The Best Places for Seniors to Retire

where to retire

Retirement can be an exciting time! No longer are you tied to your workplace, which means you don’t have to punch a clock or show up to the office. You are free to move about anywhere you fancy. You certainly don’t have to choose to retire where you’ve always lived (though there’s nothing wrong with that if you do). It’s exciting to consider that you can choose to live anywhere in the United States or even venture overseas for your golden years.

There are many factors that make a place a good location to retire to, but one of the most helpful is the cost of living. The more affordable a place is, the further your retirement funds can stretch, and the more likely you are to remain comfortable. Stretching a dollar matters a great deal these days: according to, women have an average of $57,000 saved for retirement, while men fare a bit better at an average of $118,000. But for a truly comfortable retirement, a good rule of thumb is savings of just over $1 million. Given that, it’s no wonder that over 55% of workers intend to continue working even after their official retirement from their current job[1].

In 2019, about 19% of Americans aged 65 or older chose to go overseas or move to another state for their retirement[2]. Many of them choose to move for personal reasons, such as to be closer to friends or family, but others might choose to move based on their personal financial situation. If that’s the case, there are a variety of ways to determine which states might be the best to move to.

Keep in mind other factors that come into play as well, such as the states with the best healthcare systems, those with excellent public transportation if you have trouble getting around, or those that offer breaks on taxes – for instance, a state where no income tax is levied can be a key factor for those who want to keep their full pension or 401K in their retirement years. You might even want to take into account which states have the best climate that suits you and plan your move accordingly[3]! And in case you were wondering, no matter where you go in the United States, an Alert1 Medical Alert will keep you covered in any emergency at any time.

Here are some of the best places to retire to –  and why they made the list.

(Note: The tax information for each state is accurate as of Summer 2022 and can be found on

Mississippi – The Magnolia State

This is one of the best states in terms of cost of living, which makes it quite attractive to those who are on a fixed income. But it also has a delightful climate, mostly warm and sunny, with rather mild winters. There are all sorts of things to keep your attention, from wandering the shores of the Mighty Mississippi to cheering on the team at Ole Miss to wandering the more urban areas in Jackson or Biloxi. It has an exceptionally good tax structure for retirees, including no tax on income from pensions, IRAs, and the like. Mississippi also has no estate or inheritance taxes, so if you want to leave a financial legacy behind for your loved ones, you can do so in this state.

Tennessee – The Volunteer State

Tennessee is a tourist state through and through, with everything from wide lakes for boating to mountains for climbing. The tourist attractions range from a wealth of entertainment and history of country music in the capital city of Nashville to Dollywood and other fun in towns just outside of Knoxville. There is no income or property tax collected in the state, and the cost of living is quite attractive. Home prices, especially in the rural areas, tend to be quite affordable at about 21% less than the average price of homes across the United States[4].

Florida – The Sunshine State

Florida is home to numerous major cities, including Orlando (the home of Disney World), Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gainesville (home of the Florida Gators) and of course, Miami to the South and Jacksonville to the North. But there are also plenty of small towns and recreational areas, such as the Everglades. Some of the more affordable places to live include Fort Lauderdale, where you can enjoy the beaches while you save money during retirement. There is no state income tax in Florida, and there are significant breaks on property taxes for those 65 and older[5].

Alabama – The Cotton State

Also known as the Yellowhammer State, Alabama is home to the Gulf of Mexico, where beaches and fun in the sun abounds. You’ll have more money on hand to enjoy those long summer days, as income from pensions is not taxed, nor is Social Security. The property taxes are pretty low and so are the costs of living, including the cost of purchasing a home; in fact, expect the average cost of a home in Alabama to be about 42% below the average cost of homes in the United States[6].

Arkansas – The Natural State

Living up to its name of The Natural State, Arkansas is ideal for those who want to get out into nature on a regular basis. The mountains offer scenic views and the hot springs dotted across the state provide an opportunity for true relaxation. Want something more urban? Visit the storied Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art or go learn about the origins of Walmart at the museum near their corporate headquarters in Bentonville. You can thrive financially as there are no taxes on Social Security here, as well as a nice deduction on income tax from pensions and IRAs. As long as you’re a homeowner, you can claim the Homestead Exemption, which can earn you a small credit on your taxes.

Georgia – The Peach State

This state has it all: Mountains, beaches, enormous cities and picturesque small towns. Atlanta is a powerhouse city with everything you can imagine, from tiny cafes to one of the busiest airports in the world – and it’s also the home to many sports teams, including the Braves, Falcons, and Hawks. But you can also slow things down in places like Macon, Savanna, and Brunswick. The cost of living is very good, falling into the lower quarter of the country, with exceptionally nice tax breaks for the elderly on their retirement income. Property and sales taxes are low, and there are no estate and inheritance taxes. There’s a nice homestead exemption here too.

South Carolina – The Palmetto State

Like neighboring Georgia, South Carolina has everything from mountains to beaches. It’s one of the friendliest states when it comes to taxes, with a wide variety of credits and exemptions concerning retirement income. Social Security is not taxed here, and there are no estate or inheritance taxes. Property taxes and homestead exemptions are also advantageous. Charleston is always an excellent place to visit, but retiring to the area can be even more delightful – home prices across the state are 23% lower than the average across the rest of the country[7].

New Mexico – The Land of Enchantment

Looking for some warm weather with low humidity? You’ve got it in New Mexico. The cost of living is quite reasonable, as are the housing costs. That gives you more money to enjoy the recreation in this gorgeous state, where you can find some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. There are strong deductions for taxes on retirement income for those over the age of 65. And the housing and utilities are affordable – in fact, Go Banking Rates puts New Mexico on the short list of places where retirement costs less than $45,000 per year.

West Virginia – The Mountain State

Want to live in the mountains during your golden years, watching the sun set or rise over those gorgeous peaks? Much of West Virginia is forested area, which makes it ideal for those who want to get outside and enjoy nature. It’s also one of those places where you can retire on less than $45,000 per year[8]. Though this state does tax Social Security income, there are excellent deductions available for other retirement funding options, as long as they are supplemental income and not substantial. The homestead exemption is particularly advantageous: if you are 65 and older and have owned and lived in your home for at least two years, you can get an exemption of up to $20,000 applied to property assessments.

Indiana – The Hoosier State

Count this state among the handful where you can retire on $45,000 per year or less[9]. Add in the excellent homestead exemption and no taxes on Social Security, and you’re looking at a nice tax situation. From the beaches of Lake Michigan to the excitement of the Indianapolis 500, there are activities that can run the gamut from relaxing to invigorating. Though Indiana has the big cities – like Indianapolis, Evansville, and Fort Wayne – the state is dotted with delightful little towns ideal for retirement.

No matter where seniors choose to move to in the United States, you can take medical alert technology with you. Alert1 safety devices work in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as some areas of Canada and Puerto Rico.

The Best Places to Retire Around the World

Thinking about getting out of town? Heading to another country to retire is certainly not out of the question. Here are some of your best options.

·         Portugal. Considered one of the safest countries in the world, the warm climate and beautiful beaches can make anyone want to spend their golden years here. The cost of living, excluding rent, is 29% lower than the average cost of living in the United States, and the cost of housing is significantly cheaper[10].

·         Costa Rica. With three strong immigration programs available for seniors, this tropical paradise is easy to retire to, though you will need to do some work with a financial advisor beforehand to make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Once you do, get ready to enjoy jungles, beaches, whitewater rafting, fishing, and so much more. As a bonus, Costa Rica has some of the best medical care in Latin America[11].

·         Panama. Right next door to Costa Rica is another warm paradise, where you can obtain one of two Visas to allow for retirement. In fact, one of the Visas even scores you major discounts on flights, restaurant meals and public transportation. You can find a wealth of activities to enjoy in your later years, including everything from active sports to relaxation pursuits[12].

·         Malaysia. For an incredibly low cost of living, look no further – Malaysia offers beaches, jungles, urban destinations, and a wide variety of activities to engage in, as well as some of the lowest housing costs around. English is the “unofficial first language” here, which makes life much easier for those who don’t speak other languages[13].

·         Slovenia. If you want the thrill of the Alps but can’t afford what it might cost to live in Switzerland, Slovenia is an excellent alternative. The mountains are stunning, of course, but so is the nice cost of living, as well as the proximity to other countries you might enjoy. After five years of temporary Visas, you can apply for permanent residency[14].

Wherever you choose to retire within the United States, you can take an Alert1 emergency response solution wherever you go. Our service reaches across all 50 states! Our extremely affordable rates (and AARP discounts) provide you with strong peace of mind without breaking the bank. It will help ensure the best in fall detection and safety.

In addition to the list we compiled here, check out Sperling’s Best Places, a website that allows you to filter through states to find those with the most affordable cost of living.

Alert1 wishes you a happy, safe retirement!