10 Best Places To Retire Near Water on a Budget of $2,500 a Month

Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sean Pavone / Getty Images/iStockphoto

With the cost of rents, groceries and healthcare continuing to rise amid inflation, retirees undoubtedly are feeling the pinch. But they don't have to give up on their dream of finding a community where they can live comfortably with water nearby for fishing, swimming or boating without spending more than $2,500 per month.

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In fact, a GOBankingRates study found 10 places where retirees can rent one-bedroom apartments, fill refrigerators and access medical care all for less than $2,110 a month. The locations range from the Pacific Northwest to the Southeast, with three in Texas and three in Florida.

To find attractive and affordable communities along bodies of water, GOBankingRates gathered data from ApartmentList to find average 2022 one-bedroom rents. Then we consulted Sperling's Best to find the cost-of-living index for each city and the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to determine how much residents 65 and older spend on groceries and healthcare in these cities.

Here are the 10 most affordable cities on water for retirees to settle.

Shutterstock.com
Shutterstock.com

Lakeland, Florida

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $2,108

  • Livability Score: 82

Lakeland has a large number of retirees, with the population 65 and older at 20%, but that group of residents also has monthly healthcare costs of $458, which is slightly above the national average. Groceries cost 2.7% above the national average at $450 -- the most in the GOBankingRates study. Lakeland is appropriately named as it contains dozens of lakes.

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Lee's_Summit_iStock-1059031610
Lee's_Summit_iStock-1059031610

Lee's Summit, Missouri

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $2,093

  • Livability Score: 88

In Lee's Summit, the livability score comes in at a whopping 88, but average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is nearly $1,188 a month, and monthly costs for groceries ($441) and healthcare ($465) exceed the national average. Lee's Summit is surrounded by lakes, including Lake Jacomo.

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Shutterstock.com

Palm Bay, Florida

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $2,091

  • Livability Score: 80

The average rent in Palm Bay rings in at $1,203 -- the highest in the GOBankingRates study -- but it isn't detracting retirees. The city has the highest percentage of residents 65 and older at 24%.

jmoor17 / Getty Images
jmoor17 / Getty Images

Richland, Washington

  • Monthly Cost of Living: 2,032

  • Livability Score: 80

If healthcare is your No. 1 retirement worry, Richland could suit your needs. The monthly healthcare costs are tied for the lowest in the study at $393 per month -- well below the $454 national average. Grocery expenses are 1.6% above the national average, however, at $445.

Richland, part of the Tri-Cities, sits at the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia rivers.

Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com

Panama City Beach, Florida

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $2,018

  • Livability Score: 76

In Panama City Beach, residents pay 2.4% over the national average for groceries at $449. However, they save a bit on healthcare ($450), with the figure a trickle below the national average. Panama City Beach is known for its miles of beach coastline along the Gulf of Mexico.

gjohnstonphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
gjohnstonphoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Kennewick, Washington

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $1,903

  • Livability Score: 79

As with Richland, just 10 miles away, Kennewick's cost of monthly healthcare is just $393. The $1,070 average monthly rent is about $24 a month less than in Richland, and grocery costs ($440) are a bit lower than in Kennewick's neighbor. Kennewick sits on the Columbia River.

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Shutterstock.com

Metairie, Louisiana

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $1,901

  • Livability Score: 82

Metairie's livability score of 82 is among the highest in the study, and its grocery costs of $433 are below the national average. The monthly healthcare costs, however, are a tick above the national average. Metairie is bordered to the north by Lake Pontchartrain.

Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons
Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

Temple, Texas

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $1,873

  • Livability Score: 75

Just 11% of Temple's residents are 65 and older, but the city has its benefits for retirees. The monthly grocery costs are just $404 -- the lowest in the study -- although healthcare costs reach 1.5% above the national average. Temple sits adjacent to Belton Lake, a large reservoir on the Leon River.

DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto
DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

San Angelo, Texas

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $1,807

  • Livability Score: 78

San Angelo offers a mixed bag for the 15% of the community members who are 65 and older. While the rent is the lowest on the list at $851 and the monthly grocery expenses are $405, the healthcare costs are by far the highest in the study at $550 -- 21% over the national average. San Angelo is on the Concho River.

Art Wager / Getty Images/iStockphoto
Art Wager / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Baytown, Texas

  • Monthly Cost of Living: $1,720

  • Livability Score: 75

Baytown is roughly 400 miles from San Angelo, but it's a whole world away when it comes to healthcare costs. The monthly average for healthcare in Baytown is $432 -- $118 below what residents of San Angelo pay. Groceries ($419) and rent ($869) are a bit higher, but not enough to knock Baytown off the perch as the cheapest place to retire near the water. Baytown sits on the north side of the Galveston Bay complex, across from Houston.

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Methodology: To find the best places to retire near water on $2,500 per month, GOBankingRates first used ApartmentList's data to find (1) average 2022 one-bedroom rents. GOBankingRates then used Sperling's Best to find the cost-of-living index for each selected city, looking at (2) grocery and (3) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amount for both grocery ("food at home") and healthcare costs for people ages 65 and older to determine how much a retired person might spend on groceries and healthcare in each city monthly. GOBankingRates then added monthly housing, grocery and healthcare costs together to find the best places to retire near water on $2,500 per month. For a place to be qualified for the study, (4) its population had to be 10% or more over the age of 65, according to the Census Bureau's 2020 American Community Survey; and (5) must have a livability score of 75 or above, as sourced from AreaVibes. All data was collected on and up to date as of Sept. 28, 2022.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Best Places To Retire Near Water on a Budget of $2,500 a Month