What Are the Most Affordable Cities to Rent an Apartment in Retirement?

Renting an apartment in retirement could be the savviest financial decision you ever make. For starters, renting affords a level of flexibility that homeownership can’t quite compete with. After all, renters can pack up and move wherever and whenever they so choose. More than that, renting can be a prudent financial decision for those on a fixed budget. A predictable monthly rental fee can be a lot more palatable than the mortgage, plus property taxes and maintenance costs that are always lingering in the shadows of homeownership.

Renting is certainly not for everyone, but if you think that it may be for you, rest assured that there are several cities with first-rate rental prices waiting for you to explore. Let’s have a look at some of the best ones available to you right now.

Portland, Maine

Seafood, the ocean, the arts. If you’re hanging up the briefcase for good, you could do plenty worse than Portland, Maine. The most populous city in the state of Maine, Portland is only a two-hour drive from Boston. Not that you’ll be hard-up for things to do in this bustling metropolis.

Widely celebrated for its world-class foodie culture, Portland plays host to a bevy of food and drink festivals all year round. The city offers affordable rental opportunities too. In fact, it has a median gross rent of just $1,102 per month, with the average household spending just 18.39 percent of their household income on rent.

San Antonio, Texas

Some people prefer to live out their retirement years in warmer climates. If you’re one of those people, consider San Antonio. It’s one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. In fact, the city added 17,237 new residents between July of 2018 and July of 2019.

San Antonio is only 90 miles from neighboring Austin, but still offers affordable lodgings for retirees on a budget. The city had a median gross rent of $1,057 in 2019, which adds to an already rock-solid case for moving there. There’s also no state income tax, friendly locals, and vibrant local culture.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

If leisurely walks along the shores of a picturesque beach are your thing, then do your retirement a favor and check out Virginia Beach. It’s the longest uninterrupted pleasure beach in the world, with a vibrant arts culture and enough top-shelf restaurants to feed your hunger for exploration.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more affordable beach-side locale too. Virginia Beach’s median gross rent came in at just $1,178 in 2019 with renters spending a median of 20.39 percent of their household income on rent.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City is renowned for the glitz and glamour. However, this high-octane city has a sleepier side that makes for an ideal retirement locale for some.

For starters, there’s no state income tax, meaning retirees will not be taxed on their social security income, pension income, or withdrawals from retirement accounts.

Las Vegas also boasts a below-average cost of living and a median gross rent of just $1,187. That’s before we even touch on the world-leading entertainment and culture available to residents and tourists around the clock, any time of the year.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City offers retirees access to dining, services, culture, and natural landmarks while still maintaining its reputation as an agricultural powerhouse. OKC is the largest city in the state, offering an incredibly low cost of living when compared to other state capitals.

Retirees can explore the history of the region’s cowboys, catch an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game, explore the natural surroundings, or visit the many art galleries and museums across this culturally diverse city. OKC had a median gross rent of just $814 in 2019 with residents spending a median of roughly 17 percent of their household income on rent. Talk about budget-friendly cities.

Fort Myers, Florida

Retirees have been known to flock to the warm climates of the sunshine state. Miami, Naples, Venice Beach, and Sarasota are among the leading destinations. However, Fort Myers is slowly making its case for the state’s top retirement destination.

This rapidly growing city plays host to both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins come spring training time and offers world-class shopping, golf, and fishing. It boasts a median gross rent of $1,220, which is not bad for a seaside paradise. Expect to spend around 23 percent of your annual household income on rent, which is in line with the 2019 median.

Where to Next?

Renting in retirement offers so much potential. Spend a year here, a year there, and make your golden years exciting and variable.

Whether you’re soaking up the entertainment and excitement of Las Vegas, enjoying a sunrise stroll along the waters of Virginia Beach, soaking up the sun in Fort Myers, or dining your way through Oklahoma City, you can enjoy your retirement without having to put too much stress on your fixed income.

310