2012’s Top 10 Best Retirement Places to Live on $100 a Day


Las Cruces, NM.

When it comes to looking for a place to retire, cost of living often tops the list of considerations. But there’s a difference between living cheaply and living well, according to the latest AARP survey. In narrowing down AARP’s list of The 10 Best Places to Live on $100 a Day, they sought out towns and cities that offered not only bargain prices, but also a rich quality of life.

To determine these select places, AARP began with a theoretical income of $36,500, or $100 a day. After taxes (at 25 percent) that is $27,375, or $2,281 a month. We looked for a median housing cost of $192,000, which means a mortgage of about $719 a month, leaving $1,562 a month for everything else.

AARP pared a list of 200 cities down to 10 by homing in on things that make life worth living: the arts and culture, colleges, restaurants, community. Here is AARP’s top 10:

Live on $100 a Day

Natural beauty near Grand Junction, Colorado.

  1. Spokane, Washington
  2. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  3. Eau Claire, Wisconsin
  4. Roanoke, Virginia
  5. Morgantown, West Virginia
  6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. San Antonio, Texas
  8. Omaha, Nebraska
  9. Grand Junction, Colorado
  10. Gainesville, Florida


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