The pier over the beach in Fort Myers, Florida

Here are the 20 most affordable places to retire in 2022.

When choosing a place to retire, active adult homebuyers take many factors into consideration. How warm is the weather? Is there easy access to health care? What entertainment options are nearby? How high are the taxes? All of these questions are very important, and it can be difficult to find all the answers. Luckily, we’re here to help.

For this year’s list of the most affordable places to retire in the United States, we took into account several affordability, lifestyle, and tax metrics. These 20 metro areas are attractive retirement spots that will leave plenty of wiggle room in your budget.

1. Fort Myers, Florida

A Great Blue Heron on the shore in Fort Myers Beach on the west coast of Florida

Fort Myers has a reputation for its prime shopping and dining.

Fort Myers in Southwest Florida has earned this year’s title of the most affordable place to retire. Active adults with a penchant for water recreation will find themselves perfectly situated between the Gulf Coast and the Caloosahatchee River. The area receives an above-average number of sunny days and an average amount of rain.

Though it’s especially known for its beaches and fishing spots, Fort Myers also has a reputation for its prime shopping and dining. Most of the action can be found in the vibrant downtown area, also known as The River District, but residents and visitors alike have plenty of craft breweries, theaters, rooftop lounges, and historic sites to enjoy across the city.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Fort Myers

Fort Myers is perfect for homebuyers who want a wide variety of housing options to choose from. With home prices in active lifestyle communities ranging from the low $100s to well over $2 million, this coastal city has everything from cozy beachside condos to sprawling estates. Of the 38 communities listed in this area, there are currently six age-restricted developments, including Pelican Preserve and Seven Lakes.

View all communities in the Fort Myers area.

2. Ocala, Florida

Tables and chairs on an outdoor patio beside a pool at On Top of the World in Ocala, Florida

Ocala offers homeowners a tranquil retreat from the crowds of seasonal tourists.

Dubbed “The Horse Capital of the World,” Ocala offers interested homebuyers all the best that a Central Florida retirement has to offer. This popular part of the Sunshine State is most notable for its outdoor reaction opportunities. Living close to Ocala National Forest, residents who love hiking, kayaking, fishing, and camping have plenty of prime spots to explore.

Because it’s so rich in natural beauty, Ocala offers homeowners a tranquil retreat from the crowds of seasonal tourists. If you’re seeking an affordable retirement destination with picturesque golf courses, easy access to local attractions, and plenty of warm, sunny days, then it may be worth checking out some of the 55+ communities listed below.

Recommended 55+ Communities in the Ocala Area

Home to On Top of the World (a massive and award-winning 55+ community), Ocala is no stranger to the wants and needs of active adult homebuyers. Home prices in active lifestyle communities start in the low $100s and can climb all the way to the mid $1Ms. Of the 30 communities listed in the area, 17 are age-restricted.

View all communities in the Ocala area.

3. Bluffton, South Carolina

Nighttime view down a boardwalk over a pond at Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, South Carolina

Affordable and idyllic, this small town overlooks the May River.

If you just want to relax in a comfy chair and drink sweet tea during your retirement, then Bluffton would be our recommendation. Affordable and idyllic, this small town overlooks the May River. In terms of weather, residents can expect a subtropical climate with mild winters and rainfall throughout the year.

Bluffton sits along the coast of South Carolina, but it’s not far from Savannah, offering residents easy access to museums, historic districts, and that classic Southern charm. There are also plenty of nearby beaches where you can play in the waves or just soak up the sun. 

Recommended 55+ Communities in Bluffton

The cost of living in Bluffton is much lower than the rest of the country, allowing retirees to live quite comfortably. That being said, the home prices in the area’s active lifestyle communities still vary widely, from the mid $200s to over $1 million. Of the 8 communities listed in Bluffton, only three are age-restricted, all listed below. 

View all communities in the Bluffton area.

4. Monroe, New Jersey

View down a residential street at Concordia in Monroe, New Jersey

Monroe has a lively community center as well as plenty of local shops and restaurants.

Heading over to the Garden State, Monroe is a town in Central New Jersey that provides residents with easy access to New York City. For retirees who want lakeside views and all four seasons, this is an attractive and affordable spot.

Monroe has a lively community center as well as plenty of local shops and restaurants. In the warmer months, many residents enjoy fishing and hiking in nearby parks, and the surrounding areas often host festivals and special events.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Monroe

If you’re searching for a home in an active lifestyle community, home prices in the Monroe area start below $100k and go up to the low $1Ms. You’ll find a variety of home styles, from one-bedroom condos to luxurious single-family homes. There are 14 active lifestyle communities listed in the Monroe area, and all of them are age-restricted. 

View all communities in the Monroe area.

5. Toms River, New Jersey

View of the lighthouse at Lighthouse Point Marina & Yacht Club in Toms River, New Jersey

Toms River is the cultural and economic hub of Ocean County.

South of Monroe, Toms River is another popular and affordable place to retire in New Jersey. Residents particularly enjoy having access to miles of shoreline that welcome crowds of beachgoers during the summer months. One of the most popular spots to visit is Barnegat Lighthouse State Park.

Toms River is the cultural and economic hub of Ocean County, providing great dining options, a local farmers’ market, and occasional street festivals. It’s the perfect place for active adults who want to spend their retirement in a charming town near big-city amenities.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Toms River

Starting in the low $100s and going up to the mid $400s, home prices in the area’s active lifestyle communities are much more modest than other places on this list. The six communities listed in Toms River are all age-restricted and only offer single-family or attached homes.

View all communities in the Toms River area.

6. Delray Beach, Florida

Aerial view of the shoreline along Delray Beach in Florida

Delray Beach is a popular and affordable retirement destination.

Located in popular Palm Beach County, Delray Beach may have plenty of sun and sand, but the city also has an active artistic community, preserved natural areas, and a downtown area full of restaurants and shops. For retirees with a keen interest in art, the Pineapple Grove Arts District is a hub of local artwork. Residents also have easy access to the Cornell Art Museum and the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Delray Beach

Because Delray Beach is such a popular retirement destination, there’s an incredible variety of housing options. Home prices in active adult communities range from below $100k for inland condos and attached homes to well over $4 million for sprawling estates with sweeping views of the picturesque landscape. Also, for homebuyers who want to live among like-minded neighbors, 26 of the 38 communities listed in Delray are age-restricted.

View all communities in the Delray Beach area.

7. Boynton Beach, Florida

Aerial view of the shoreline at Boynton Beach in Florida

Boynton Beach has its share of beautiful shoreline and sparkling sands.

If you don’t find any homes to your liking in Delray Beach, just head north a little bit to Boynton Beach, another popular town in Palm Beach County. Much like its neighbor to the south, Boynton Beach has its share of beautiful shoreline and sparkling sands, but it’s actually a haven for many natural spaces. Nature lovers living in Boynton Beach have easy access to The Green Cay Nature Center and Wetlands, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and Oceanfront Park Beach.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Boynton Beach

With 68 active lifestyle communities in the area, Boynton Beach has a few more options than Delray Beach, though there’s a similar price range. In Boynton Beach, you can find two-bedroom condos near the beach for under $100k as well as million-dollar homes surrounded by lush green spaces. The majority of active lifestyle communities in this area are age-restricted.

View all communities in the Boynton Beach area.

8. Henderson, Nevada

View of a community building at Sun City Anthem with mountains in the background in Henderson, Nevada

This oasis in the desert is filled with casino resorts and excellent fine dining.

Heading to the arid desert of Nevada, Henderson is a great place for homebuyers who want to retire on a budget near all the fun and excitement of Las Vegas. With a warm climate and a lower cost of living than many other popular retirement spots, this oasis in the desert is filled with casino resorts, gardens, hiking trails, and excellent fine dining. Also, being located in the Mojave Desert, residents are surrounded by natural wildlife and treated to sweeping views of copper-colored mountains.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Henderson

Seven of the eight active lifestyle communities in Henderson are age-restricted, and home prices within these communities range from the low $300s to over $4 million. The majority of housing options in this area are single-family homes, but a condo or attached home occasionally hits the market.

View all communities in the Henderson area.

9. Vero Beach, Florida

Palm trees along a walkway on Vero Beach in Florida at twilight

Homebuyers can retire comfortably in Vero Beach while staying within their budget.

Back in Florida, let’s take a look at Vero Beach. This affordable area along the Treasure Coast offers a humid subtropical climate and plenty of sunny days to enjoy ample outdoor recreation opportunities. Residents who are particularly interested in the area’s natural beauty should visit the McKee Botanical Garden or the Schacht Groves citrus farm.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Vero Beach

Though Vero Beach has its share of multi-million dollar mansions, active adult homebuyers can retire here comfortably while staying within their budget. One-bedroom condos can be found for below $100k, and bumping up to a two-bedroom condo will bring the price into the mid $100s. The majority of the 22 communities listed in this area have no age restrictions.

View all communities in the Vero Beach area.

10. Mesa, Arizona

A picturesque pond on the grounds of Leisure World in Mesa, Arizona

Mesa is one of the largest suburban cities in the United States.

Because of its population, Mesa is one of the largest suburban cities in the United States. It’s located about 20 miles east of Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, and it provides a beautiful mountain backdrop for the numerous golf courses in the area. Active adult homebuyers who want to spend their retirement hitting the links can book tee times at Mesa Country Club, Longbow Golf Club, and Superstition Springs Golf Club.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Mesa

Within the 11 active lifestyle communities in Mesa, most home prices hover around the $200s and $300s, but there are also more luxurious options in the high $700s. If you’re looking for a single-family home in a community with an on-site golf course, this area has plenty of options, including the three communities listed below.

View all communities in the Mesa area.

11. Summerville, South Carolina

Aerial view of the community sign at Del Webb at Cane Bay in Summerville, South Carolina

This small town in Dorchester County has a rich history.

If you want to spend your retirement years in a quiet, peaceful setting, then the South Carolina town of Summerville would be an excellent place to consider. This small destination in Dorchester County has a rich history, and residents can enjoy shopping for antiques or visiting museums. For residents who want to explore a bit more beyond the small-town atmosphere, Charleston is just 25 miles away, offering coastal views and plenty of big-city entertainment.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Summerville

If you want to live in a Summerville active lifestyle community, single-family homes in age-restricted neighborhoods make up almost all of the housing options. There’s also a fairly narrow pricing range with homes for sale starting in the mid $200s and topping out around the mid $400s.

View all communities in the Summerville area.

12. Las Vegas, Nevada

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada

Active adults are flocking to Las Vegas and its surrounding suburbs.

Las Vegas may be known as “Sin City,” but the gambling mecca in the middle of the Mojave Desert desert is also starting to garner a reputation as a popular retirement spot. With a lower cost of living than many coastal hotspots and enough entertainment options to last a lifetime, active adults are flocking to the city and its surrounding suburbs. Las Vegas is also a great spot for nature lovers who want to explore the unique landscape at places like Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park.

Recommended 55+ Communities in the Las Vegas Area

While there are 14 active lifestyle communities within the city limits, the Las Vegas area as a whole has 28 communities listed. Most of these communities offer single-family and attached homes, but it’s possible to find a condo for sale. Home prices within these neighborhoods start in the mid $100s and go up to over $4 million. 

View all communities in the Las Vegas area.

13. Prescott, Arizona

Trees beside Goldwater Lake in Prescott, Arizona

Prescott is a popular mountain city in Northern Arizona.

While Southern Arizona may be what most people think of when picturing an Arizona retirement, the northern part of the state also has a lot to offer. Prescott is a popular mountain city in Northern Arizona. The area enjoys a mild four-season climate, with cooler summer temperatures and occasional snow dustings in the winter. Plus, residents can enjoy unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation at the 1.25-million-acre Prescott National Forest.

Recommended 55+ Communities in the Prescott Area

The Prescott area consists of mostly modest, single-family homes priced in the $200s and $300s, but there are also some opportunities to purchase million-dollar estates. Only five of the 16 communities listed are age-restricted, and Prescott Lakes (the largest community in the area) has 1,300 homes.

View all communities in the Prescott area.

14. Sarasota, Florida

A dock extending over a pond at Del Webb Lakewood Ranch in Lakewood Ranch, Florida

The city of Sarasota is a popular destination for snowbirds.

The Sarasota-Bradenton area in Southwest Florida is just south of the Tampa Bay area. The city of Sarasota itself is a popular destination for snowbirds, and it has a multitude of cultural attractions to delight residents and visitors alike. The city also has breathtaking beaches, a lively arts scene, and plenty of shops and restaurants. Some of the most beautiful beaches in Sarasota include Longboat Key, Lido Key, and Siesta Key.

Recommended 55+ Communities in the Sarasota Area

Though the competition for real estate in Sarasota can drive prices pretty high, there are still plenty of affordable options in active adult communities. With 48 active lifestyle communities to choose from, home prices start in the $100s for condos. Roughly half of the communities are age-restricted, and there’s a fairly even variety of single-family homes, attached homes, and condos in the area.

View all communities in the Sarasota area.

15. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Exterior view of the clubhouse at Del Webb at Grande Dunes Myrtle Beach

There are currently 52 active lifestyle communities in the Myrtle Beach area.

This popular tourist spot along the South Carolina coast is also an affordable place to retire. Golf enthusiasts can easily find an award-winning course; shopping and dining opportunities are abundant; and there are movie theaters, performing arts centers, amusement parks, water parks, and casino cruises for residents and visitors to enjoy. In addition to all these entertainment options, you can’t beat those coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Recommended 55+ Communities in the Myrtle Beach Area 

There are currently 52 active lifestyle communities in the Myrtle Beach area, and 15 of them are age-restricted. Home prices within these communities start below $100k for one- to two-bedroom condos, and many of the homes for sale in this area tend to hover below $500k, though million-dollar properties are also available.

View all communities in the Myrtle Beach area.

16. Williamsburg, Virginia

Trees surrounding a historic building in Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is surrounded by nature with plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities.

Williamsburg in Eastern Virginia is the perfect place to retire for active adults who want to be surrounded by nature and plenty of outdoor recreation. For history buffs, there are also plenty of historical attractions nearby. Situated between Richmond and the beaches of Hampton, Williamsburg provides residents easy access to both cities.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Williamsburg

When it comes to active lifestyle communities in the Williamsburg area, there are stately homes priced at about $1 million, but this city also has its fair share of properties for sale in the $200s and $300s. Only 4 of the 14 communities are age-restricted, but interested homebuyers have a good chance of finding what they need in the selection of single-family homes, attached homes, and condos available.

View all communities in the Williamsburg area.

17. Surprise, Arizona

Palm trees beside the outdoor pool at Sun Village in Surprise, Arizona

Surprise is perfect for retirees who enjoy sunny weather and an active lifestyle.

Another affordable city in Arizona, Surprise is perfect for retirees who enjoy sunny weather and an active lifestyle. Access to Downtown Phoenix and quality medical care also make this a top spot for living the good life. Residents of Surprise benefit from the dry desert climate, and with over 300 sunny days, there’s plenty of time to make the most of it.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Surprise

There are six active lifestyle communities in surprise, including the very popular Sun City Grand. Homes in these desirable communities start in the $100s and currently go up to the $800s—but there are sometimes million-dollar properties on the market. Across these six communities, you will find mostly single-family and attached homes, with Coyote Lakes being the sole community without age restrictions.

View all communities in the Surprise area.

18. Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

Lounge chairs beside the outdoor pool at Seasons at Prince Creek West in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina

There are 13 active lifestyle communities in Murrells Inlet.

Murrells Inlet is a charming village just southwest of Myrtle Beach. It’s an affordable coastal town for retirees, offering a pleasant climate, a variety of water recreation, and plenty of local restaurants. Also, Murrells Inlet is located along the Grand Strand, one of the longest beaches in the world.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Murrells Inlet

There are 13 active lifestyle communities in Murrells Inlet, and prices start in the high $100s, though many current homes for sale are listed in the $300s. Only four communities in this area are age-restricted, including Seasons at Prince Creek West and Woodlake Village.

View all communities in the Murrells Inlet area.

19. Cumming, Georgia

Homes lining a residential street at Montebello in Cumming, Georgia

Cumming has an active downtown with easy access to daily necessities.

Located in the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta, Cumming has its own active downtown with daily necessities and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation in easy reach. Summers in this region are humid, but winters are generally short and mild. Residents of Cumming have plenty of options to get outside and enjoy the warm weather at nearby state and local parks such as Mary Alice Beach Park and Central Park.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Cumming

Of the 18 communities listed in Cumming, 13 are age-restricted. This area is also ideal for homebuyers seeking an intimate community where they can really get to know their neighbors. The Orchards of Brannon Oak Farm, the largest community in Cumming, has just 218 homes.

View all communities in the Cumming area.

20. Lakewood, New Jersey

A wetland pond in Allaire State Park in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Lakewood experiences all four seasons.

Lakewood is a township in Southern New Jersey. Active adult homebuyers who want access to local golf courses, the Atlantic Ocean, and New York City will find all of that in this picturesque area. Lakewood experiences all four seasons, and it has affordable housing options in tight-knit communities.

Recommended 55+ Communities in Lakewood

All of the communities in Lakewood are age-restricted, and home prices within start below $100k for one-bedroom condos. At the moment, prices top out in the high $400s, but they occasionally reached the $700s. Homebuyers looking for single-family and attached homes will find a variety of options here.

View all communities in the Lakewood area.

Methodology

To find the most affordable places to retire, we started by looking at 19,000 cities across the country, first finding the areas with a population greater than 20,000 and with at least 25% of residents age 50 and over. We then weighed several affordability, lifestyle, and tax metrics to determine which areas are the most affordable to retire:

  1. National Real Estate Data (MLS): Median Price & Price Per Square Foot

  2. Lifestyle Data: Cost of Living, Walk Score, Avg. Temperature, Popularity, Avg. Monthly Medicare

  3. Tax Data: Property Tax & Local Sales Tax