The Most Affordable Cities Will Surprise You

The most affordable cities in the United States are helpful to know as we all walk through this aging process and reach or approach retirement.

If you are fortunate enough to have made a lot of money and can retire anywhere in the world you want to, this article is meaningless to you.

However, for the vast majority of us, affordability and retirement go hand in hand.

The Most Affordable Cities

While the most lists on this topic has several different listings depending on what statistics you utilize, however, the (MSAs) are as good a source as any to determine which cities actually make the list.

Using this formula, combined with Metropolitan Divisions, (MDs) make the basis of the sources arguments for this article.  (MSAs) stands for Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and pulls into the study the 100 largest metropolitan areas of the country, instead of just a single city. 

For example, the Birmingham Alabama market in this study consists of Birmingham, Hoover, and Vestavia Hills, and like any large metropolitan market there are several other cities in the immediate area as well.

That is where the (MDs) come into play. The Grand Rapids Michigan market, for example, includes Grand Rapids and Wyoming, but you could also add in East Grand Rapids, Kent-wood, and Walker.

The next component of this source for the most affordable cities in the U. S. was the affordability of homes, (HOI). This date was gathered from the National Association of Home Builders and several lending institutions.

The final index is a cost of living index, and this has been used for several studies and was developed by Sterling’s Best Place. They are very reputable and factor in several cost indexes.

These indexes include the price of gas in these areas, food costs, and all utility costs.

Medical expenses, also important to seniors, as well as all other types of transportation costs, were also factored in.

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Best States Per 1,000 Taxed

Just as a reminder or in case you have not read the page on this website about the most affordable states, here is the list of the 10 best states to live in based on taxes assessed per 1,000.00

  • South Carolina—95.82
  • Texas—95.49
  • Virginia—95.18
  • Florida—93.74
  • Colorado—92.30
  • Oregon—90.93
  • South Dakota—90.37
  • Alabama—87.58
  • New Hampshire—84.65%
  • Tennessee—83.89

It is interesting to note that in this study, there are 5 southern states listed; South Carolina, Texas, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.

Rank 11th through 20th

You will see that in the most affordable cities index listing a lot of these states will also be southern states.

The sources used for the article suggests the reason for this is basically rooted in history.

It will reference the reason for this is that the south was originally made made-up and mostly remains labor-intensive, compared to the capital-intensive industries in the north and mid-west.

You can formulate your own option about this, but for me and my decision on where to retire, that is a moot point.

I contend that as we age and retire, we would care less about that, and instead we are concerned about affordability-period.

Weather is also a factor, and in this category the southeast and the southwest win hands down.

Here is the list of the most affordable cities in the U.S .ranked from 11th to 20th

  • Detroit Michigan –Rank 11th
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado-Rank 12th
  • Greenville, South Carolina—Rank 13th
  • Louisville, Kentucky--  Rank 14th
  • Warren, Michigan—Rank 15th
  • Akron ,Ohio—Rank 16th
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan—Rank-17th
  • McAllen Texas—Rank 18th
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma—Rank 19th
  • Austin , Texas--Rank 20th

Interesting to see the in the 11th to 20th rankings there are 3 southern states listed and are in the same listing of the top 10 affordable states, South Carolina, and Texas.

The Top 10

Here is the list of most affordable cities in the United States from 1st to 10th.

  • Birmingham, Alabama—Rank 1st
  • Knoxville, Tennessee—Rank 2nd
  • Buffalo, New York—Rank 3rd
  • Oklahoma  City, Oklahoma—Rank 4th
  • Cincinnati, Ohio –Rank 5th
  • Memphis ,Tennessee—Rank 6th
  • St. Louis, Missouri—Rank 7th
  • Dayton, Ohio--Rank 8th
  • Indianapolis, Indiana—Rank 9th
  • Columbus, Ohio—Rank 10th

In the top 10 are also 2 more southern states listed, Alabama and Tennessee.

As we age and make decisions of where the best bang for our dollar goes, these lists may help you decide.

References

Sterling’s Best Places

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