Small Midwestern City Named Most Affordable Place to Retire in 2024


As rent and home prices continue to skyrocket in major metro areas across the U.S., retirees are having to reconsider where exactly they want to settle down and spend their golden years without blowing through their savings. While it may seem impossible to find an affordable place that has a lot to offer, there are more gems out there than you would think. 

U.S. News examined 150 of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. as potential places to retire in 2024. The study graded cities on various criteria like housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market, and access to quality healthcare. In the end, ten metro areas emerged with high scores including the most affordable housing. 

Topping the list is the small Midwestern city of Youngstown, Ohio. Located on the border with Pennsylvania and just an hour away from either Pittsburgh or Cleveland, Youngstown offers beautiful scenery like Mill Creek Park, which has two golf courses offering discount senior rates, and home prices that would make any coastal elite gasp; the median home price is $137,546 and median mortgage is $653, while median rent sits at $706 each month. 

The Midwest claims half the cities on the list. Besides Youngstown, the Buckeye State also has Toledo sitting at number nine. Springfield, MO gets the bronze medal at number three, and South Bend, IN—former home to the College Football Hall of Fame—rounding out the group in tenth place. One entry, meanwhile, spans three states, with the metro area of Huntington, WV and Ashland, KY coming in at number five; both sit across the Ohio River from small Ohio towns like Ironton and Coal Grove.

North Carolina has long been a popular state for retirees and boasts two entries in the top 10. Hickory, located equidistant from Asheville and Charlotte, ranks number two, while Winston-Salem, just an hour away, sits at number seven. 

Look into the top 10 most affordable retirement cities and check your 401(k). 

  1. Youngstown, Ohio
  2. Hickory, North Carolina
  3. Springfield, Missouri
  4. Brownsville, Texas
  5. Huntington, West Virginia and Ashland, Kentucky
  6. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  7. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  8. Mobile, Alabama
  9. Toledo, Ohio
  10. South Bend, Indiana

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