If you plan to retire early You might want to move to a more affordable area to stretch your dollars. For many Americans, especially those living on the East and West Coasts, that area is the Midwest, a region where each state’s median rent is well below $1,000.
Not all cities in the Midwest are equally affordable. Even if you stay in a city that’s expensive like those listed below, it could be more expensive to retire than if you moved.
Read on to find out more about the cities to avoid to make your retirement funds last as long possible.
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1. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor stands out as the most affordable city in the Midwest. The high rent in Ann Arbor, at $1,382, is more comparable to the rent in expensive coastal Maine, than in most towns in Michigan or Ohio.
If you decide to settle in Michigan, Ann Arbor’s parks, botanical gardens, and museums make it a good day-trip destination.
If you value your budget, though, a Detroit suburb like Ypsilanti — home to its own series of quirky museums, like the Michigan Firehouse Museum — might make more sense than Ann Arbor.
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2. Bismarck (North Dakota)
Bismarck is North Dakota’s capital city, but it isn’t the most populous city in the state (a distinction that goes to the much larger of Fargo).
Bismarck’s housing prices are higher than those of other nearby cities. The median home price is $254,400. This is $10K more than the national average.
Consider living in Finley where the median rental is only $568. On weekends, commute to Bismarck to visit the state history museum, zoo and capitol building.
3. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago has a rich history and a calendar that seems to be endless. Chicago is a major city in the Midwest, but it also has a high cost of living.
Chicago renters are more than twice as likely to own a home, with median rents of $1,209. High utility prices, transportation costs, and grocery bills maintain Chicago’s status as one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Chicago’s Windy City is only a short train ride from the affordable suburbs of Monee. The median rent in Monee is less than $1,000, and there are plenty of museums, pizza restaurants, and breweries to keep you entertained while you wait to get up into the city.
4. Deephaven, Minnesota
Around 4,000 residents live in this cozy Minneapolis suburb, the majority of whom own homes.
While the city makes for a great place to launch a boat tour of Lake Minnetonka, the city’s median rent of $2,145 means Deephaven isn’t ideal for financially savvy retirees Who wants to spend less on housing and more money on travel.
You could also consider a city with a lower median rent, such as Mound. It is surrounded by similar lakes and marinas, but the average rental cost is less than $900.
5. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit’s housing market still hasn’t recovered from the last economic crash, which could make it an affordable place to buy and fix up a home (the city’s median home value is $57,700).
But for renters, it’s a different story: Detroit’s median rent is almost $900, low for the country but high for the region. Detroit also has higher expenses for utilities and groceries than the rest of the country.
Detroit still has a higher cost-of-living than many American cities. While rent is a little higher in many of Detroit’s suburbs (such as Dearborn) than in Detroit itself, it’s possible the cost of utilities, groceries, and transportation could make the higher housing costs worth it for your budget.
6. Fargo North Dakota
Fargo has a population of 126,000, making it the largest city in North Dakota. The city’s museums, zoo and stadium make it a great place to spend the weekend, or even to bring the grandchildren along.
Housing prices in this city are also higher than the average of the region, despite its dense population.
The city’s median rent is just under $850, which, while better than in Bismarck, is on the high end for rent in the Midwest.
7. Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City is only one of three U.S. Cities to have been designated a UNESCO City of Literature.
You might prefer to visit Iowa City’s bookshops, libraries and art events than buy a home there if you have a strong sense of budgeting.
Both the median rent ($1,030) and median home value ($230,700) in Iowa City are lower than the national median, but they’re both above average for the Midwest region.
8. Manhattan, Kansas
Manhattan, Kansas’s cost of life is far less than Manhattan (New York City). In fact, compared to practically any city on the East Coast, Kansas’s Manhattan is almost unbelievably cheap.
Manhattan’s housing costs are higher than the rest Kansas, and even the Midwest.
You’ll enjoy the perks of living near the city without the downsides of high rent if you live in a nearby city like Emporia instead.
9. Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska’s biggest city, is located between the state capital of Lincoln and Iowa’s state capital, Des Moines.
Its cost of living, like most Midwestern cities, is high in comparison to the rest of the country: The median rent is $1,000 and the median home price is in the upper $100,000s.
You’ll have more money to spend on fun activities like watching the wildcats at Omaha’s magnificent Henry Dooly Zoo and Aquarium if you live in a cheaper suburb like Papillon instead.
10. Rapid City South Dakota
Rapid City is the closest city to Mt. Rushmore. It’s also near nine other national parks, state parks, and national monuments, which makes the city appealing for outdoorsy future retirees.
The median rent in the city is also quite high at nearly $900. If you want to spend more money on exploring the outdoors, consider a South Dakota destination like Deadwood or Sturgis.
11. Willoughby Hills (Ohio)
Willoughby Hills is a small suburban community of Cleveland with many parks.
The city has a fairly even number of homeowners and renters, though renters pay less than the national median ($955 a month) while the city’s median home value is higher than the national median ($274,300).
Marietta offers similar charming riverside walks at a more reasonable median rental of $709.
Do you wish to retire early?
Few of us know how to achieve our goal of retiring early.
What we should be asking is: How much do you need? Where should that money be kept?
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While these 11 cities might not be the most affordable locations for budget-minded seniors, they’re more of the exception than the rule of Midwestern housing.
Every overpriced city in the Midwest has dozens of alternatives with low costs of living and high quality of lives. do better financially and your retirement is everything you’ve always hoped it would be.
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