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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Oct 31, 2012 10:02PM

Next time write an article "Best places to retire for under 25 thousand dollars per year". That would be more realistic imo.

How many people in the middle classes and amoung the working poor - i.e.  the majority of the people in the USA whose paychecks have not only  been held down/  stagnant for the past 30 years but have been trashed since 2008- have or will have a nest egg of over 250 thousand dollars these days?

For many to most regular folks,  their retirement savings was tied up in their homes. With  the value of their homes being drastically lowered, while some lose their homes  to forclosure or short sale  due to inability to pay the  mortgage  because of  loss of employment/ill health and other misfortunes and in many cases due to the far reaching consequences of the Wall Street financial sector meltdown of  2008, many folks will be and are now dependent on Social Security payments as their only means of pension funding i.e. to live on for the rest of their lives ....  That is the reality of things...


Nov 1, 2012 9:42AM
How about an article on how to live and where on $1200.00 a month. Thats more realistic to retired on social security type people, where most of us will end up.
Nov 1, 2012 11:46AM
Who has 250k after the economy took a dump! many people ended up having to live on savings and retirement to survive and now have no time to make that money back. And consider the number of single people out there who are caring for family members, young and old. This is a totally unrealistic article. Many people dont even make 40K a yr. I did at one time, but now barely get over 25k with a college degree. Hardly any jobs and the ones that exist hardly pay what they once did. And somehow on that income we are suppose to accumulate 250K to retire and live on 40k a yr.  I wish I had 40k a yr to live on now.
Nov 13, 2012 7:40AM
I'm surprised that only a few weeks ago an article in this very forum warned retirees that the states where these cities are located should not be considered as places to retire. The statistics were crime rates, proverty line and such.

Is someone keeping score?  Don't these editors, edit? 

Please. . . someone take note!
Nov 1, 2012 10:19AM
Holy Cow, St. Louis???? Are you kiddding me??? It has one of the highest crime rates in the nation!
Nov 1, 2012 10:18AM
"figures don't lie but liars can figure".    your "averages" are low because so much of those towns are subjected to low cost slum areas.  the numbers look nice until one sees what they will be living in ~ or next to ~ in those towns. 
Nov 1, 2012 1:29PM
The BEST place to retire is to Another Country!!  You get more bang for your buck in South America!!
Nov 1, 2012 10:39AM
I am surprised that none of the western/northwestern cities were mentioned.  Any ideas for these areas?

The key to a good retirement is to pay off debt before retirement. AND...learn to live on less.  Who really needs  a big gas guzzling truck or a fancy expensive car?  Give me a hybrid and a paid off house any day!

Oct 31, 2012 10:17PM
You could not pay me to move to Jackson, Mississippi, to many blacks on welfare over 60% of the pop and to damn much crime has been in top ten murder cities.  Why not move near Newton or Hickory, Union where the cost to rent a house is as little as $200 a month and you can buy one for under $50,000.  Anywhere in Mississippi is great BUT NOT JACKSON.  unless your black and like living with crack heads, car-jackers,  dope dealers, corrupt cops and crocked city officials, then Jackson is the place for you.
Nov 13, 2012 9:48AM
Stop your crying people.  The only person you can blame for your net worth is yourselves.  You and you alone should plan and save for your futures.  So sick of hearing the winers; the government won't pay my bills, the president needs to make it all batter..... cry cry cry!!! The President doesn't have some magic switch that he is gonna throw and make everything better.  16 years ago when everyone was making fat cash because the economy was great you should have saved for the next slow down.  Not spent like it was never going to end.  Then those of you clowns who borrowed all the equity in your homes to buy a car, take the family on vacation, add an addition to the house... whatever you did and then couldn't make the mortgage payment because you never read the contract... shame on you!!! The banks were simply taking advantage of your stupidity.  I'm just so tired of it.  It's just amazing how all these people can't afford to pay their bills, but they have internet, 3 smart phones, cable or satalite TV and so on.  Stop crying and get a job!  It is time to reolize the only person who is responsable for your bills is YOU!!!!
Nov 1, 2012 4:07AM

Let's be real. $40k won't go far in the good old U.S. You will have to give up your standard of living,   cash, or move to some" backwoods" part of the U.S. The real choice for retires with depleted assets to to retire is in Baja Mexico. You may say " too much violence" , but that's not the reality here in Baja. I feel safer here than in a lot of places in SoCal. you just have to be aware of the areas you travel ,just like in the U.S. You can buy a nice 2br. home less than 300' from the Pacific ocean for about $70k. You can rent the same home for $600-$700/ month.  I can leave my home in Rosarito Beach and be in my seat at Petco park in about 1 hour. Gas currently costs $3.15/ gal. We have a super walmart, Home Depot, Staples , Cinaplex ( films in english). within a 15 minute drive. I sit on my balcony overlooking the ocean (50' away), sipping my wine with all the comforts I had in California . Oh yes, my property taxes are a mere $350/..............YEAR. I have Mexican medical Ins, because I have preexisting conditions and can't get it in the U.S. for $165/....year.  $30 copays. All people thinking about retiring should take a REAL hard look at Baja, i think that if yuo do your due diligance you will be pleasantly suprised at what you find.


Nov 13, 2012 7:58AM
It is disgusting the we the people had let it get to this, baby boomers are not something that just came out of no where. The thief's in congress,  and Presidents have robbed us of a retirement. Running for office should be a honor not a reason to clean out the budgets of this nation. We the people should demand pay cuts for all Government officials no pensions no secret service after office not using company assist to run your campaign from. Obama should reimburse the American tax payer for the use OF Air force one and the fuel man hours while he was campaigning . Romney did not have that assistance. If you can not balance your check book you should be fired. Not borrow from us! Now we have to make up for there losses by working longer and receiving less.
Nov 1, 2012 12:57PM
Due to the huge influx of immigrants from south of the border that the federal government refuses to do anything about, the only place regular people in the US can retire after the crisis of 2008 are the countries those immigrants came from.  It's a shame that our government has given away so many services and benefits and money elsewhere that the only way retirees can live after retirement is to move south of the border and go without decent medical care and become a member of a third world country.  How they will laugh at us.  Do you think the feds will finally wise up and close the border to ex-pats trying to come home for cancer treatments but continue to let Immigrants sneak over in the dark?
Nov 1, 2012 2:16PM
This article had no cities I would even consider living in. On $40 grand a year  I could find a better place. In fact I did for half the price.  Do the people who write these articles ever visit any of these cities? Pittsburgh, Little Rock, San Antonio, St.Louis, along with the others makes me think you folks don't think. If I had been listening to you folks I would probably be living above a whorehouse in Ecuador.
Nov 1, 2012 1:46PM

"Add to that a modest nest egg of $250,000..."--------well, I doubt most Americans now days would call $250k a "modest" nest egg, but whatever.  Makes me wonder just how much they pay Ms. Brandon here.  What would she consider a "nice" nest egg.  Just how big is the mean nest egg of retirees?


Whenever MSN does these best places to live or retire, they are usually in big/bigger cities.  I think if you want or need to move away from wherever you finish working, you'd be better off going to a smaller city.

Nov 1, 2012 3:21PM
"Under a bridge..." "In a cardboard box ..." "In a tent..." "In a dumpster ..." "In your car ..." "In an abandoned house..."
Nov 1, 2012 10:40AM
As long a syou have a paid off house, you can live anywhere in the US on that much... No idea why they found it necessary to actually pick and choose these random places.
Oct 31, 2012 11:39PM
The only two places mentioned here that I would even consider living in would be Albuquerque or San Antonio.  Probably would choose Albuquerque.  San Antonio is nice, and I was actually born there when my father was in the Air Force, but now, I don't think I could stand the high humidity.
Nov 1, 2012 8:46AM
I'm looking to retire in South Carolina.  Greenville, not Columbia, but you can get to Columbia from there.  The low cost of living is what's drawing me back to my native state.
Oct 31, 2012 11:03PM
Keep in mind that the article concerns people who are 60 or older, not the 35 to 45 year olds that comprise the professional work force of today. I bought my 1st house in 86 and upgraded in in 92 in Southern California. I bought during a down time in the market and even though I lost a lot of value on paper, I can still carry a fair amount of equity with me, along with my moderate pension and my wife's and my SSI benefit (whatever that may be) into the my retirement plans.

I can buy a moderate house, have a bit of money left over for cash liquidity, use our other combined income and fit right within the scope of this article. I don't think I'm much better off than the rest of the U.S. middle class that hasn't extended itself into fiscal oblivion.

I have inlaws that live in the Hot Springs/ Lake Hamilton area of Arkansas and it happens to be a very nice state and city to live in. I may wind up there. It is a very middle class state with a few people bordering on the poverty level, but all levels of income seem to enjoy life and each others company. Income isn't the social stigma there that it is in Southern California. One thing for sure, I'm not going to stay in the Golden state after 65. The color seems to be abit more of a bronze these days than gold.

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