17 Cheaper Alternatives to Florida for Retirement

Written By Jill Taylor

Florida is a fantastic state for retirement, but living there can be expensive. After saving for retirement all your life, there are better things to spend your money on than the cost of living, so here are the 17 best retirement cities that are similar to Florida but way cheaper.

Athens, Georgia

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If you’re looking to stretch your retirement dollars, Athens is a great option. With a warm climate, you can enjoy weather conditions similar to Florida’s but for a far better price! The city also has a vibrant cultural scene with great art events, music festivals, and plenty of historical sites.

Biloxi, Mississippi

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The coastal lifestyle on offer in Biloxi rivals the best of Florida’s waterfront cities. With sunny beaches, great weather, and a relaxed community, Biloxi is a tranquil place to live. Retiring in Biloxi has a bargain price tag when compared to Florida, and it’s a lot calmer, too.

Tucson, Arizona

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Tucson is a wonderful place to retire, featuring a rich history, diverse culture, and several surrounding national parks. The warm climate and scenic landscapes are really special, and it’s relatively affordable too! Don’t wait around, though; according to the University of Arizona, the city’s affordability is declining every year.

Corpus Christi, Texas

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Texas is currently one of the most popular states to relocate to, with Corpus Christi being a particularly idyllic spot for retirees. Nestled on the Gulf of Mexico, it offers a coastal scene that is arguably better than Florida, with beaches stretching for miles and abundant marine life.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

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If you consider yourself a person of culture, Chattanooga’s exciting art scene, and cultural offerings make it stand out as a retirement destination. Thanks to its mountainous backdrop and the nearby Tennessee River, it’s perfect for those in search of more scenic diversity than Florida.

Phoenix, Arizona

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For retirees in search of big-city vibes, Phoenix is an impressive option. With great affordability for a city of its size, Phoenix has versatile housing options and a low cost of living. Its breathtaking scenery, great weather, and strong sports culture also make it a popular choice.

Jackson, Mississippi

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If you’re into music, the blues history behind Jackson, Mississippi, could be enough to tempt you. However, even if you’re not, Jackson is also notably tax-friendly, enabling you to save a good chunk of your retirement pot. It also has exceptional healthcare, which is imperative when choosing a retirement location.

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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If great weather is a priority for you when choosing a retirement destination, this city in New Mexico is a top contender. With an abundance of farmers markets and cultural events, your diary will be jam-packed around Las Cruces. TopRetirements also points out Las Cruces’ huge number of retirement communities, so you’ll fit right in!

Fort Worth, Texas

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Looking for a relaxed retirement location but also want the convenience of a nearby city? Consider Fort Worth; it’s not far from Dallas. Offering the best of both worlds, Fort Worth is an exceptional destination famous for its country entertainment. You can also enjoy the warm climate and no income tax, just like Florida.

Charleston, South Carolina

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One of the most charming destinations for retirees, Charleston is a beautiful South Carolina spot. Bursting with rich history and vibrant architecture, Charleston is one for culture lovers. Full of southern hospitality, Charleston also has a great community feel that retirees fall in love with.

Springfield, Missouri

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With a cost of living 16% lower than the national average, Springfield is perfect for maximizing your retirement fund. While the state may be landlocked, you’re just a short drive from the Ozarks, so you’re never far away from recreational activities, just like Florida.

Lafayette, Louisiana

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In Lafayette, Louisiana, you’ll find the weather of Florida, with the Cajun culture, food, and hospitality of the Bayou state. Lafayette is a relaxed alternative to New Orleans, but best of all, Payscale outlines its added bonus of the cost of living being 12% lower than the national average!

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

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Boasting a status as a Certified Retirement Community, Hattiesburg is one of the best destinations in America to retire. With great healthcare options and an abundance of senior living communities, the opportunities for retirees in Hattiesburg are seriously impressive–perhaps more so than Florida, and certainly cheaper!

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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With no tax on social security benefits and no estate tax, Virginia is an excellent state for retirement. Specifically, Virginia Beach is an ideal spot, with great weather, beautiful beaches, outstanding restaurants, and exceptional healthcare. Everything about Virginia Beach is in favor of retirees, so it’s no surprise it’s competing with Florida.

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

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North Carolina is renowned as one of the more affordable states, and US News considers Cape Hatteras to be one of its most appealing and affordable attractions. It’s a popular spot for retirement, yet it somehow doesn’t feel like a retirement spot, offering a breath of fresh air in comparison to Florida.

Mesquite, Nevada

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With a desert climate, Mesquite boasts the scorching Floridian heat but with a West Coast feel. On the border of Arizona, Mesquite has a ton to offer its retirees, whether you’re interested in its lower property taxes, an abundance of casinos, golf courses, or the relatively nearby Grand Canyon! What’s not to like!?

Orange Beach, Alabama

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Finally, the destination with the best Floridian vibe is undoubtedly Orange Beach. Nestled right on state lines bordering Florida and Alabama, Orange Beach offers an incredible coastal lifestyle with picture-perfect beaches and a rich culture. Just wait until you realize how much cheaper it is in comparison to its neighboring Floridian cities!

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