• Tue. Oct 4th, 2022

Affordable living dotted with beach views could be a target for potential residents

ByJean A. Francis

Sep 19, 2022
Latitude Margaritaville Bar and Chill (by Rob-Harris)

Looking to attract seniors on a budget? GOBankingRates recently provided several options where prospective residents could look to spend their retirement years.

According to the Personal Finance website, Florida has several options for retirees who want to live on Social Security, potentially overlooking the beach.

The Social Security Administration listed the average monthly Social Security benefit in May at $1,621, which could be enough for the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Florida, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and of urban development.

Looking at the Cost of Living Index, Grocery and Health Care Index Scores, and Livability Scores collected from Sperlin’s Best, Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey 2020 and AreaVibes, GOBankingRates determined that Baker County, Florida has the lowest overall spending and the highest livability score.

Although monthly rent in Baker County isn’t the cheapest on the list, at $617, monthly health care and grocery costs are both lower than the national average.

Homosassa Springs came second, with 36% of its population aged 65 or older. Residents can pay all their monthly expenses out of their Social Security income and benefit from low monthly healthcare costs.

Levy County finished No. 3 with the lowest rent and a high livability score, followed by No. 4 Ocala with low healthcare costs and spending, and The Villages as of Nov. 5, where 84% of its population is 65 or older and the expenses are “very affordable.

Life is a beach on a budget

It is possible for seniors on a budget to find affordable accommodation near the beach. GOBankingRate found “many beach towns that offer the best of both worlds – affordable living and a large population of seniors.”

Florida and the Carolinas occupied the coveted spots – area owners and operators could find growing interest from potential residents.

In South Carolina, Garden City is located 10 miles south of Myrtle Beach and is a small resort town where 40% of residents are 65 and older. The city offers easy access to the beach, with average home prices of $315,000 in May, below the national average of $435,000, according to REaltor.com.

South Carolina also enjoys low tax rates, now a tax on Social Security benefits, minimal property taxes, and a notable dedication to retirement income from state income taxes. .

Cape Carteret, NC is a RetireNC Certified Retirement Community. Part of the state’s southern outer shores, Cape Carteret is located in the Western Crystal Coast region, known for “beautiful beaches and quiet living.” The area has a median sale price of $398,000.

Florida claimed three of the top five cities on the list. Florida is one of nine states that have no income tax or tax on certain types of income.

Vero Beach, Florida was named the second-best city in the nation for healthy seniors by the Mesothelioma Center in 2021. A median home sale price of $395,000 is lower than the national average, and nearly 30% of its inhabitants are aged 65 and over.

In Venice, FL, nearly 62% of the population is 65 and older, making it one of the top destinations for snowbirds in 2021-22, according to StorageCafe. The city offers a variety of entertainment options, though the median home sale price is above the national average at $450,000.

Daytona Beach and its 23 miles of white sand beaches complete the list. With an average sale price of $260,000, beach living is “very affordable.” It’s also retiree-friendly and home to a community of over 55s inspired by Latitude Margaritaville Jimmy Buffet.