Best places to retire for under $40K

A modest income needn't mean deprivation. These cities offer top-notch medical care, plenty of things to do and a low cost of living.

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Feb 20, 2013 9:17PM
yeh and San Antonio is like 8th for highest burglary rate. those are some other good choices though.
Feb 20, 2013 7:29PM

No one I know has a $250k nest egg just sitting around for retirement use. That is a reality for the wealthy only, not middle class people, especially not the poor.  Most folks lost any nest egg when the equity in their homes was lost.


Gone are the jobs like my parents had where a good pension was just a normal benefit, just like health insurance. My wife and I both have decent jobs, we make ends meet, but neither of us has a pension plan. Sure, my wife's employer offers a 401k, but for us to ever think of contributing the max amount to that plan to benefit us when we retire is absurd, since we need any extra money for normal living expenses like food, gas, etc.  And no, we have no kids or pets to support.  When she was making a little more money a few years ago, she did put some money into her 401k, but recently just found out it only has about $5k in it.  What will that get us in 35 years???


Plus, the way things are going, who knows if social sec benefits will even exist when we retire in 35 years.  Prob. not.  Then, what will all of us do who thought we could rely on that?  It is going to be disastrous.  I for one, don't really want to move out of the USA, but we may not have a choice but to move to Central America, Mexico, someplace where our meager savings acct will get us the most bang for our buck.  Its a real shame that working for over 50 years and paying into SS gets you no "security" at all.  Sad really!


Feb 20, 2013 6:47PM
If you can avoid a mortgage in retirement 40k is more than modest.  My mother just retired this year with a much lower retirement income by downsizing to a small single story home in the suburbs of Las Vegas (she is in a 55+ community, it is far from ghetto).  Her housing costs are under 500/mo for taxes, insurance, hoa, and utilities- less in the winter when you don't need so much AC.  Nevada has no state income tax, and there is lots to do with Red Rock national park, Lake Mead, minor league sports teams, Vegas shows (locals get discounts), etc.  As long as you don't like to gamble it's very affordable!
Feb 20, 2013 6:33PM

If you got 40,000 dollars a month coming every month you certainly don't need anybody to tell you where to retire.

You could go anywhere you want in my book. The trick for most people in this country is to find a way to retire on 1,200

a month. Now that's a little tricky. I'd say find a partner to split cost of living. The other part is find a state where they don't tax you on your SS or anything else that you earn. The last part is finding a cheap place to either pay rent or if you saved your money up to this point in life buy a condo. Sometimes the rent and mortgage will be very close so if you can swing it by buying it do so. It will pay later on when you sell it for a profit.

I also got a solution for over priced gas in this country. Make it a law that all gas stations have to close on a certain day of the week. Just by doing that gas prices will drop to the 1980's prices. Opec will have a fit. There would be millions of gallons losses for them. I would love that. How's about working only 4 days a week too??!!.

I think we can solve any problem in this country if we really wanted to.


Feb 20, 2013 6:04PM
Wow, after reading some of these comments, I feel truly BLESSED. I retired from private industry right here in California two years ago at 58. Saturday I was skiing down the slopes in beautiful Lake Tahoe, Sunday dining on the terrace overlooking the Pacific in Monterey and Monday cycling through the vineyards in the Wine Country. Today I'm hiking through the majestic oak forests in the rolling green hills of Sunol. Saturday, it's off to Big Basin with my son for a walk through the Redwoods. Life's tough!
Feb 20, 2013 5:49PM
The only places one can afford to retire are places that nobody would want to live, let's face facts.  In the Northwest, a crackerbox house costs $250K, and I mean a box with two tiny bedrooms and no yard.  The property taxes are very high in Washington because they have no State income tax, but in OR they have no sales tax, but they make up for it by having a really high state income Tax.  California is giving everything away to the illegals.  Our State is going broke trying to pay the hospitals.  Even if you could afford a house, you can't afford the taxes.
Feb 20, 2013 4:41PM
I don't believe anything MSN says about anything.
Feb 20, 2013 3:26PM

Any younger people reading this should take note. The younger you start to save for retirement the easier it will be for you later in life. Start putting away in an target retirement account at 20. It doesn't have to be much. Have the bank or credit union you are at take it out automatically every month. $250 a month will turn into nearly 500K+ in 45 years if you earn 5%.



-Buy a cheap starter home and rent one of the extra rooms out for extra cash.

-Always buy used cars.

-Invest $250+ in a target retirement account

-Enjoy life with whatever you have left


Do it now.

Feb 20, 2013 3:07PM
It is amazing how many people blame George Bush for loss of their 401K.   A lot of people never had the extra money for a 401k to begin with.   The faulty economy is not any one person's fault, or any one political group's fault.   If anything, it is probably shared by all of us for spending more than we had or could really afford, buying foreign products instead of our own, giving our spoiled kids a thousand times more than we ever had, and teaching them to go out and buy anything they want whether they can afford it or not.   Never mind real values, such as strength of moral character, religion, respect for elderly people, respect for fellow human beings.  And how about birth control?  Have an illegitimate baby?   Sure, people can make a mistake.  But the same girl having one after another, until she has three by age nineteen with no means of support other guessed it!     
Feb 20, 2013 2:42PM
I see many of you share my thoughts exactly.  If I had forty thousand per year to retire on I would be quite happy.   Funny what some call a  "modest" retirement.   Most of us may have done well if we even earned forty thousand dollars per year in any of the last few years of our whole working life.  That social security contribution we made when we were making $1.30 per hour minimal wage is not worth a lot now, especially with the government stealing it anyway.  Hats off to the reader who wrote "how about an article about retiring on $1200 per month?".   
Feb 20, 2013 2:36PM
Yet another poorly researched article from MSN. Why do I allow myself to get suckered into reading this crap. Some of these same cities was written as places NOT to live just a few weeks ago. Do people really get paid to write this garbage?
Feb 20, 2013 2:35PM
Apparently the authors of this article never have actually visited many of the places that they listed.  Had they ever visited, they would know that some of their picks are portals to hell with crime rates out the top and ambient summer temperautres 2° cooler than hell.  I leave it up to you to decide which selections I referring.  But I'll tell you this.  I've lived in one of the places listed, my sister lives nearby another.  And I wouldn't want to live in either one again!  There is a band along the Piedmont that bakes in the summer with absolutely no breeze or benefit from proximity to the ocean or the Gulf.  These list things that are pure BS put together by looking at statistics on a piece of paper.  I know this for a fact because one year, Manchester, NH was selected as the best small city in America.  I lived there at the time. Trust me.  It wasn't!   
Feb 20, 2013 2:16PM
"A retirement income of $40,000 per year certainly won't go very far in Honolulu or Miami..."  This is ridiculous!  Many retirees in both places are living comfortably, going on cruises or traveling overseas every couple years, spending on grandkids, etc. on less than $40K.  Note that if you've recently paid off your mortgage before you retire, most of your Soc.Sec. is not taxed, and you're not piling away money for retirement toward the end of your working career. $40K in retirement goes as far as $60K-$70K while working - and that's about or above the average working household income in those areas!
Who do they hire to write these articles?  The children of the very wealthy?  This is as far from the real world as the ABC article on "copycat fashions for skinny wallets" that cost $395 to $795 each!
Feb 20, 2013 2:08PM

Yes Detroit...if your a thug you don't even need 12K

You can get by on someone's else's 12K

Feb 20, 2013 1:33PM
How about Detroit?
A 12k location....

Feb 20, 2013 12:55PM

The plan is..or..should be...have your home paid off @ retirement.

Than living on $40K should be a breeze.


Unfortunately many Americans can't seem to do that these days.

Half of them have ruined their credit & can't afford a pot to piss in.

Feb 20, 2013 12:43PM
I do not believe a person could retire in Iowa on 40K a year.  State taxes are high,  cost of license  plates are ridicules, real estate taxes are something else.  If you are on welfare you live very well.
Feb 20, 2013 10:53AM

Why does one state have to be different than anther. Ans: Shows who is running their state correctly an who are not. 1st. start with all their give away programs Q.: Could one live in the US all theirwhole  life without working just on the free thing. Medical conditions   exclude, but not all. Land of the Free home of Brave. We have more laws and regulations than New Your city has listing in the yellow pages.Department of  Take Away and Waste, if not enough take some more, study why peoplewalk and not rune everywear. Hey make it a health issue adults,kids, dog and cats. Really can' put laws on fish. Spend till its gone, spend some more. Retirement will be availabe to you at 75 years but you won't make it.More money to waste as we call it helping. Have a GOOD DAY if you can, it only cost one life time.

Feb 20, 2013 9:56AM

It is interesting to note that almost all of these cities are in the South.  It is also kind of interesting to me that somehow $40,000.00 is considered a "modest retirement income."  I would have had that if my plans had worked out but the trashed economy and a very ugly disease which took my wife pretty much wiped out my carefully laid plans.  As a result I am looking for a place where I can retire for less than $25,000.00 and it isn't found within the contiguous United States.  Sadly I must become an expatriate in order to survive long term. 


The good news is I think that I have found that place or places so now I am just waiting for my remaining aged parent to pass and I will then be free to follow my dream.  Honestly I am very disappointed in my birth country simply because of the way it has turned its back on so many of its people and spent so much time, money, effort, and lives in foreign nations.  So it is ironic that I to must consider going to a foreign nation to survive in my later years.     

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