next: You have to take the bad with the good.

5. Augusta, Ga.

Augusta, Georgia, USA downtown skyline

Georgia is one of the cheapest states for retirees. | iStock.com/Sean Pavone

Total monthly cost: $829.24

Population: 197,081

You probably won’t break your budget since you can retire for less than $1,000 per month in this city in the eastern part of the state. As we’ve already discussed, Georgia is one of the least expensive states in the country. You might have trouble finding a drink in Augusta, which is almost totally dry, but on the other hand, you have a great chance of running into a legendary golfer since the city hosts the Masters tournament every year.

Next: Two cities you probably wouldn’t think of for retirement.

4. Akron, Ohio

Akron, Ohio

Retirees who want to stay in the Midwest might want to look to Akron. | Benkrut/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $824.28

Population: 197,633

We’ve visited a lot of southern states so far, but we’re swinging to the north to visit a couple of cities you probably wouldn’t think of for retirement. Akron is extremely affordable, and bigger cities, such as Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh, are just a day trip away.

Next: Cheap housing prices help put this Midwest city on the list.

3. Fort Wayne, Ind.

The downtown district in Fort Wayne

Housing is cheap in Fort Wayne. | wellesenterprises/ Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $822.17

Population: 264,488

You might not have considered Fort Wayne for retirement until now, especially since the middle class keeps disappearing from this city. But the facts are the housing prices are cheap and you can retire for less than $1,000 here.

Next: One outrageous expense offset by the affordability.

2. Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville-TX

This border city is also close to the Gulf of Mexico. | DavieJones13/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $812.03

Population: 183,823

One of the only knocks against Brownsville is that buying a car there costs way too much money. That’s not a good thing for retirees on a fixed budget, but that negative is offset by the overall affordability. This city is in the southeast corner of the state, so adventurous retirees can make easy day trips to Mexico if they want.

Next: The city where retirement costs are way less than $1,000 per month.

1. Birmingham, Ala.

Birmingham, Alabama

You can retire on less than $800 a month in Birmingham. | Digidreamgrafix/iStock/Getty Images

Total monthly cost: $786.77

Population: 212,157

Here we are, the No. 1 city where you can retire for less than $1,000 per month. Way less as it turns out. Birmingham is one of the most affordable places to live in the U.S. And if you’re a retiree who still wants to work a little bit, it’s one of the best cities for a working retirement.

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