35 Best Cities To Retire on $3,000 per Month

·6 min read
lucky-photographer / Getty Images
lucky-photographer / Getty Images

Are you considering joining the approximately 47 million Americans who are retired? You're not alone. That's approximately 14% of the U.S. population that has closed the door on the working world.

Making the decision to retire is momentous, but it leads to many other decisions. One of the biggest is where to live.

Read More: 5 Affordable Places To Retire Near the Beach
Find Out: 8 Purchases Retirees Almost Always Regret

GOBankingRates is here to help, giving you the best cities to retire on a monthly budget of $3,000 or less for a person 65 and older. In addition to looking at the cost of living for each city, GOBankingRates used only cities that scored well for livability and had at least 10% of the population over the age of 65.

The numbers vary widely for the cities in our top 35. A one-bedroom apartment in Lubbock, Texas, rents for $690 per month, while the same in Boise, Idaho, will cost $1,420 per month. The average of the cities on our list is $1,066 per month.

Monthly grocery costs also show a wide range. The average is $399.14, while Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, lead the way at $421.31. The lowest average on our list is Shreveport, Louisiana, at $374.77.

Take Our Poll: Do You Think You Will Be Able To Retire at Age 65?

The last price GOBankingRates measured was monthly healthcare cost, which averaged $415.36 among the top 35 cities. The numbers ranged from $351.60 in Tucson, Arizona, to $537.11 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

See the best cities to retire on $3,000 a month.

christiannafzger / Getty Images/iStockphoto
christiannafzger / Getty Images/iStockphoto

35. Boise, Idaho

Monthly expenses: $2,199.32

The largest city in Idaho kicks off this list, but it also scores highest in the AreaVibes livability ranking at 81. The monthly rent for a one-bedroom apart is high at $1,420, but the average monthly cost of groceries is on the low end of the spectrum at $386.30.

Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

34. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Monthly expenses: $2,182.45

Healthcare costs are on the higher end here, at $469.38 per month, and this coastal town's grocery bill also comes in higher, at $413.07.

MariuszBlach / Getty Images
MariuszBlach / Getty Images

33. Reno, Nevada

Monthly expenses: $2,108.21

Reno's healthcare costs are a little lower, at $396.90, while the monthly cost of groceries is the highest on the list, at $421.31.

bluejayphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
bluejayphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

32. Las Vegas, Nevada

Monthly expenses: $2,089.50

Like its fellow Nevada city Reno, Las Vegas has the highest grocery costs, at $421.31.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

31. Mesa, Arizona

Monthly expenses: $2,088.07

Mesa scores well on the livability index at 77, while the grocery costs are $400.30.

LordRunar / Getty Images/iStockphoto
LordRunar / Getty Images/iStockphoto

30. Phoenix, Arizona

Monthly expenses: $2,078.48

It costs a little less than Mesa to live in Phoenix ($1,280 for rent), but the city's livability rating barely makes the cut at 65.

virsuziglis / Getty Images/iStockphoto
virsuziglis / Getty Images/iStockphoto

29. Jacksonville, Florida

Monthly expenses: $2,057.44

The Sunshine State city has healthcare costs on the higher end, at $418.91.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

28. Forth Worth, Texas

Monthly expenses: $2,051.19

The home of the Stockyards in Texas has one of the lower percentages of residents over 65 years old, at just 11%.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

27. Houston, Texas

Monthly expenses: $2,012.64

Another city with just 11% of the population at 65, Houston does have lower healthcare costs, at $398.63 per month.

KenWiedemann / Getty Images
KenWiedemann / Getty Images

26. Raleigh, North Carolina

Monthly expenses: $2,006.38

At $414.30, the monthly cost for groceries in Raleigh is on the higher side, leading to a score of 100.6 on the grocery cost-of-living index (the average score of the cities ranked is 96.9).

Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Davel5957 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

25. Durham, North Carolina

Monthly expenses: $2,005.87

The home of Duke University sports a surprising 15% of the population over 65, which seems high for a college town.

Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

24. Aurora, Colorado

Monthly expenses: $2,005.78

Aurora's grocery prices are higher than average at $408.95.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23. Norfolk, Virginia

Monthly expenses: $2,003.02

This town on Chesapeake Bay has some of the higher monthly healthcare costs, at $470.24.

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

22. Richmond, Virginia

Monthly expenses: $1,996.82

This is the first city on the list with monthly total expenses of less than $2,000, including monthly rent of $1,170.

peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto
peeterv / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Monthly expenses: $1,965.68

Pittsburgh ties for the oldest population on the list, with 20% of the population aged 65 or older. The monthly healthcare costs are quite low, at $369.72 (average is $415.36).

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Monthly expenses: $1,956.93

Chattanooga features below-average monthly grocery prices of $399.48, But healthcare tilts a little high, at $437.46.

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com
SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

19. Knoxville, Tennessee

Monthly expenses: $1,913.17

The home of the University of Tennessee isn't cheap, but the large retiree crowd (18%) has to appreciate that the monthly grocery bill ($400.30) is below average.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

18. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Monthly expenses: $1,905.52

The population over 65 is only 13%, and the monthly grocery expenses are $405.24.

UWMadison / Getty Images/iStockphoto
UWMadison / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17. Madison, Wisconsin

Monthly expenses: $1,905.50

The monthly healthcare costs are quite low, at $372.31.

benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto
benkrut / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16. Lincoln, Nebraska

Monthly expenses: $1,878.24

The home of the Cornhuskers has the highest healthcare costs of the cities on the list, at $537.11. But average rent is just $940, which is why Lincoln sits in the middle of this list.

gregobagel / Getty Images
gregobagel / Getty Images

15. Spokane, Washington

Monthly expenses: $1,865.40

This inland Northwest city has the second-lowest monthly healthcare costs, at $358.51.

CK Foto / Shutterstock.com
CK Foto / Shutterstock.com

14. Arlington, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,862.84

Arlington's costs are close to average, but the livability index is high at 77.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13. San Antonio, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,838.93

San Antonio's monthly grocery costs are the second-lowest on the list, at $376.42.

pabradyphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
pabradyphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

12. Des Moines, Iowa

Monthly expenses: $1,820.63

Des Moines features relatively low rent ($930 per month) and monthly grocery costs ($395.36).

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

11. Greensboro, North Carolina

Monthly expenses: $1,779.02

Greensboro's healthcare costs are on the higher side, at $484.48. But rent is $900 and groceries are $394.54.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Monthly expenses: $1,725.63

Oklahoma City has the second-highest healthcare costs, at $505.62, which is 29.3% of the total cost of living for the city.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

9. Corpus Christi, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,718.34

The Texas coastal town has some of the lowest grocery costs, at $382.18.

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8. Indianapolis, Indiana

Monthly expenses: $1,709.95

Indianapolis has a good combination, with below-average costs for both groceries ($385.48) and healthcare ($374.47).

Checubus / Shutterstock.com
Checubus / Shutterstock.com

7. Columbus, Ohio

Monthly expenses: $1,680.50

The home of Ohio State University has higher grocery costs ($406.89) but below-average health-care expenses ($373.61).

dreamyguy1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
dreamyguy1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6. Cincinatti, Ohio

Monthly expenses: $1,640.38

The Queen City has the third-lowest healthcare costs, at $368.43 per month.

Not Home / Wikimedia Commons
Not Home / Wikimedia Commons

5. Laredo, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,588.77

This Texas border town has the lowest percentage of population over 65 (9%).

Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com

4. Tucson, Arizona

Monthly expenses: $1,584.91

Tucson ties for the oldest population (20% at age 65 or older) but also has the lowest healthcare costs, at $351.60.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

3. El Paso, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,562.92

El Paso, another border town, features low healthcare ($374.04) and grocery ($378.79) costs.

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

2. Lubbock, Texas

Monthly expenses: $1,520.60

Lubbock sports the lowest rental costs for a one-bedroom apartment, at $690.

Sean Pavone / iStock.com
Sean Pavone / iStock.com

1. Shreveport, Louisiana

Monthly expenses: $1,498.65

Shreveport tops our list, with monthly expenses less than half of our target of $3,000.

More From GOBankingRates

Methodology: To find the best cities to retire on a monthly budget of $3,000 or less, GOBankingRates first used Zumper's March 2022 National Rent Report to find every city in the U.S. that has (1) an average monthly rent of $1,500 or less for a one-bedroom apartment. GOBankingRates then used Sperling's Best to find the cost of living index for each listed city, looking at (2) grocery and (3) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amount for both grocery ("food at home") and healthcare costs for people aged 65 and older in order to find how much they would spend on groceries and healthcare in each city on a monthly basis. GOBankingRates then added monthly housing, grocery and healthcare costs together to find where a person 65 or older could survive on $3,000 or less. In order for a city to be qualified for the study, it had to have a livabilty score of 65 or higher, as sourced from AreaVibes, and its population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65, according to the Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey. All data was collected on and up to date as of April 15, 2022.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 35 Best Cities To Retire on $3,000 per Month