Discover 14 Budget-friendly Cities Similar to New York for RETIREMENT


New York City may be the town that deserves two names, but the cost of living there is everything but pleasant. Any list of the most expensive cities in the United States includes New York City, which is at or near the top. That makes it an extremely difficult area to retire unless you are affluent or have another financial edge, such as a home purchased a song decades ago.

According to a recent U.S. News Real Estate research, New York is the sixth most expensive city in the United States in terms of median gross rent for renters and annual housing costs for mortgage-paying homeowners. According to the survey, New York City’s median home price is $834,096 and the median monthly rent is $1,852.

However, if you visit some of Manhattan’s or Brooklyn’s wealthier districts, you may expect to pay far more. However, housing expenses only reveal a partial account. Almost everything costs more in New York City than elsewhere, from electricity and food to dining out and healthcare. According to a new MoneyGeek report, New York has by far the highest cost of living index of the 35 largest cities in the United States.

The cost of living index analyzes the living costs of various cities against a national median of 100. New York’s index was a stunning 221.4, more than double the national median. To put that number into perspective, San Francisco, the second most expensive city, has an index of 170.8.

The good news is that you don’t have to live in high-cost cities like New York (or San Francisco) to enjoy big-city advantages in retirement. The United States is home to several large cities with vibrant downtowns, diverse cultural offerings, major league sports, and outstanding cuisine – all at significantly lower prices.

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According to MoneyGeek’s measurements, the following 14 cities to retire in are similar but significantly cheaper. All cities have a cost of living index lower than the national median (listed alphabetically).

1. Austin, Texas

  • Population (within city limits): 912,791
  • Cost of Living Index: 95

2. Charlotte, NC

  • Population (within city limits): 809,958
  • Cost of Living Index: 95.7

3. Columbus, Ohio

  • Population (within city limits): 835,957
  • Cost of Living Index: 89.7

4. Dallas, Texas

  • Population (within city limits): 1,281,047
  • Cost of Living Index: 95.9

5. Detroit, Michigan

  • Population (within city limits): 680,250
  • Cost of Living Index: 95.1

6. Houston, Texas

  • Population (within city limits): 2,239,558
  • Cost of Living Index: 98.5

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7. Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Population (within city limits): 848,788
  • Cost of Living Index: 91.9

8. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Population (within city limits): 853,382
  • Cost of Living Index: 98.8

9. Louisville, Kentucky

  • Population (within city limits): 612,780
  • Cost of Living Index: 92.

10. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Population (within city limits): 656,861
  • Cost of Living Index: 85.7

11. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Population (within city limits): 644,014
  • Cost of Living Index: 92.7

12. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

  • Population (within city limits): 620,602
  • Cost of Living Index: 89.6

13. Phoenix, Arizona

  • Population (within city limits): 1,537,058
  • Cost of Living Index: 95.3

14. San Antonio, Texas

  • Population (within city limits): 1,436,697
  • Cost of Living Index: 89.7


To summarize, while New York City is one of the most expensive locations to live in the United States, countless other cities across the country provide comparable urban amenities at substantially lower costs. These 14 locations provide dynamic lives and cultural diversity without the financial strain that comes with high-cost urban centers like New York City.

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