Retire to a Small Town

by Andy Hough on March 17, 2011

There are several benefits to retiring to a small town in the U.S.A. One of the main benefits is a lower cost of living. When I wrote my article, “Retire in the U.S.A. as Cheaply as Abroad“, many expressed skepticism over just how cheap things can be in the rural United States. Other than health care it is difficult to get things much cheaper than in the rural U.S even in countries that are considered low cost retirement havens.

Some more potential benefits listed in this U.S News article are peace and quiet, a slower pace of living, and friendly people. Depending on your personality you may not consider those all to be benefits. Having grown up in a small town I couldn’t wait to escape the peace and quiet and slower pace of living but now those qualities do have some attraction for me once again. I would say rural areas having friendly people might be true in general but there are some exceptions. People in some rural areas don’t warm quickly to new residents. Before you move to a rural area it would be smart to spend some time there to make sure it is a good fit.

What do you think about retiring to a small town? Does it sound like an attractive option or do you prefer the city?

{ 5 comments }

Jereme March 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Now is the time to do it. Some of the most sought out real estate locations five years ago have the best deals right now. If anyone is looking to retire and move the warmer states have some amazing inventory just sitting around.

Banjo Steve March 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

I wonder if there is a certain kind of personality and/or orientation needed to retire to the country – or outside the US. Prices are lower, but what about family and old friends? Plane fare to visit (or fly family to you)?

We talk about the importance of a social network in retirement; do you need to be the kind of person/people who can establish new (and meaningful) connections easily – or maybe just don’t want to have said network…?

Retirement relocation has enormous social and psychological implications that I don’t see being discussed very fully.

It may be cheaper, but there is also a different kind of price that needs to be “paid”.

Neil Reeve-Newson April 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

A lower cost of living is just one of many benefits of retiring to a small town. I am 28 yrs old and live in Waterdown, Canada. Already I’m planning to move out East to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland when I retire. If I work hard and save for the next ten year, I’ll be set.

Living in a small town offers more time to appreciate the good things in life ;)

Stephanie April 14, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Great post!

Deb April 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm

One must take into consideration many issues other than financial!

Are your politics progressive? Are you highly educated and accustomed to engaging with similarly educated demographic? Do you enjoy dining out at a variety of good restaurants, attending art events, concerts, festivals, and having a broad selection of stores and convenient shopping? Do you enjoy being part of tight knit urban/suburban neighborhood? Do you enjoy the ability to use mass transit?

2.5 years ago we relocated to a town of 50k, just 1 hour from Portland, Oregon, which is a very progressive city with lots of activities and events. We moved from a tight knit neighborhood to a semi rural setting on 4 acres. Yes, it is much less expensive, but it has also been a big adjustment!

We enjoy the beautiful outdoor recreation and peace and quiet here – lots of boating, hiking, biking, camping, etc. But there are other aspects of small town life that we find challenging, such as limited options for dining out. We don’t even eat out very often, but when we do, we’d like it to be worth paying for!

Thankfully we kept the city home as a rental. I reached an agreement with the renter, and for a nice discount, I am able to stay in town up to 10 days/nights per month. It’s really the best of both worlds now. I get to keep my sanity and also the tax write off of the rental.

I’m not advising against moving to a rural area. I do recommend doing your homework so that you understand the area you are moving to. It’s a huge change of lifestyle!

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: