‘A Room with a View’
A view of the sea to wake up to is nearly everyone’s retirement wish.
How many of us have dreamed about one day retiring to a place by the sea?
Do you fancy spending your retirement years by the sea, a lake, or a river wiling away your days fishing, boating, or just walking along the waterfront?
Most of us expect a property to be vastly more expensive nearer the beachfront, but there are affordable places in the US to spend your retirement on the seafront while not breaking the bank…
Most people at retirement age won’t even entertain the idea of pursuing the American Dream of a beautiful beachfront apartment or house due to the fear of the potential costs.
The list of the best retirement beach retirement places is endless and more affordable than you think.
Quality of life is still essential when looking for places to retire to the beachfront so healthcare, affordability, as well as the general cost of living, must all be taken into account before you make that dream come true.
You have to consider factors like HOAs, maintenance fees, taxes, and of course, the inflated costs of living in a seaside resort town.
So, before you grab your shades and flip-flops, let’s look at some affordable places to spend your golden years…
‘Just Messing about on the Water’ – best beach retirement places!
Is a tiny town with a population of about 10,000, which is popular with senior citizens wanting to have a bit of fun on the coast; they make up about 20% of the population. The average housing cost is $295k, so it’s pretty affordable too.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a superb state to retire to in general as it has super-low tax rates which include income and sales. This is a historic port town and has an accessible downtown with excellent entertainment – restaurants, galleries, museums, etc. as well as its pretty beaches. Another big plus for this area is there is a higher than an average number of doctors’ surgeries and recreation centers! Don’t forget the ever-popular Maine is right next door to this little gem. $249k is the average housing cost.
Supposedly the sunniest town in coastal Washington, Sequim is therefore extremely popular with seniors. According to coastalliving.com, they make up 37% of the population, which is the highest in the state. Surrounded by lavender fields and becoming a place to go for foodies, this town is fast becoming a place to go to spend pensioners’ later years.
Gig Harbor, Washington
This is a superb fishing village with amazing views of both the sea as well as Mount Rainier. Boat lovers tend to love this spot as this Pacific Northwest hotspot is a must for retirees. It boasts the highest ration of retirement centers per 1,000 people – that’s better than anywhere else in the country. The population is made up of 25% of retirees.
Overall Florida does well when it comes to people wanting to retire here. What’s not to like anywhere in Florida if sunshine, sea, entertainment are your thing? Sarasota has white, sandy beaches and again a high number of doctors’ offices – 12.4% and recreation centers 3% per 1,000 people. Average housing is $204k.
Staying in Florida for the time being, just south of Sarasota is the sleepy, charming town of Venice. This gorgeous little town is perfect for those retirees who are looking for a place in the sun to slow down in. Nearly 60% of the residents are retirees. With its long, white beaches, a Mediterranean-inspired downtown this could be seen as a perfect place in the sun.
Vero Beach, Florida
On the east coast of the Sunshine State, Vero could be viewed as a nature lover’s haven with its miles of hiking, bike trails, and wildlife on offer along its spectacular coastline. Popular with retirees with its average house prices being listed around $275,000.
Situated on the Gulf coast this little Mediterranean-influenced town is full of architecture which could make you think you’ve gone to Europe. In surveys for happiness and well-being for seniors, this town ranks exceptionally high. According to SmartAsset, it’s the number one place in the country to retire to, if you want to spend your days by the seafront. There are plenty of doctors’ offices, retirement, and social opportunities for retirees.
This little gem nestles in between Vero Beach and Palm Beach and is a unique Intracoastal town. It has the reputation of the ‘sailfish capital of the world’ and has a relaxed vibe which draws retirees to its colorful downtown, which has plenty on offer. Senior citizens make up more than a quarter of the town’s population. Average housing cost is $239k.
Great Neck, New York
Leaving Florida, we head to Long Island with views of the Manhattan skyline in the distance. Great Neck is a New England styled town and has little villages with their perfect coastal parks. Retirees enjoy the feeling that the city isn’t too far away, and its diverse culture has ingrained itself within the seaside town as well.
So, these may be seen as the best beach town to retire to, but are they the most affordable?
The coast isn’t the only place that attracts retirees who fancy a bit of the water to spend their days around.
Wanting to be near the beach is a common retirement dream, but it is an expensive way to spend your retirement when the cost of daily living becomes ever more apparent when you’re relying on your pension.
There are amazing other places to retire to in America’s heartland, far from the coast, that still offers freshwater beaches on lakes and rivers.
You can still feel the sunshine on your face and the white sand beneath your toes, but at more affordable prices than you’ll come across in the more popular coastal retirement towns.
Remember, there are pros and cons of living anywhere – including a coastal retirement town.
As a retiree, you’ll need access to amenities and services such as quality health care and transportation options.
It’s a good idea to check out the surveys for retirement spots which focus on housing affordability, happiness, desirability, retiree taxes, the job market, and access to quality health care.
Pros and Cons of beach life
So, what makes beach life so desirable?
If retiring to the beach is so attractive, why don’t more pensioners do it?
A lot of retirees want the beach life because of the climate – don’t we all get fed up of the winter and cold weather – imagine this for 60 odd years!
Therefore, the thought of endless sunny days on the beach are incredibly appealing…
It’s essential that you think about the negatives of this too, however, as there can be frequent rain and oppressive heat in the summer.
Don’t forget there’s always a risk of hurricanes…
Taxes are another factor you must think about before you head for the coast.
The lack of state income tax and retirement income and Social Security benefits not being taxed either is a significant reason many retirees head to the coast, particularly Florida.
Property taxes in Florida, for example, aren’t unreasonable; they assessed at 100% value for permanent residents, a homestead exception is available that can reach $50,000.
Life is a beach!
All the beach retirement coastal town we looked at have great communities for senior citizens.
There is a multitude of social and entertainment events for every taste organized by the residents in the community centers which cater specifically for retirees.
Where you end up retiring is a personal choice – it’s essential you don’t just think about the sunshine and sea but take into account several other factors too which can and will affect your enjoyment of living by the sea permanently.
You have to remember that for many a community by the sea is expensive, perhaps you should look at the alternatives to the most popular destinations such as Florida.
Perhaps the best of the beach bunch
However, if you’re looking for a cheap place to retire by the beach, maybe you should consider Daytona Beach.
The average house price amongst retirees is just $160,200.
Homeowners aged 60 upwards pay an average of $1,173 per month with a mortgage of $433 monthly for a paid -off house – according to Money News.
The average rent is $910 a month.
Healthcare services are provided by Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach and Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center.
It’s on Florida’s Atlantic Coat and has miles of sandy beaches which offer dog walking as well as community organized sports for all ages.
Although it can’t be said to be a sleepy little coastal town as it is home to NASCAR and holds many car sporting events throughout the year.
Quaint it may not be, but for a beach town for retirees, it could be a beach bum’s haven!