25. Essex, Maryland

Boats and docks along the Back River in Essex, Maryland.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

Not every retiree wants to live in the heart of the big city — but this lovely unincorporated community by the water offers the best of both worlds, lying just 20 minutes away from Baltimore.

The town’s top spot is the sandy Rocky Point Beach and Park, which spans 375 acres on the Back and Middle Rivers and boasts a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay.

In Essex, the median home value is just $191,400 — compared to the state’s median home value of $370,300, according to Zillow. The median annual property tax sits at $2,573 and you’ll pay around $1,216 in housing costs each month.

24. Port Angeles, Washington

Kids in the lake in Port Angeles, WA
@reichmom89 / Twenty20

The county seat of Clallam is situated between America’s border with Canada — the city of Victoria is just a ferry ride away — by the gorgeous Salish Sea.

At $217,100, Port Angeles’ median home value is less than half of the pricey state median and the median annual property tax stretches just over $2,000.

Living out your golden years in this city won’t cost you much, when the median monthly housing cost is only $981.

You’ll find plenty of recreational activities to do outside in Port Angeles. Aside from the lovely beaches, you can visit the local falls and hiking trails. The stunning Olympic National Park, with its lush green forests, hot springs and glacier-capped mountains, lies nearby as well.

23. Hobe Sound, Florida

Unidentifiable senior man briskly walking on beautiful beach in Jupiter Hobe Sound area of Florida
Edie Ann / Shutterstock

Consider Hobe Sound’s gorgeous sandy beaches, green parks and abundant golf courses if you’re settling down in the Sunshine State for your retirement.

Don’t miss the massive limestone rock formations at Blowing Rocks Preserve, which is also home to loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles. At extreme high tides or after winter storms, the water pushes up to to 50 feet in the air.

And it’s not just pretty to look at — Hobe Sound’s median home value is just $206,300. You’ll cough up around $1,925 in property taxes each year and $739 in monthly housing costs. You could also be saving $1,000 a year or more by choosing the right home insurance policy online.

22. Tarpon Springs, Florida

Fishing Boats At Sponge Docks Tarpon Springs Florida
alamodrones / Shutterstock

Tarpon Springs, along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, has been dubbed the “sponge capital of the world” for its history of Greek immigrants, who made a big business out of selling the natural sponges found in the water.

You can stroll around the downtown center and the Historic District and check out the art galleries, antique shops and Greek eateries around the area. Or go swimming at Sunset Beach and Fred Howard Park.

The median home value in Tarpon Springs is $209,400 and the median monthly housing cost adds up to $943 — slightly pricier than Hobe Sound — but you’ll pay around $1,847 in property taxes each year.

21. Dunedin, Florida

Boardwalk to the Sky in Dunedin, Florida
@kaglieri / Twenty20

Live everyday like you’re on vacation in Dunedin. It is home to Florida’s number one state park, Honeymoon Island, which boasts emerald green waters and pristine white beaches. Keep a lookout for ospreys, eagles and great horned owls flying overhead.

You’ll also gain access to another untouched island by boat — Caladesi Island, where you can kayak between the shady mangroves and stroll along the shore.

Settling down in this small coastal town won’t blow your budget either. The median home value is just under $200,000 and you’ll pay around $1,527 in property taxes each year and $852 in housing costs every month.

20. Deerfield Beach, Florida

Deerfield Beach, Florida
@karenhartman / Twenty20

This South Florida town lets you experience everything from cable skiing to swimming — and its award-winning "Blue Wave" beach is recognized for its excellent water quality, beach conditions, safety services and habitat conservation.

Cast a line at the International Fishing Pier, explore the trails around the Deerfield Island Park and taste fresh salmon and scallops at one of the high-end oceanfront restaurants.

The median home value is $168,600, property taxes will cost you around $1,567 each year and housing expenses come to about $870 a month.

19. Coos Bay, Oregon

Old wooden wharf structure in Coos Bay, Oregon
Manuela Durson / Shutterstock

This scenic hamlet in the Beaver State offers many outdoor recreational activities for a retiree, as well as museums, full-service libraries, restaurants and shops, athletic clubs and cultural events.

It’s also the medical center for the south coast region, according to the city website. The Bay Area Hospital treats patients of all ages, including geriatric medicine and services for the elderly and disabled.

You’ll spend around $1,800 in property taxes each year and $958 a month on housing costs, while the median home value sits at $181,200.

18. Middle River, Maryland

Wilson Point Park, Middle River, Maryland
World Travelaholic / YouTube

Middle River is under a half hour’s drive away from the big, bustling city of Baltimore, but the quiet town will give you all the R&R you deserve in your retirement. You can save on auto insurance as part of your retirement plan as well by comparing rates online.

Check out the local parks, like Wilson Point and Kingston Point, and eateries such as Vince’s Crab House and Carson’s Creekside. Middle River is also home to aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

With homes valued at around $168,300, the median housing cost is $1,209 a month and the median annual property tax is $2,265.

17. Gulfport, Florida

Drone aerial image of Gulfport, Florida, USA
Daniel Carlson / Shutterstock

This charming Old Florida town features brick-paved streets, colorful cottages and old oaks, with independently-owned shops and boutiques.

There are plenty of spas, salons, restaurants and live entertainment to enjoy, and you can grab fresh produce and seafood at the Fresh Market on Tuesdays.

Go swing dancing at the Casino Ballroom and fishing at the Bert and Walter Williams Pier. And explore the scenic trails at the Clam Bayou Nature Park.

The median home value in Gulfport is $185,600 and the annual property taxes will cost you around $1,448, while monthly housing expenses amount to about $877.

16. Lynn Haven, Florida

Lynn Haven, Florida: City hall
Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

Lynn Haven, situated just north of Panama City, is a half hour away from some gorgeous beaches and St. Andrew’s State Park.

There’s a medical clinic within the city, but you can also make a quick drive to the Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center for more services. Don’t forget to compare health insurance rates to find an affordable policy that gives you great coverage as part of your retirement plan.

You’ll find several delicious eateries such as Simply Seafood Market & Oyster Bar for scallops and shrimps and PoFolks if you’re in the mood for some homestyle American comfort food, as well as your regular fast food joints.

The median home value in Lynn Haven is $200,100 and you’ll fork over around $1,553 each year in property taxes and $1,210 in monthly housing costs.

15. Hampton, Virginia

Hampton, Virginia
@shotglasscity / Twenty20

Hampton, which the town website describes as “a city with an old soul and a youthful enthusiasm,” features some lovely historic attractions and museums, golfing and boating opportunities and fantastic dining options.

Buckroe Beach and Park, which offers jet ski, kayak and paddle board rentals, also presents sparkling views of the Chesapeake Bay.

You won’t need to splurge on your new digs, however. The median home value in Hampton is just $186,700 and you’ll pay around $1,989 in property taxes each year and $1,255 in housing costs every month.

14. Ormond Beach, Florida

Beautiful ocean sunset view on Ormond Beach in Daytona, Florida. All I wanted to do was bring the colors of the sky to life so I could look at them forever.
Eamon M. Keane / Shutterstock

Live everyday like you’re at a summer resort at Ormond Beach in Florida and enjoy clear blue waters and peachy orange sands.

The city features two state parks — Tomoka and Bulow Creek — which cover thousands of acres and protect various wildlife habitats and species. The city also houses the Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park, where you can see an 18th-century plantation.

Beach vacations can be expensive, but luckily, a retiree in Ormond Beach doesn’t have to drain their savings for a more permanent stay.

The median home value is priced at $208,800 and the median annual property tax is $1,953, while you’ll pay around $953 in housing expenses each month.

13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Caroline, USA-July 10, 2014. Boardwalk in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

Myrtle Beach boasts 60 miles of golden coastline, celebrity-designed golf courses and decadent seafood restaurants. Stroll down the boardwalk for more entertainment options and shopping.

Myrtle Beach is a popular vacation destination but it’s also pretty affordable to live in on a permanent basis. The median home value in the area is $216,100 and you’ll pay around $848 in yearly property taxes and $912 in monthly housing costs.

Just bear in mind that as a resident you will have to contend with crowds of tourists, especially in the summer.

12. Gulf Shores, Alabama

Alabama Gulf of Mexico beach life. Marine landscape with beach line homes and hotels, beach umbrellas, people and flying birds on a foreground. Alabama Gulf Shores State park and beach, USA.
MarynaG / Shutterstock

In Alabama’s Gulf Shores, you can indulge and relax — and even partake in an adventure or two.

Sink your toes into sugar-white sand beaches that are reportedly composed out of fine quartz grains from the Appalachian Mountains.

Foodies can dine at some fantastic seafood and steak spots and outdoor activities range from bird watching to ziplining.

Homes are on the pricier end — the median home value is $243,100, the most expensive on this list — but you’ll only pay around $799 in annual property taxes and $901 in monthly housing costs.

11. Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Enjoying the day at the beach. Fort Walton, Florida. May 2018
Penny Richard / Shutterstock

Nestled between Pensacola and Panama City, Fort Walton Beach includes some of the best deep sea fishing charters in the nation.

Okaloosa Island, with its fine white sand beaches and glittering green waters, is mere minutes away. You might even catch a glimpse of a dolphin or sea turtle, or catch some Spanish mackerel along the fishing pier.

The median home value in Fort Walton is $185,900, while annual property taxes will cost you around $1,366 and monthly housing costs amount to about $1,049.

10. Fort Pierce, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida
@galligatorrr / Twenty20

The Sunrise City houses one of the oldest communities in Florida’s east coast and it’s best known for its world-class fishing.

Fort Pierce’s unspoiled shores and palm tree lined sidewalks also make it one of America’s most picturesque (and affordable) beach towns.

You can take a motorized kayak down the Indian River, go horseback riding on the beach or check out the historic waterfront downtown area for shopping, dining and more entertainment options.

The median home value in the city is quite low — just $113,600 — and you’ll pay around $908 in annual property taxes and about $655 in monthly housing costs.

9. Daytona Beach, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida, USA beachfront skyline.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Daytona Beach is a tourist’s dream — gorgeous beaches, fun rides and arcades and live music and theater productions. You can also watch the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race at the Daytona International Speedway.

For a retiree, the city also offers some great dining experiences and outdoor activities like hiking and golfing, and it doesn’t cost that much to reside there.

The median home value in the city is $153,000 and you’ll pay about $1,220 in property taxes each year and $723 in housing costs every month.

Daytona also made it to 15th place on U.S. News’ ranking for the best places to retire.

8. Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne, Florida
@iammclovin / Twenty20

Melbourne is situated just southeast of Orlando’s massive, family-friendly theme parks, but it could be better suited to an older homeowner.

The Harbor City features some delightful art galleries, golf courses, fishing piers, upscale dining, boutiques and beaches. U.S. News also named Melbourne its tenth best city to retire in and one of the safest places to live and ranked it highly for quality of life.

The median home value sits at $169,000 and annual property taxes will cost you around $1,300. The median monthly housing expenses come to $853.

7. Freeport, Texas

Freeport beach waves and skyline
David ODell / Shutterstock

This coastal city has some of the best fishing in Texas — you can choose between charter boat services, surf fishing at Bryan Beach or the Brazos River.

For bird watching opportunities, head to the Freeport Wetlands Trail & Bird Observatory, and go hit the links at the Freeport Golf Course.

In the downtown area, you’ll discover some lovely early-1900 buildings and exhibits at the Historical Museum.

That’s not all. The median home value in Freeport is a mere $81,100 and you’ll pay just around $479 in monthly housing costs. The median annual property taxes add up to $1,267.

6. Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

View of Bayou Caddy in Bay St. Louis, MS
Sam Brandon / Shutterstock

Mississippi’s widely considered one of the cheapest cities to live in the U.S., but isn’t always recommended for a retiree.

However, this small seaside town has recreational opportunities and scenic views that far surpass what you’d expect from a location that requires such a small budget to live in.

Stroll along white sand beaches, browse the boutiques and galleries in Old Town and cast a line for speckled trout or red snappers at one of the numerous fishing piers.

In Bay St. Louis, homes are valued at around $172,600 and you’ll pay around $1,140 in annual property taxes and $782 in monthly housing costs.

If you’re worried about weather-related damages — the city has suffered from some pretty intense storms in the past — make sure to compare home insurance policies online for a good rate that gets you the right coverage.

5. Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Cat in the Channel
@sarahbeaugez / Twenty20

You’ll find plenty of activities to keep you occupied in and around the City of Discovery, from casinos and boat charters to beaches and trails.

This quaint coastal town lies east of Bay St. Louis and it is known\ for its arts and festivals.

There is the Ocean Springs Art Association, which represents over 300 local artists, and the largest fine arts festival in Mississippi, the Peter Anderson Arts & Crafts Festival.

In Ocean Springs, the median home value is $174,000, the median annual property tax is $1,445 and the median monthly housing cost is $1,021. Plus, there’s almost seven rooms per house on average, so you’ll have lots of space.

4. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola, Florida
larry mcmillian / Shutterstock

Pensacola is Florida’s most affordable beach city — and it’s a beautiful place to retire, with idyllic white sand beaches, rivers, bayous and bays.

In the downtown area, you’ll find several historic sites, tasty eateries and live arts performances, and you can go fishing, paddling, surfing and sailing on the blue-green waters that sweep the beach.

Don’t miss the National Naval Aviation Museum, the world’s biggest naval aviation museum, which houses over 150 restored aircrafts.

The median home value in the city is $182,800 and you’ll pay around $1,291 in property taxes each year and $940 in housing costs every month.

3. Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur Texas Ship Chanel, viewing east.
Matias Wilson / Shutterstock

This Gulf Coast city features some glorious nature trails and lagoons and wetlands. You can go fishing for speckled trout and flounder at Sabine Lake and keep a look out for warblers and thrushes at Sabine Woods.

Port Arthur houses the Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge, which covers 8,972 acres of saline to brackish marsh and is inhabited by a variety of fish and fowl.

Property is extremely cheap in Port Arthur — the median home value is just $65,800. And you’ll pay around $1,009 in annual property taxes and $455 in monthly housing costs.

2. Gulfport, Mississippi

Welcome to Mississippi Gulf Coast sign on sandy beach in Gulfport
CrackerClips Stock Media / Shutterstock

This coastal city includes over seven miles of white sandy beaches and offers plenty of leisure activities and facilities for seniors.

Gulfport is one of Mississippi’s biggest cities, so you won’t lack for amenities. There’s an outlet shopping center and a casino.

The city’s Memorial Hospital, which offers senior services, is within easy reach.

The median home value in the city is $122,300 and you’ll pay around $1,069 in annual property taxes. The median monthly housing costs amount to $811.

1. Biloxi, Mississippi

Biloxi, Mississippi, USA at Biloxi Lighthouse.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Biloxi, which sits right next to Gulfport, is America’s most affordable beach city, according to SmartAsset.

The median home value is $161,700 and the median annual property tax is $1,1986 — a bit more expensive compared to Gulfport — but you’ll pay about $737 in housing costs each month.

It’s an amazing retirement destination with its white sand beaches, casino resorts, championship golf courses and museums and historic sites.

Head to the local restaurants for some fresh gulf seafood or book a charter and reel in some fish yourself.

Compare mortgage rates today to find the cheapest offer in one of these beautiful beach cities.

About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Staff Writer

Serah Louis is a staff writer with MoneyWise.com. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Biology and Professional Writing and Communications.

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