10 Best Cities For Early Retirement



Is retirement even a possibility?

As the threats loom about the end of Social Security, retirement for some may seem far-fetched.

But not for you.

You haven’t given up hope for the day you can leave your 9-5 behind.

You’ve been studying those millennials who have left the traditional way of living in the past and retired well before 40.

They are living proof that retirement isn’t an unobtainable dream.

However, you have also discovered these millennials are leaving behind the conventional ideas of retirement.

Millennials are foregoing the idea that retirement comes at a certain age. Instead, they believe retirement comes when a certain savings threshold has been met.

And one way to maximize those savings is to live where the cost of living is low and the quality of life is high.

So where are the best places to retire?



Best Cities For Early Retirement

These cities come in on top when ranked for the highest quality of living and the lowest cost of living. This means the weather is favorable year round and the cost of necessities like food, housing, and transportation are low. Another factor is the ease of finding employment to supplement retirement funds.


1. Knoxville, TN

If location is high on your list of criteria for retirement destinations, then Knoxville may be a good fit. It’s located near major interstates that can take you to nearly half of the continental US in a day’s worth of driving.

Knoxville also suits a frugal budget with many free museums and parks to explore.



Sunsphere 2 Worlds Fair Park Knoxville TN Bruce McCamish Photography

2. Memphis, TN

Located on the Mississipi River in southwestern Tennessee, Memphis gives retirees a lot to explore. Memphis is home to Graceland and is the birthplace of rock and roll.


Landscape Beale Street Neon (1)

3. Sherman, TX

A smaller city located in northern Texas, Sherman is perfect for retiring in a place that boasts a laidback way of living. Don’t let the small size fool you into thinking there isn’t a lot to do here. Sherman is home to museums and the Sherman Symphony Orchestra. Oklahoma City and Dallas are within driving distance.


Sherman, TX


4. Benton Harbor, MI

Benton Harbor is another quaint city with a lot of potential. Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan it offers vineyards and planetariums to explore. And if you enjoy the outdoors there isn’t a shortage of lake activities or lighthouses to see.



5. Witchita Falls, TX

Set along the Witchita River, Witchita Falls Texas is home to roughly 100,000 people. Even though the size is rather small there are still a lot of things to keep a retiree busy and on budget. With parks, concerts, and year-round warm weather settling in and growing comfortable in Witchita Falls is completely possible.




10 Best Cities

6. Jonesboro, AK

Jonesboro is modestly populated with an estimated 71,000 residents and is located just an hour north of Memphis, TN. If big city living isn’t for you but you would appreciate access to the amenities places like Memphis offer, Jonesboro may be a great compromise.



7. Cleveland, TN

The cost of living in Cleveland, TN is 14% lower than the rest of the U.S. This is just one good reason to add it to your list of possibilities. Located in eastern Tennessee, the Appalachians and the Great Smoky Mountains would be in your backyard.



8. Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg is located in southern Mississippi and is only a short distance to New Orleans or Mobile, AL. The close proximity to the gulf is sure to keep a retiree busy exploring. Hattiesburg also hosts a zoo with nearly 75 different global animals and the African American Military History Museum.



9. Evansville, IN

If Native American history is your thing then keep Evansville in the running as a retirement city. Angel Mounds State Historic Site is home to 12 earthen burial mounds. There is also an abundance of trails and a museum. But that’s not all. This city has a botanical garden and a planetarium.


10. McAllen, TX

If by retiring it means heading south, McAllen is just about as far south as you can get while staying within the U.S. It is also close to the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful South Padre Island. Explore global arts at the International Museum of Art & Science or tour a Spanish revival mansion at the Quinta Mazatlan.


McAllen Public Library



Clearly, the south wins the contest of having the best retirement cities, especially Tennesee.

Perhaps your dreams of early retirement can come to fruition with the help of these cities and their warm weather, high quality of life, and low living costs.

Maybe this also means there will be a shift in your retirement paradigm. Take the example from the Millennials who save and plan to retire when the figures are right instead of waiting a lifetime.

Need some inspiration to make your early retirement dreams a reality?

Check out this article How To Retire Early article on Dave Ramsey’s site.