Best Places To Retire

I’ve written nearly 200 articles on the subject of “retirement”…

…and they are all available for you here, on my blog, for free.

Maybe you want to retire here in the United States and you’re looking for the best (cheapest) place to retire. Or maybe you’re ready to take the plunge and move to an exotic locale that lets you take advantage of economic exchange rates, and thus “get more with less”.


I know some people aren’t ready to move to another country. That’s fine. I understand. To each his own I always say. So, here I am giving you….

“The Best Places to Retire” lists – in the States!

Along with my articles on this site, that you can access at any time, right here on your own computer, I offer two books I wrote. One book, Retire In Luxury, is about getting ready and making a decision about retiring to Mexico, along with Dick and my actual trip to our chosen destination. The other book, Money Saving Mexico, tells you how to save money even if you don’t move to Mexico. Ergo, the lists below for your perusal.


I had so much fun writing this!

Then, I wrote one children’s book, Jo’s Big Question, that has absolutely nothing to do with retirement or Mexico, at all – it’s just a lovely little book…I think.

My info books are available right from this site, as e-books, and can also be purchased through, as can my children’s book. My books can be downloaded to your Kindle, or reading device. I’ve tried to make everything as convenient as possible for all my readers.For even more information, in addition to the articles I’ve written, there are almost 700 comments to date…questions, answers and opinions, written by my readers; people in the same quandary you probably find yourself – deciding how to make the most of your many retirement years. Those comments are all instantly available for you to delve into on my site, right at the bottom of each article. You’ll find questions from people just like you, who are attempting to find the best information, and answers and opinions from people who are already experiencing retirement.

Now, get ready for the latest information – some lists. These are places, in the United States for retirees to consider – so enjoy…


In a recent survey the following places are below the national average for cost of living and median home price — and classified as “Best Places to Retire”:

· Marquette, Mich.

· Cape Coral, Fla.

· Boise, Idaho

· Danville, Ky.

· Weatherford, Texas

· Southaven, Miss.

· Pittsburgh, Pa.

· Broken Arrow, Okla.

· Lake Charles, La.

· Winston-Salem, N.C.

· St. Joseph, Mich.

· Huntsville, Ala.

· Clearwater, Fla.

· Clarksville, Tenn.

· Tucson, Ariz.

· Austin, Texas

· Bloomington, Ind.

· Lawrence, Kan.


These are the 5 states with the lowest median real estate taxes,

· Louisiana

· Alaska

· Mississippi

· Alabama

· West Virginia

There are only 14 states who do tax Social Security benefits, so that’s easy to figure.

These nine states have no income tax:

· Oregon

· Arizona

· Wyoming

· South Dakota

· Texas

· Tennessee

· Florida

· Vermont

AARP’s 10 best cities to retire (most affordable, etc.).

( But, in my opinion, when “the people” makes the list of reasons a town makes ANY list, that list is pretty weak …there are great people all over, and terrible people all over… Barbie.   Some of these places also have a tax on pensions…but, here they are, for you to consider:

· Winchester, Virginia

· Portland, Maine

· Gainesville, Georgia

· Wenatchee, Washington

· Tulsa, Oklahoma

· Cheyenne, Wyoming

· Columbus, Indiana

· Ithaca, New York

· Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

· Midland, Texas (cheap houses – Barbie)

From Money/USNews, their list, they claim, is based on weather, affordable housing, and things to do:

· Flagstaff, Arizona

· Boone, North Carolina

· Traverse City, Michigan

· Walnut Creek, California (What? Median home price is over $400,000 !  Maybe the guy who wrote this “list” lives there?? – Barbie)

· Ithaca, New York

· Lincoln, Nebraska

· Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

· Port charlotte, Florida

· Pittsfield, Massachusetts

· Santa Fe, New Mexico

From USNews/Money: Places to Retire on only Social Security! Now, this list is really interesting – All with median income under $30,000!

· Auburn, Alabana

· Blacksburg, Virginia

· Boone, North Carolina

· Cheney, Washington

· Mount Pleasant, Michigan

· Murray, Kentucky

· State College, Pennsylvania

· Sunland Park, New Mexico

· Syracuse, New York

· West Lafayette, Indiana

So, don’t fret – there are choices for each of us – in the States, and all over the world!  You just have to figure out what you want, where you might find it, and then pursue it… after you’ve gotten tons and tons of info to confirm your decision is the right one.

 Facebook Page Update, MoneySavingMexico:   I now have a whole lot of pictures uploaded that we’ve taken of Mexico and I’m adding more daily. It does take a while to upload them!  But I’m still working on it! If you’re on Facebook, too, please stop by and “LIKE” me! Find me on Facebook: Click Here

Addition Feb 3, 2013 – the amount you need to move to Mexico has changed – see –


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25 Responses to Best Places To Retire

  1. Michelle Warner

    April 28, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Great post, Barbie! Thanks again. Saw your Facebook page, too! Love the pictures!!

  2. Jon

    April 28, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Murray, Kentucky is a beautiful place to retire. A college town, but very small and quiet. Was not surprised to see that on your list. It has everything and it’s not far from Nashville and just a stone’s throw away from Land Between The Lakes (Lake Barkley).

  3. Starlight

    April 28, 2012 at 12:42 am

    My daughter lives in Sunland Park (New Mexico) and it is indeed a haven for retirees. Cost of living is very reasonable. Was surprised when we had to fill up for gas that it was 50 cents cheaper (per gallon) than what we pay in Phoenix. Groceries were also cheaper, too.

  4. Ramona Amormino

    April 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Hi Barbie:
    Interesting List….I would think almost anywhere in
    Florida these days would be good. Houses are
    practically being given away in some areas.
    We are Canadian however and still want to move to Mexico – with a view of the sea of Cortez or the ocean. I know you are partial to Mazatlan but I would be interested to know how you feel about areas such
    as the Baja (Cabo, San Jose), Playa del Carmen to Tulum and Puerto Escondido (not often mentioned but a great area)?
    Have you written an article on beach areas and their pros and cons ? I seem to read all the pros but very little cons are listed like excruciating heat in Puerto Vallarta in the summer months.
    Thanks for all your help.

  5. Barbie


    April 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Ramona, The weather in Mexico – can be cool to cold in the mountains. Can be hotter than heck at lower altitudes, and especially around the water. Like… Florida… Louisiana… Texas… and …Ohio… it all varies. You must include the cost of a/c when considering Mexico. Mexico is a huge country – all different…. Barbie

  6. Bob Truelove

    April 28, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Santa Fe NM; Housing there is $400K also … And

    AUBURN, AL … yea … if you want to do football and stockcars for the rest of y our life … this is for Auburn-ese only.

  7. Jan Howard

    April 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    I am so interested in moving to the Caribbean side of Mexico as soon as I can. What are the prices like there. I am a retired teacher and live on a pension. I still tutor many cstudents in English and Spanish for additional cash. I have heard that youhave to have only a Master’s degree to teach in a university in Mexico. Is this true. I love Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.. Merida sound nice but I would rather be closer to the beach.

  8. Jan Howard

    April 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Please let me know about cost on the Caribbean side. You may read my post. I just turned 56 and I would like to move there by the time I am 57. What about San Miguel de Allende, Jalapa, Queretaro and Guanajuato? Are they far less expensive? I just love the beach.
    Thank you very much.

  9. Don Wright

    April 30, 2012 at 1:29 am

    So true about the A/C – re both cost and comfort. There are always tradeoffs. Unfortuneately you can not live in the mountains and at the coast at the same location. However, We are a couple of the 10,000 + Americans and Canadians living in the Ajijic- Chapala- Guadalajara area – at about 5200 feet above sea level, without the need of A/C (or heat in the winter), and only a 3 hour drive to Manzanillo- 5 to PV for our sea and humidity fix holiday, 2 or 3 times a year. Summers are spectacular here- rain, normally at night, fresh & sunny during the day. Village life around Lake Chapala- 35 minutes from Mexico’s 2nd. largest city. Nice combo!

  10. Sharon Mattison

    April 30, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Thanks Barbie! You are awesome and so appreciated!!!!

  11. Bill Worthley

    April 30, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Just a note to thank you again for all the good information you provide. As I told you in another e-mail, my wife and I DRIVE into Mexico. In three trips, never a problem, because of your good advise. Our next adventure is scheduled for June 22nd.
    Our last trip in September, 2011, we both had dental work done in Tequisquiapan. Wonderful work, very low cost! My wife now needs an implant. We would like to go to “your” dentist, but the trip is 1,100 miles one way. Do you happen to know a dentist closer to Texas that you would recommend? Our dentist friend in “Tequis” is also farther than we want to travel this time.
    Again, just a note to say thank you to the two of you.

  12. Barbie


    May 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Gosh Bill, I’m so sorry, I don’t know of one. Hopefully a reader will and will let you know! Keep reading and watching! From Texas, you have to go through N.M and most of Arizona to get to Algodones, where we usually go… Come on readers, Bill needs some info! In the meantime, make sure you read all my articles on dentists – you just might find one that you would travel to go to. Barbie

  13. Barbie


    May 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much! Barbie

  14. Barbie


    May 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Yep :) Enjoy! Barbie

  15. Barbie


    May 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Jan – an response I just received: Hi Barbie, como esta? We recently moved to Merida, in Yucatan.
    We find it so much easier to save here! Our monthly budget is so much less. The savings on medical care and insurance alone more than pays the rent. We now take our monthly cash needs out of our stateside bank, and divide it into spendng category envelopes to reinforce budgeting. It is amazing how far we can stretch our food dollar eating and buying from the small local shops and eating places. Dinner last night near the park was about $5. The ice cream store next door serving wonderful homemade treats cost about $3 for our splurge. Our monthly budget is $1600 for everything, and that includes $25/each for my partner and I to spend or save as we wish. We now find saving fun and easy like never before, and Mexico makes it a joy.

    read every article about that section of Mexico on my site – and make sure you read the answers at the bottom from other readers. Lots of info. Barbie

  16. Jason

    May 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for the valuable information. I loved to enjoy my retirement and the best place is Texas or New York. It’s cheap and affordable. It will be like retirement in luxury. Internet and e-Books are very useful for me deciding the best and affordable for retirement. The list mention in the blog is very helpful for making good decision for the retirement.

  17. Carlton

    June 2, 2012 at 3:57 am

    If you are considering Mexico and want a very safe area where there are expats but close to a big city, you should consider the Yucatan. It still has the old Mexico flavor without the tourist feel of Cancun. We have lived here for 3 years and know you can live comfortably on about $1000 a month (not including rent) and we have a maid once a week. I have a house just off the beach that can be rented long term while you get the feel and make the decision if this is right for you. Any Questions, just ask.

  18. Barbie


    June 7, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Hi Carlton – Excellent! Thanks! Barbie

  19. Amelia

    July 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    As far as I know, if you return to actvie service, your retirement benefits will be suspended. When you complete your actvie service, then your retirement benefits will be reinstated and just might increase as a result of your additional service.

  20. Connie

    November 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    We go to Nuevo Progresso. We haven’t been in a while. I will try to get the name of the dentist from my friend. Very satisfied with the work.

  21. Barbie


    November 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks Connie! I’m sure the info will be helpful to some of my readers! Barbie

  22. Connie

    December 3, 2012 at 11:17 am


    I have an eBay business to supplement my SS. How difficult and expensive is it to ship items from Mexico/

    Thank you

  23. Connie

    December 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    I am building an eBay business to supplement our SS. How difficult or expensive is it to ship packages from Mexico?

    Thank you

  24. Barbie


    December 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Connie, Start here:
    Lots of people have items mailed within the states and whenever someone drives up, they pick up the items for their friends. I think you will find more buyers in the States. Barbie

  25. Jose

    April 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    I would recommend Dr Rolando Arroyave in Monterrey. That’s were I get my implants done.

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