April 16, 2024

The Best Places to Retire in the U.S. With No Savings

The Best Places to Retire in the U.S. With No Savings

Retirement can be a scary proposition. Thoughts of “Do I have enough to live off of for the rest of my life?” often swirl through the heads of those looking to slow down their careers and enter their golden years. And, in a perfect world, you’d have plenty saved. But, sometimes, life simply doesn’t work out like that. However, that’s OK, because there are places you can move to in retirement with no savings at all and still live well. 


According to a GoBankingRates survey, one-third of Americans have $500 or less saved, meaning they will likely rely on Social Security benefits in retirement. But, as the website noted, that can often be enough in some destinations. 


To help people discover their options, GoBankingRates created a list of the best and worst destinations for retirement when you have no savings. To come to its conclusion, it began by analyzing the 100 largest cities in the U.S. with a large population of adults ages 65 and older. It then ranked the cities by a variety of factors, including the average 2023 home value and its property tax rate, which it determined via Zillow, annual home health aide cost in each zip code, the cost of groceries, utilities, and pulled information from AARP on if that state taxes Social Security benefits. 


After compiling all the data, the team named Foley, Alabama, the best place to retire for those with little to no savings.

According to GoBankingRates, the city, which sits just 30 minutes from the Gulf Coast beaches, is an ideal spot as more than 30 percent of the population is 65 or older, while the annual cost of a home health aide is relatively low at $46,218, as is the yearly cost of groceries at $4,326.11. Most importantly, the state of Alabama does not tax Social Security benefits. The annual cost of utilities is also relatively low at $3,858.26.


Joining Foley on the top 10 list is Mountain Home, Arkansas, in the second-place spot, followed by Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, in third, The Villages, Florida, in fourth, and Bella Vista, Arkansas, at No. 5. Rounding out the top 10 is Pinehurst, North Carolina; Green Valley, Arizona; North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Fredericksburg, Texas; and Punta Gorda, Florida.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, GoBankingRates named Malibu, California, the worst place to retire simply because it’s a rather expensive place to live. The website noted that the average 2023 home value was more than $3.8 million, while the average annual home health aide costs in Malibu can run at $73,216. The annual cost of groceries is also significantly higher than in Alabama at $5,315.45. However, there is one piece of good news: California does not tax Social Security benefits, so at least there’s that.


See more of GoBankingRates data, and where else you can consider retiring on less, at gobankingrates.com