The place ought to I retire ?: “I really want extra sunshine and an even bigger physique of water” – the place can I retire with USD 40,000 per 12 months?

Where can I retire with $ 40,000 a year on social security and a pension near water?

I prefer a city near a large body of water that doesn't go for an hour. I would prefer the sea, but one lake is enough. I don't need beach activities, but I do need the view, the feel for it.

Oh, besides a beach vibe, I also need cultural activities.

I'm currently in Pittsburgh because I worked here, but even with the three big rivers I feel claustrophobic. I really need more sunshine and bigger water.

I could afford to buy a house for maybe $ 150,000.

Abundant blessings,



Glad you are ready to consider lakes, not just oceans, as this way you have a lot more options.

Using MarketWatch's Where Should I Retire? Tool, I have found many opportunities where average home prices are below $ 200,000 (our lowest category), on the water (we define this as a marina), and in the 40's January have average high temperatures. I wasn't sure what you mean by cultural activities, so I used my last two "must-haves" for college town and live music.

Remember, the results show government-defined statistical metropolitan areas and micropolitical areas that generally cover multiple counties. So you still have to look at the individual churches. Housing costs may also have shifted due to COVID and the flight to beach towns.

You may prefer other criteria. For example, I chose not to choose “below average cost of living” because I thought that would be covered by the apartment selection. You might feel differently or choose it as "nice to have". Additionally, the cost of living is the default sorting option at the top of the results. They are low to high and can be changed.

You may want to select a specific region of the country. You might want it warmer. You may want to set a summer temperature range, or summer humidity can be an issue.

MarketWatch defines college cities as the 131 best research universities in the country (they belong to category R1 of the Carnegie college classification). You can decide you don't need this type of university town.

Any changes you make will produce different results.

But I understand when you have set your heart on being closer to the sea. Then shrink your housing expectations when you think of Florida – and be sure to check out these HOA fees if you're looking to buy.

Or rent. Leave expensive home repairs to someone else.

Read: Can i afford to retire? Not until you know the answer to that big question

Please spend time in each location on your shortlist before committing to a move and imagine what your everyday life will be like. Experience the area in bad weather. A bad move is an expensive mistake.

Here are three options to get you started. All are in states that do not impose state income taxes on social security checks.

Stillwater, Oklahoma

A lone fisherman on Lake Carl Blackwell outside of Stillwater, Okla.


This choice might come as a surprise, but the area around this college town of nearly 50,000 residents was among the top scores for the MarketWatch “Where should I retire?” Tool when I fill in your criteria.

As I've written many times before, I like university towns because they tend to be above their weight in terms of amenities. University of Oklahoma fans may prefer Norman, part of the Oklahoma City subway area, but Stillwater has more than 24,000 students at Oklahoma State University. Seniors aged 65 and over can audit courses free of charge.

There are plenty of water and recreational opportunities, from the more modest Boomer Lake (250 acres) in the northern part of town to 3,350 acres of Lake Carl Blackwell (operated by the university) and 1,155 acres of Lake McMurtry to the west. Does this meet your water needs or is salty air more important? praises Stillwater's "exciting downtown downtown area" and says it is "known as the home of red dirt music, a mix of rock, country, folk and blues".

The average winter highs are around 50 degrees; Summer highs are in the lower 90s.

If you're looking to visit a bigger city, Oklahoma City is an hour south and Tulsa is an hour east., which, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp. states that the median list price for a home in March 2021 was $ 179,950 and calls it a buyers market. This is what the local housing market looks like, whether you are buying or renting.

Other college town suggestions courtesy of the Retirement Tool include the Fayetteville, Ark area. (I suggested nearby Bentonville here) and Chattanooga, which was suggested here. A small college option is Rome, Ga (suggested here), with a 30,200 acre Weiss lake that's about half an hour away.

Read: These are the 5 cheapest Caribbean islands to retreat to – and 2 to avoid

Mobil, Alabama

Old and new cell phone, Ala.

Getty Images

This town of around 190,000 is in Mobile Bay, not on a beach – does that count as the water mood you want? Of course, you could head south in Mobile County for even closer to the Gulf of Mexico or even neighboring Mississippi. However, these resorts may not offer the cultural offerings that you are looking for.

Check out the LoDa ArtWalk in the city center in Mobile every second Friday and find out what's going on in the beautiful Saenger Theater. They also have events at the University of South Alabama and can take advantage of lifelong learning opportunities.

The average maximum temperatures reach 60 in winter and 90 in summer.

Mobile County's cost of living is 15% below the national average.

Mobiles, like Stillwater, seem off the beaten path, but housing costs have risen sharply over the past year. The median list price in March 2021 was $ 174,900. Here's what the market looks like now, whether you're buying or renting, again using offers.

Read: Worried too much about running out of money in retirement?

Jacksonville, Florida

The Jacksonville skyline and the St. Johns River.


This is a stretch option as the cost of housing is higher than my other proposals and it is currently a seller's market.

On the positive side, this city of over 900,000 residents has 22 miles of Atlantic beaches. So it corresponds to your wish-list for water, and because of its size, you also have your cultural offerings. Start your search for concerts and other performances at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

US News & World Report ranks the Jacksonville area 13th among the top retirement locations in the United States. Livability notes that "historic neighborhoods exude charm and the street art scene keeps things interesting". The University of North Florida is here, and citizens 60 and older can take courses for free.

For the great outdoors, take the ferry across the St. Johns River north to the Barrier Islands and Talbot State Park.

The winters will be warmer than Mobile and the summer highs will be similar.

Although the cost of living here is below the national average, the cost of living will be an issue for you. According to, the average price of properties for sale in March 2021 was $ 229,000. Add the price filter to your search to see what's included in your budget. Or take a look at the rental market.

Please see the MarketWatch Where Should I Retire Column for more information.

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