Here are 10 cities that rank well nationwide in terms of affordability for retirees and other renters. (Photos: Shutterstock)
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- With a median rent of $662/month for those 60 and older, 53 percent of the city’s retirees spend less than 30 percent of their household income on rent.
- Pittsburgh also offers free fares on the bus, T or Monongahela Incline for those over age 65, which means many can get by without the expense of a car.
9. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- Median rent here is $746/month, and 47 percent of seniors spend less than a third of their income on rent.
- In addition, the city offers art museums, galleries and a low cost of living.
8. El Paso, Texas.
- With a median monthly rent of just $523, El Paso is financially attractive, with half of its retirees spending less than a third of their monthly income on rent.
- It also benefits from the fact that Texas does not have a state income tax, which makes retiree dollars go further in a place that has one of the lowest costs of living in the country.
7. Portland, Maine.
- At $783/month, the median monthly rent may be a tad higher in Portland, but housing prices are much more affordable than in Boston and retirees here can while away their time enjoying the city’s foodie scene.
- Half of the city’s seniors spend less than a third of their monthly income on their rent, so they can enjoy the city’s other amenities.
6. Greenville, South Carolina.
- Greenville’s median monthly rent for the over-60 crowd is $693, cheaper than the two bigger cities it lies between: Charlotte and Atlanta.
- In fact, 52 percent of retiree renters are able to spend less than a third of their monthly income on rent. Seniors 65 and older also qualify for discounted admission to Paris Mountain State Park, which will make hikers, cyclists and fishermen happy.
5. McAllen, Texas.
- In McAllen, 56 percent of retirees don’t have to spend even a third of their monthly incomes on rent—which comes in at a median $523/month—the lowest median rent of any metropolitan area in the country.
- And then there’s that lack of a state income tax to consider.
4. Augusta, Georgia.
- With a median rent of $692/month, 49 percent of Augusta’s seniors spend less than a third of their monthly income on their apartments.
- Add to that a low cost of living and free tuition—on a space-available basis—to seniors 62 and over at Augusta University, as well as the lure of the golf course—and lots of retirees will probably want to check it out.
3. Fayetteville, Arkansas.
- Seniors 60 and older can go back to school tuition- and fee-free at the University of Arkansas, in addition to getting by on a monthly rent of $669; 57 percent of the city’s senior residents pay less than a third of their monthly income on their apartments.
- For those wanting to revisit more about their student days, the city also offers Dickson Street, near the university, with restaurants, live music, entertainment options and nightlife.
2. Greensboro, North Carolina.
- Half the city’s retirees spend less than 30 percent of their income on the median monthly rent of $696.
- They can also take advantage of many free gardens and a water park (the latter not free, unfortunately).
1. Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
- Median rent for the 60-and-older crowd is $676 per month, and half the retirees here spend less than 30 percent of their income on it.
- There’s also the added temptation of local vineyards and wineries, which have replaced tobacco as the crop of choice.
Older workers and retirees looking to shed the burden of home maintenance, or augment their retirement savings with the proceeds from a house sale are choosing to rent.
Plus, many millennials have no choice but to rent — they are stuck in cities with high rents and unable to save for retirement or put a dent in their student loans or accrue money for a down payment on a house.
But no matter the age or circumstances, it’s important to choose carefully the cities in which to rent, employment considerations aside.
Some cities offer quite reasonable rental rates, while others will eat up income faster than a hungry shark.
U.S. News & World Report has done a review of locations that score well in its 2019 ranking of best places to retire with median rents of less than $800 per month.
The slides above show the cities from that ranking, in no particular order, that they determined were the 10 best as far as providing affordable rents.