The 15 best states to retire for a low cost of living in your golden years

Low costs of living make for smooth sailing in retirement.

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Low costs of living make for smooth sailing in retirement.
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Hanneke Luijting/Getty Images

Choosing a state for retirement can be a big challenge.

Financial management firm Blacktower gathered data on property prices, population demographics, and more to put together a list of US states where retirees will get the most from their retirement savings. Blacktower also looked at the cost of living index created by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, which includes costs of housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and healthcare in relation to the median cost, calculated as 100. The lower the index number, the lower the cost of living.

Here are the 15 most affordable states for retirees, including their cost of living index along with the average home price and the percentage of senior population from the Census Bureau.


15. West Virginia

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Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
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Steve Heap/Shutterstock

West Virginia has the lowest average property prices in the US according to this data, with the average home priced at $146,596.

Cost of living index: 92.1

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 25.5%

Average property price: $146,596


14. Iowa

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An Iowa neighborhood.
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Max Maximov MM/Shutterstock

Iowa’s low costs of living aren’t the only thing that appeal to seniors. Low home prices and a quarter of the population over age 60 also make this state ideal.

Cost of living index: 92.1

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 25.5%

Average property price: $173,561


13. Kentucky

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Kentucky.
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Alexey Stiop/Shutterstock

Kentucky has slightly lower average property prices than Iowa, and other costs are slightly lower in the Bluegrass state as well.

Cost of living index: 91.7

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 21.4%

Average property price: $168,902


12. Texas

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Dallas, Texas.
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kan_khampanya/Shutterstock

Popular with retirees, Texas is also affordable. However, average property prices are higher here than many other places on this list.

Cost of living index: 91.5

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 16.8%

Average property price: $211,441


11. New Mexico

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New Mexico.
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shutterstock/James Orndorf

New Mexico is ideal for retirees thanks to its relatively warm climate and affordable costs of living.

Cost of living index: 91.4

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 22.1%

Average property price: $213,491


10. Georgia

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A home in Savannah, Georgia.
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Shutterstock

Georgia’s relatively low cost of living and overall affordability makes it a pretty good place to retire, though the average home is more expensive than many of the other states on this list.

Cost of living index: 91.4

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 22.1%

Average property price: $213,491


9. Indiana

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Jeffersonville, Indiana.
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Thomas Kelley/Shutterstock

Indiana can help your retirement dollars go further. With low average prices, buying a home is within reach in this state.

Cost of living index: 90.5

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $167,504


8. Kansas

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Kansas State Capitol.
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Jeff Zehnder/Shutterstock

With affordable living and homes, Kansas has lots of opportunities to make your retirement money last.

Cost of living index: 89.6

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $177,194


7. Michigan

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Harbor Springs, Michigan.
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Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

Michigan is fairly affordable for anyone retiring soon. With a cost of living index below 90, fairly affordable home prices, and no shortage of summer activities, this state is ideal for retirement.

Cost of living index: 89.5

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 20.7%

Average property price: $178,219


6. Alabama

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Orange Beach, Alabama.
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Jim McKinley/Getty Images

Alabama’s affordable living costs and relatively cheap homes make it a more budget-friendly alternative to more-expensive Florida.

Cost of living index: 89.2

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $175,256


5. Tennessee

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Sevierville, Tennessee.
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JMcQ/Shutterstock

Tennessee’s affordability and natural beauty makes this state perfect for retirees who want mountains nearby, without the higher costs of living in western states like Colorado or Washington.

Cost of living index: 88.9

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 21.5%

Average property price: $203,449


4. Missouri

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Kansas City, Missouri.
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Eric Bowers Photo/Getty Images

Missouri offers fairly affordable living, and a variety of environments from rural to urban.

Cost of living index: 88.3

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $187,682


3. Arkansas

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Little Rock, Arkansas.
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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Arkansas’s costs of living are pretty low, and an index well below 90 helps this state take one of the top three spots.

Cost of living index: 87.7

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 22%

Average property price: $157,514


2. Oklahoma

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A home in Oklahoma.
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Shutterstock

Oklahoma is the second-most affordable state for retirement according to this data, from home prices to overall costs of living.

Cost of living index: 87.2

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 20.5%

Average property price: $165,943


1. Mississippi

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A boardwalk in Mississippi.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mississippi takes the top spot for affordability, with the average home price under $150,000 and low costs of living all around. Retirees will see their money go much further here than it would in other states.

Cost of living index: 86.7

Percent of population aged 60 and older: 20.6%

Average property price: $147,408