10 States with the Lowest Cost of Living for Retirees

You’re thinking about retirement. In fact, you’ve been thinking about it and planning for it a long time. One of the questions you have to answer is how much will it cost, not just to live, but to live the retirement lifestyle you’ve dreamed about.

If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your retirement buck, then relocating may be part of your retirement strategy. Every year WalletHub publishes its list of best places to retire. From the 2022 report, here are the 10 states with the lowest cost of living for retirees.


  1. North Carolina

North Carolina was #26 out of 50 for overall quality of life but WalletHub says it’s one of the most affordable states and it doesn’t tax your Social Security. According to the Tax Foundation, beginning January 1, 2022, North Carolina has a flat 4.99% income tax rate. There is a state sales tax of 4.75% and municipalities can add 2.75% on top of that for total sales tax of 7.5%.


  1. Virginia

Virginia isn’t just for lovers — it’s also for retirees. WalletHub classifies it as one of the most affordable states. It also ranks #7 for quality of life and #13 for health care. Virginia has the largest number of hospitals receiving an “A” rating for safety in the U.S. All those factors placed Virginia at #2 in WalletHub’s overall ranking of best states to retire in.


  1. Georgia

The WalletHub survey found that the percentage of people 65 years old and older in Georgia and is among the lowest of all states and that the Peach State provides a relatively affordable cost of living for retirees. In 2021, Bankrate rated Georgia as the best overall state in the U.S. state to retire in.


  1. Louisiana

Louisiana ranked 7th for affordability but came in 4th for overall quality of life. Louisiana does not tax your Social Security benefits. It has a graduated income tax from 2%-6%.


  1. Delaware

While Delaware is 6th on this list for affordability it ranks 35th for quality of life. Among all states, Delaware has one of the highest percentages of population 65 and older. Residents in Delaware may be able to exclude a certain amount of retirement income from taxes, and the state does not tax Social Security. It’s income tax runs from 2.20%-5.55% on income below $60,000 and 6.60% on income higher than $60,000.


  1. Nevada

Nevada is unique in that it does not tax Social Security benefits and it has no personal income tax.


  1. Florida

Florida has long been a retirement destination. WalletHub says Florida has the highest percentage of folks aged 65 and older anywhere in the U.S. Florida is one of the 9 states with no personal income tax.


  1. South Carolina

WalletHub says South Carolina didn’t rank well when it comes to quality of life and healthcare, but it came in #12 overall and 3rd in this survey as a good place for retirees because it’s so affordable to live there. But if you’re going to move to South Carolina, be aware that the Palmetto State gets more spam phone calls than any place in the country


  1. Tennessee

Tennessee ranks 39th overall as a place for retirees, according to WalletHub, but it lands in the #2 spot for affordability. Tennessee has no state income tax


  1. Alabama

And #1 on WalletHub’s 2022 hit parade of best cost of living for retirees, Alabama. It ranks lowest for healthcare among all the states but best for affordability. It also has some of the lowest property taxes in the country and does not tax your Social Security.


As you might have noticed, 8 out of the top 10 states in this survey are southern states. If you decide to retire in that direction, be ready for sweet tea, tough college football,   and the battle over bbq sauce—tomato, vinegar or mustard. Ya’ll come!

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