Renting an apartment in an affordable city can help keep your retirement costs low and allow you to receive assistance with home maintenance and repairs. Apartments are often located in walkable neighborhoods that are close to stores, restaurants, services and entertainment options. A rental is also an excellent way to test out a potential retirement spot and easily move on if the place does not meet your expectations. While rental rates are climbing nationwide, some desirable retirement locations have affordable rental apartments. Here’s a look at the places that scored well in the U.S. News Best Places to Retire ranking for 2022 where the median rent is less than $900 per month.
In most Florida metro areas, the median rent is well over $1,000 per month. However, housing costs are much lower in Ocala, where the median rent is just $896. Ocala is an inland Florida city, and you’ll need to drive to reach the ocean. However, this equestrian town is a great retirement spot for those who enjoy horseback riding and equestrian competitions. There are also opportunities to explore nature and nearly 600 lakes, ponds and springs at Ocala National Forest. There’s no state income tax in Florida, which additionally helps to keep costs low.
Knoxville is a college town that is home to the University of Tennessee. The low cost of housing benefits the more than 30,000 students who flock to the town during the school year as well as retirees, who may be able to attend sporting events and campus activities or access medical care at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Almost a quarter of the population is age 60 or older. The median monthly rent in Knoxville is $833. The only types of income that are taxed in Tennessee are interest and dividends, and low-income seniors may be exempt, which adds to the overall low cost of living.
Scranton’s low cost of living can help your fixed income stretch further than it would in other places. You can rent an apartment in Scranton for a median of only $789 per month. Pennsylvania also has tax perks for retirees, and 401(k) and IRA distributions taken after age 59 1/2 are usually exempt from state income tax. Over a quarter of the population is age 60 or older. Scranton is about a two-hour drive from both New York City and Philadelphia, where you can easily take advantage of big-city amenities, but is considerably quieter and more affordable than these larger cities.
If your retirement dream includes launching an internet venture or even just streaming your favorite shows at top speeds, consider retirement in Chattanooga, which has a high-speed fiber optic network. However, Chattanooga’s natural wonders might lure you away from your screen. The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway makes it easy to get to the top of Lookout Mountain, and you can also explore the Tennessee River and nearby Appalachian Mountains. Chattanooga’s low cost of living allows you to spend more of your retirement savings on your next adventure. The median rent in Chattanooga is $827 per month.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Art museums and galleries tend to be clustered in expensive cities, but Grand Rapids is an exception. The area boasts several art museums, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and the entire city periodically becomes an art gallery during the ArtPrize awards. The low housing costs make it easier to relocate to this artistic community. Locals pay a median of $884 per month to rent an apartment in Grand Rapids. The city is located along the Grand River and is only a short drive to Lake Michigan.
Pittsburgh provides a high quality of life at a low cost. The median rent in Pittsburgh is just $831 per month. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside provides health care services to the community. The area is also home to several professional sports teams and major colleges, including Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Residents age 65 and older ride free on the bus, T or Monongahela Incline, which makes it convenient to get around without a car.
Michigan’s state capital city draws many new residents due to its job opportunities, and over 50,000 students attend classes as the massive Michigan State University campus in nearby East Lansing. Retirees can join in the fun by rooting for the Spartans at sporting events or attending concerts or other events on campus. Students and retirees both appreciate the low housing costs, and you can rent an apartment for a median of $858 per month. The Lansing River Trail provides over 20 miles of paved trails through town and nature areas.
Greenville, South Carolina
Retirement in South Carolina can feel affordable to people relocating from more expensive parts of the country. Located halfway between Charlotte and Atlanta, Greenville is a lower-cost alternative to both larger cities. The median cost to rent an apartment in Greenville is just $855 per month. Greenville is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. South Carolina seniors age 65 and older qualify for discounted admission to Paris Mountain State Park, where there are 15 miles of hiking and biking trails and an 8-acre lake stocked with bass, bream and catfish.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Green Bay is an affordable place to retire near the water. The city shares a name with the nearby sub-basin of Lake Michigan and the Fox River also runs through town. Located about a two-hour drive from Milwaukee and three hours from Chicago, Green Bay has considerably lower housing costs. You can rent an apartment in Green Bay for a median of $784 per month. Residents of Green Bay enjoy four distinct seasons including humid summers and cold, snowy winters. NFL fans can root for the Green Bay Packers.
Hickory, North Carolina
You can live well on a modest retirement income in Hickory. Located within an hour’s drive of Charlotte, Asheville and Winston-Salem, Hickory’s housing costs are considerably lower than in other parts of North Carolina. It costs a median of only $692 per month to rent housing in Hickory. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory is known for manufacturing unique furniture. Nearby Lake Hickory has over 100 miles of shoreline where you can hike, boat and fish.
Here are 10 affordable places to rent an apartment in retirement:
— Ocala, Florida.
— Knoxville, Tennessee.
— Scranton, Pennsylvania.
— Chattanooga, Tennessee.
— Grand Rapids, Michigan.
— Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
— Lansing, Michigan.
— Greenville, South Carolina.
— Green Bay, Wisconsin.
— Hickory, North Carolina.
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10 Affordable Places to Rent an Apartment in Retirement originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 07/07/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.