This article takes a look at the 16 East Coast cities to retire on $3000 a month or less. If you wish to skip our detailed analysis on navigating the Peak 65 generation, you may go to 5 East Coast Cities to Retire on $3000 a Month or Less.
Navigating the Peak 65 Generation
Is the United States of America prepared to handle the Peak 65 generation? Whether it is or it isn’t, “Peak 65” is what encapsulates the essence of 2024. Referring to the fact that more than 12,000 Americans are expected to retire each day this year, retirement in the US is, believe it or not, on the brink of a profound transformation. Concerns about retirement planning systems, social security welfare, and even Medicare may put many individuals back in the workforce even after they hit the retirement age. According to a study by Allianz Life, 22% of Americans surveyed state that they are likely to retire in 2024. Up from 17% in 2022, this demographic shift raises concerns as a substantial number of individuals may face challenges in sustaining their retirement lifestyle solely through trivial savings and social security.
Unlike the 22% who are planning on retiring, 12% who have already retired in recent years are now contemplating re-entering the workforce. Many of these individuals have been citing reasons such as inadequate preparation for retirement, needing money to pay off debt, and even boredom as reasons for coming back to work. After all, working longer is a surefire way to ensure you don’t outlive your savings. Unfortunately, the Economic Benefit Research Institute Retirement Confidence Survey notes that 46% of individuals surveyed in 2023 retired earlier than planned due to reasons such as health conditions, implying that retiring late or even coming back to work isn’t a strategy that can be counted on.
For these reasons, Merrill, a Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) company, advises that individuals must consider numerous financial factors that can help them prepare for their future. For instance, individuals must start contributing to their employee-sponsored plans as soon as they become eligible for them. Additional tax-advantaged accounts must specifically be used to save money, such as traditional and Roth IRAs, Health Savings Accounts, and more. Those individuals who have crossed their 50s with little to no savings may even use catch-up contributions to save as much as they can for retirement.
Retirees are also flocking to other parts of the country to stretch their retirement savings. According to a report by Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN), a technology-powered real estate brokerage firm, 25.8% of home buyers have been looking to move to a new part of the country. One of the most popular relocation destinations for these home buyers, according to Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN), is an East Coast city called Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. The median price of a home in the city is around $400,000; a lucrative buy for many coming from states such as Washington and New York. Median home values in the latter states cost $605,000 and $800,000 respectively, something that the average retired individual cannot afford to buy.
However, people who have spent all of their lives in these places may not be willing to move to distant states for affordability, even when they can’t afford to stay in their current homes. East Coast states such as New York can be crazy expensive for the average retiree, but moving to comparatively affordable states within the East Coast such as Connecticut or New Jersey can be a viable option for such retirees. Such individuals may also prefer moving to these areas owing to reasons such as healthcare, climate preferences, educational institutions, and even proximity to friends and family.
To compile the list of East Coast cities to retire on $3000 a month or less, we began by using a consensus approach to draft a list of all the best affordable East Coast cities in the US. The sources that we employed include Nasdaq, Money Inc., Clever Real Estate, our list of affordable places to retire on the East Coast, as well as forums such as Reddit and Quora. Next, we assessed these places on their cost of living and livability scores, sourced from Best Places and Area Vibes. The cost of living index for all the cities is below 100, implying that living expenses in the areas are less than the national average. Meanwhile, livability in these areas is at least above 60, implying an above-average score. Individual scores were summed up based on the stated factors to generate an Insider Monkey Score, and places have been ranked on this score from the lowest to the highest. We have also discussed the median home price and average 1-bedroom apartment rents for these areas to further assess affordability, sourced from websites such as Redfin Corporation (NASDAQ:RDFN), Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z), and Zumper.
By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that tracks the movements of corporate insiders and hedge funds. By using a similar consensus approach, we identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). Whether you are a beginner investor or a professional one looking for the best stocks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.
Here are the 16 East Coast to Retire on $3000 a month or less:
16. Concord, North Carolina
Insider Monkey Score: 21
Cost of Living Index: 96
Livability Score: 80
This southern city on the East Coast is one of the best places to retire owing to its affordability, historic downtown, and peaceful ambiance. Its serene atmosphere blends with the burgeoning attributes of a metropolis, offering seniors an optimal blend of peacefulness and access to top-notch amenities. According to Redfin, the median value of a home in Concord is $350,000, while the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is estimated to be $1,500. An individual retiree can manage to live in this east coast city for $3,000 a month.
15. Jacksonville, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 22
Cost of Living Index: 95.7
Livability Score: 80
Another comfortable yet affordable East Coast city to retire on $3,000 a month or less is Jacksonville, Florida. The cost of living in this city is 4.3% lower than the national average, and the median value of a home is $311,000. Besides its warm climate and beautiful beaches, Jacksonville is beloved amongst retirees due to its thriving cultural scene, excellent healthcare facilities, and recreational opportunities.
14. Newberry, South Carolina
Insider Monkey Score: 24
Cost of Living Index: 78.1
Livability Score: 65
Boasting a cost of living that is 21.9% lower than the national average, Newberry is one of the best East Coast cities to retire on $3000 a month or less. The charming city is revered for its pleasant climate, affordable homes, and beautiful historic downtown district. According to Redfin, the median value of a home in the city is an affordable $205,000. The striking historic buildings pay tribute to the city’s carefully preserved past, and retirees will find plenty to do to stay entertained within the neighborhoods. Some popular attractions include Newberry Opera House, Newberry Museum and Arts Center, Wells Japanese Garden, Enoree River Vineyards and Winery, to name a few.
13. Lakeland, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 25
Cost of Living Index: 91.6
Livability Score: 76
Lakeland can be deemed as one of the safest and most affordable places to retire on the East Coast. Homes in the city are selling for a median price of $300,000, while the cost of living is 8.4% lower than the national average. The small city lies in proximity to Tampa and Orlando, offering more than 30 lakes, stunning wildlife, and striking natural beauty. Like the entire Sunshine State, Lakeland enjoys warm and sunny weather that retirees love to bask in. Healthcare is high-quality, an important prerequisite for seniors.
12. New Bern, North Carolina
Insider Monkey Score: 26
Cost of Living Index: 83.6
Livability Score: 67
Retirees who wish for a beachfront living lifestyle without the high costs can choose to live in New Bern, North Carolina. This waterfront town is great for retirees who appreciate history, golf courses, and an active lifestyle. Besides golf, retirees can also indulge in tennis, go swimming, participate in organized cycling rides, and enjoy water activities in the city’s many rivers and creeks. Carolina East Medical Center is an award-winning hospital situated here.
11. Hagerstown, Maryland
Insider Monkey Score: 27
Cost of Living Index: 92.6
Livability Score: 77
One of the best small east coast cities to retire in Maryland is Hagerstown. The city is known for its bustling urban center, beautiful outdoors, and lush natural environment. Not only is this beautiful city revered for its serene environment but also for the affordability that it offers. The cost of living here is 7.4% lower than the national average, while the median price of a home in the city is an affordable $251,000. There are plenty of historical museums and societies to visit, learn about, and appreciate.
10. Melbourne, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 27
Cost of Living Index: 95.6
Livability Score: 81
Melbourne is such a nice place to live and retire to that many sources such as Forbes have been recommending it over the years. Its location on the “Space Coast” grants it access to a warm beach climate, mesmerizing beaches, and also a peaceful and laid-back ambiance. The food scene is also pretty incredible, characterized by family-owned restaurants, seafood eateries, and even burger shacks. The cost of living here is 4.4% lower than the national average, while the median value of a home is $330,000.
9. Panama City Beach, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 28
Cost of Living Index: 95.4
Livability Score: 69
From its stunning white-sandy beaches to its emerald-green waters, Panama City Beach is another nice East Coast city to retire on $3000 a month or less. Retirees can afford a budget-friendly lifestyle here compared to other coastal retirement destinations within the Sunshine State. The median sale price of a home in the city is $440,000, while Zumper notes that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,518.
8. Cape Canaveral, Florida
Insider Monkey Score: 29
Cost of Living Index: 95.6
Livability Score: 82
Cape Canaveral is a beautiful coastal city featuring miles of white sandy beaches, sunny weather, and a good quality of life. Boasting a cost of living that is 4.4% lower than the national average, it is one of the most affordable places to retire on the East Coast. Homes in the city are selling for a median price of $345,000, while Zumper finds the average rent for a one-bedroom to be around $1,643.
7. Savannah, Georgia
Insider Monkey Score: 31
Cost of Living Index: 90.2
Livability Score: 79
For those seeking an affordable yet enchanting place to live for their post-career years, Savannah can be the place to be. Revered for its historic charm, well-preserved architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, it is a favorite destination for many retirees. From the effervescent coast to the many natural sites and historical landmarks, there is much to do for seniors all year round. The cost of living is 9.8% lower than the national average, while the median price of a home hovers around $339,000.
6. Roanoke, Virginia
Insider Monkey Score: 33
Cost of Living Index: 80.9
Livability Score: 75
Roanoke is beloved amongst seniors for its quiet ambiance, green spaces, and top-notch healthcare. According to Redfin, the median price of a home in the city is $205,000. Moreover, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city is $1,150 per month which is considered quite affordable. The city is surrounded by mountains, making it a great place to enjoy the outdoors and indulge in activities such as hiking, biking, and even going on scenic drives. All in all, it is one of the best East Coast cities to retire at $3,000 a month or less.
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Disclosure: none. 16 East Coast Cities to Retire on $3000 a Month or Less is originally published on Insider Monkey.