15 Best Places to Retire on $3,000 a Month

by | Last Updated: March 24, 2020

Where can you retire on $3000 a month?

After spending the majority of your life living to work, you’re ready to ride off into the sunset.

But there’s just one problem…

Unless you find a cheap place to live, you’ll burn through your retirement savings faster than a Chinese businessman in Vegas.

Don’t feel bad though. At least 64% of your fellow Americans are just as concerned about outliving their savings and social security benefits.

The good news is that you are being proactive about minimizing your expenses and stretching your dollar in your golden years. So kudos to you for taking action.

In this post, you’ll find a list of places where you can potentially retire on less than $40,000 a year.

For each city, there will be important criteria and a brief summary that should be helpful to you. Just don’t expect to see major cities on this list, those places will bankrupt you fast.

Additionally, the figures are derived from a formula that uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Numbeo, and Sperling’s Best Places. This data included health care, transportation, housing, and other basic living costs (food, clothing, etc), for two adults.

Okay now that that’s out of the way, let’s check out the…

Best Places to Live on Under 40K a Year

There are two things you need to know about this list: (1) It isn’t ranked in any specific way, and (2) this list may change over time due to economic factors. We’ll do our best to keep it updated.

1. Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville Tennessee Retire On 3000 A Month

There was a time when the thought of retiring in Knoxville seemed like a pipe dream. Housing costs were through the roof. But things are a-changin’ these days.

The housing market is becoming more affordable as prices have begun to creep downwards. Add in the scenery, art, culture, food, and hospitality, and it’s easy to see why this vibrant city is considered a hidden gem.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 204

– Median Home Price: $156,700

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,487

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,240

2. Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith Arkansas Retire On 3000 A Month

If architecture, art, and history appeal to you, then Fort Smith could be your new retirement home. Cost of living is low in this cozy city that’s home to just shy of a hundred thousand residents. There are numerous outdoor activities to keep you lively.

And if you want to escape the tranquil, slow-paced atmosphere, you can skip over to Fayetteville for some weekend entertainment. Just a 45 minute drive and you’ll get access to bars, live music, and more.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 218

– Median Home Price: $107,400

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,477

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,199

3. Alton, Illinois

Alton Illinois Retire On 3000 A Month

Just 25 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri is the place that gave the world Miles Davis. Flanked by the mighty Mississippi River, this historic town has lot to keep you active. If you’re into hiking, fishing, or boating, you’ll quickly fall in love with Alton.

It’s got that small town feel as well. But don’t let that fool you. The town is quickly reinventing itself by focusing on tourism. And with over 3,230 hectares of Pere Marquette State Park to explore, what’s not to like?

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 202

– Median Home Price: $58,700

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,592

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,684

4. Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Alabama Retire On 3000 A Month

If you’re looking for place to retire that isn’t dull and lifeless, this might be the city for you. What was once a city powered by manufacturing, Birmingham is now a vibrant place.

It is home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which means there are lots of entertainment activities to fuel your youthful soul. Museums, art galleries, orchestra, and ballet are just a few of the many experiences the cultural capital of Alabama has to offer you.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 210

– Median Home Price: $64,100

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,480

– Annual Health Expenses: $4,966

5. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Tennessee Retire On 3000 A Month

With an amazing history in music, art, and cuisine, Memphis is a retiree’s dream. The city has been transformed into a cultural mecca of great restaurants, parks, and obviously entertainment.

Retiring here also has some other financial benefits too. You don’t have to worry about your income being taxed since there’s no state income tax. That means you can enjoy more of your money. And with affordable housing, those extra savings just might help you snag a place with views of the great Mississippi River.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 218

– Median Home Price: $83,200

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,487

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,240

6. San Marcos, Texas

San Marcos Texas Retire On 3000 A Month

Having an old-town atmosphere and a local economy of independent small businesses, makes San Marcos a quaint little town. Despite being one of Texas’ oldest towns, this place offers the right blend of culture and entertainment for lively retirees.

Being home to Texas State University means you can enjoy an abundance of restaurants and night life. You also don’t have to worry about crime, which is so low, it’s criminal. And with a river running through it, there’s a reason San Marcos was listed as one of “10 Most Exciting Small Cities In America”.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 232

– Median Home Price: $202,200

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,490

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,772

7. Duluth, Georgia

Duluth Georgia Retire On 3000 A Month

Duluth is the place where people get to embrace the spirit of good living. Thanks to a revamped downtown area and high-tech investments, it’s been dubbed a “Top 10 City for Best American Values” by popular magazines. You’ll also enjoy year-round entertainment and cuisine among a diverse population.

Yes, people complain about the traffic in all of Atlanta Metro. But those folks are working professionals who are governed by a clock. You, on the other hand, will be retired and free.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 218

– Median Home Price: $237,100

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,491

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,369

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8. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville Kentucky Retire On 3000 A Month

In Louisville you’ll find homes that are quite different than what you’re accustomed to. The older homes have a personality of their own and newer ones follow suit, bucking the cookie-cutter trend of most residential development projects. The city also boasts an impressive heritage, authenticity, and friendliness.

If you’re looking to ditch the bustling crowds for a laid back vibe, you may want to consider buying your retirement home in Louisville. Oh, and they may know a thing or two about Bourbon.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 195

– Median Home Price: $161,400

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,476

– Annual Health Expenses: $4,855

9. Augusta, Georgia

Augusta Georgia Retire On 3000 A Month

Unless you’re from the Stone Age you probably know that Augusta hosts the biggest spring sporting event every April. It’s the Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters. Every year, the event attracts golf enthusiasts from around the world like bees to honey.

But it isn’t the only reason retirees are packing up their clubs and flocking to Augusta. The restaurants, culture, outdoor activities, and entertainment are what make this a prime retirement destination all year long.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 218

– Median Home Price: $110,367

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,484

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,363

10. Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson Mississippi Retire On 3000 A Month

There’s something to be said about Southern hospitality. The people are passionate, the food gives you the feels, and the culture is vibrant. Maybe that’s why they call it the “City with Soul.”

If you’re an art aficionado you’ll love this place. It is home to world-renowned artists, sculptors, photographers, actors, musicians, and more. Then there’s the music like blues, jazz, and rock n’ roll. All of which helps to breathe new life into your body after years of soul-sucking employment.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 215

– Median Home Price: $137,900

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,473

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,501

11. Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo Colorado Retire On 3000 A Month

Pueblo has the most sunny days of all the cities on this list, making it the perfect retirement spot for sunbirds. Sure it’s not Florida, but not everyone want to fight hurricanes in their old age. The city has a multicultural community, strong history and wonderful core beliefs.

Residents here believe in selflessness, accountability and teamwork. If you’re looking to buy a retirement home, the cost of living in Pueblo is extremely affordable. It’s one of the main reasons why people want to move here.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 258

– Median Home Price: $149,800

– Annual Food Expenses: $6,533

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,638

12. McMinnville, Oregon

McMinnville Oregon Retire On 3000 A Month

McMinnville is small enough to give you a sense of community, but large enough not to give you that small town vibe. It’s also a hiker’s paradise. You’ll be floored by the vast farmland, delightful coastline, lush forestry, and more. The city also gets high scores on the walkability scale.

Much of the economy is bolstered by the college, small businesses, and wineries. Despite its size compared to similar cities in the Pacific Northwest, McMinnville has a great nightlife to go along with all those invigorating outdoor activities.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 154

– Median Home Price: $299,900

– Annual Food Expenses: $6,537

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,055

13. Danville, Illinois

Danville Illinois Retire On 3000 A Month

Due to it’s size, Danville is considered to be a quiet little city. Working professionals may see that as a problem. However, if you’re moving here for extreme peace and quiet, you’ll enjoy it. It’s also another city that is very affordable.

And if you do get the itch to deal with bustling city life, then you can hop over to Chicago, Peoria, Indianapolis, or St. Louis. All four are a reasonable distance away from Danville. Just so you know, winters here tend to suck. So if you’re allergic to the cold, skip this city.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 187

– Median Home Price: $48,400

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,592

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,690

14. Brownsville, Texas

Brownsville Texas Retire On 3000 A Month

As the largest city in the Rio Grand Valley, Brownsville is one of the last frontiers for retirees looking to escape the cold. The city is totally laid back. It’s also a very culturally diverse town due to it’s proximity to Mexico.

In fact, just a stone’s throw away is a town in Mexico where you’ll find lots of shopping, native cuisine, and local entertainment. In Brownsville you can enjoy beautiful golf courses, and great hunting and fishing. And if you’re craving sun and sand, nearby Padre Island has some amazing beaches.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 227

– Median Home Price: $85,000

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,474

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,772

15. Springfield, Missouri

Springfield Missouri Retire On 3000 A Month

Springfield is widely considered to be one of the best places to retire and is in the top 100 for best places to live. It’s the third largest city in Missouri and the Queen City of the Ozarks – referring to the Ozark Mountains.

There’s no shortage of delicious cuisine, breath-taking scenery, and lively entertainment. Retirees can also enjoy tax-friendly benefits when it comes to real estate taxes and rent. And despite all the big city amenities, Springfield is still small and friendly enough to make you feel right at home.

CITY DATA:

– Days of Sunshine: 210

– Median Home Price: $126,700

– Annual Food Expenses: $5,596

– Annual Health Expenses: $5,859

Can You Retire on $40,000 a Year?

Well, this list shows that it’s possible to do so.

At the end of the day everyone’s situation is different. You’re going to have to evaluate your own personal finances and lifestyle to determine where you want to retire.

While this is list is just a guide, hopefully you are much better prepared for retirement that you can at least enjoy a good quality of life in your golden years.

And remember, you aren’t restricted to living in America. There are many other countries where you can retire and live like a millionaire. It’s just a matter of finding the right destination and deciding to go there.

Anyway, since you found this article helpful, why not share it online to help other folks like yourself?

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About Alex S.

When he’s not watching Barca games, Alex is busy sharpening his coding skills. A self-taught indie hacker who enjoys finding ways of automating pretty much anything in his life. He’s not fascinated by finance, but he loves the thrill of making money.