6 places to retire on the East Coast that are as cheap as Portland, Sacramento and Olympia


High angle view of Roanoke Virginia with famous church in the background - St Andrews Catholic Church.

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For many American seniors, the perfect retirement means settling in an area with access to amenities, a rich cultural experience and an ocean you can reach in a few hours or less. You can find all of these things on the West Coast, whether you choose to live in big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle, or in smaller, cheaper places.

As previously reported by GOBankingRates, three West Coast cities that are relatively affordable retirement destinations are Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; and Olympia, Washington. They may not be as cheap as other parts of the country, but they are not nearly as expensive as the most expensive cities in the US.

If you want to retire in cities similar to Portland, Sacramento, and Olympia, but prefer to stay on the East Coast, you’ll find plenty of choices. Here are six places to retire on the East Coast that are just as affordable, based on a GOBankingRates analysis of data from ApartmentList, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and AreaVibes:

6. Palm Bay, Florida

  • 1 bedroom rental price 2022: $1,196.86
  • Livability score: 80
  • Total monthly expenses: $2,012.24

Palm Bay could be a dream location for retirees, with a high livability score and monthly grocery costs under $410 and health care under $420.

5. Winter Garden, Florida

  • Average 1-bedroom rent in 2022: $1,115.83
  • Livability score: 85
  • Total monthly expenses: $1,965.54

Winter Garden has the second-highest livability score on this list, although you’ll pay slightly more on monthly groceries and health care here than in other comparable cities.

4. Panama City Beach, Florida

  • 1 bedroom rental price 2022: $1,106.71
  • Livability score: 76
  • Total monthly expenses: $1,946.91

In Panama City Beach, you’ll be too busy enjoying the weather to notice that your monthly groceries will be more expensive than in other cities on this list. Still, you’ll pay less than $840 per month for groceries and health care.

3. Concord, North Carolina

  • 1 bedroom rental price 2022: $1,045.57
  • Livability score: 83
  • Total monthly expenses: $1,881.47

Concord has a very high livability score of 83. You pay an average of €421.72 per month for groceries and €418.47 per month for healthcare.

2. Mauldin, South Carolina

  • 1 bedroom rental price 2022: $944.71
  • Livability score: 88
  • Total monthly expenses: $1,789.89

Although Mauldin ranks number two overall, it has the highest livability score on the entire list at 88. It is no surprise that 19% of the population here is 65 years or older.

1. Roanoke, Virginia

  • 1 bedroom rental price 2022: $919.71
  • Livability score: 75
  • Total monthly expenses: $1,783.32

Roanoke takes first place, with a solid livability score and a large number of seniors. It’s easy to live on a retirement budget here, with average monthly expenses under $2,000.

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