Cheapest States or Overseas Retirement?

Cheapest states are being looked into by a huge number of retirees due to the current unstable economic climate, many seniors are opting for cheaper retirement options than the luxurious custom-built retirement communities that were once so popular.

To make their savings go further, retirees should consider the cheap states in the US in order to lower their living costs. When determining the affordable states to live in, it is not only house prices and rental rates that are compared.

Other important factors are taxes, utility bills and living expenses such as groceries and gas, which can vary in price from state to state more than you might think.


Low Cost States on Real Estate Purchase or Renting

In general, the inexpensive states to live in, whether you are a college student, a young family or a retired couple, are the Midwest and Southern states, such as Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Oklahoma offers many inexpensive cities that also offer a great quality of life. Either Oklahoma City or Tulsa could be considered as one of the cheapest city in Oklahoma; they both have high pay rates and low costs of living.

If you are renting in Oklahoma City, expect to pay under $500 per month for a 900 square foot home. You could rent a new 600 square foot apartment in Tulsa for the same amount, which may include your utilities.

If you are looking to buy a home, a 220 square foot home in Oklahoma will cost around $130,000.

Compare this to average sale prices on comparable properties in Dallas ($180,000); Atlanta ($240,000) and Portland ($250,000) and you can see what a bargain you can snap up.

Apart from the cheap housing, Oklahoma offers retirees international airports making going on vacation and visiting family easy, plenty of social activities and the security of living in some of the safest places in the US.


Another cheap retirement option is Fort Smith, Arkansas; the average house price is $87,000.

Other perks for potential retirees are lower cost of goods, a pleasant, welcoming community, excellent medical services and senior support programs.


Texas states that appeal to retirees are Brownsville, Harlingin and Forth Worth. In the Benbrook suburb of Fort Worth, the average house price is around $145,000; a fantastic price for an area that boasts of endless recreational opportunities, beautiful scenery and no income tax.

For the more adventurous retiree, moving abroad is an exciting option and one that may save even more money. Three of the most popular retirement destinations are Mexico, Thailand and Costa Rica, and for good reason.


Cheap Lifestyle

Mexico is a cheap state and a perfect choice as it is still close to the US but offers a very cheap lifestyle compared to the US and Canada. An annual retirement income of $29,000 (the average of a typical American retiree) will go a very long way in Mexico, with housing costs close to $500 per month, groceries around $300 per month and utility bills around $200 per month.

If you want to go further afield, Thailand offers the best of all the Asian countries. Comfortable retirement living there will cost around $17,000 per year, and this could be far lower depending on which part of Thailand you retire to. Food, housing and recreational activities are all far cheaper than in the US.



For a tropical paradise go for Costa Rica and enjoy the benefits of saving a huge amount of money.

Utilities are very cheap and good quality housing can be found whether to buy or to rent.

Even if you want to build your own home, you can expect to buy the land and pay for the construction for less than $30,000.

You would then own your own home outright and not have to worry about monthly rent or mortgage payments, something you are unlikely to be able to do in any part of the US — even the cheapest states.


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