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7 Cities to Avoid When Retiring in the Southeast

Are you thinking about retirement years? These are the cities to avoid if you plan on retiring in the Southeast!

Retirement isn’t what it used to be, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be excited about free time, traveling, and a lot of other benefits that not having to work from 9 to 5 can bring.

The interesting thing is that, according to various statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Americans begin working at an early age; over 50% of those in the country between the ages of 15 and 24 hold a paid job, while the typical US retiree is 61.

By the time they retire, Americans will have worked in an office for up to 40 years, based on these statistics, meaning they have had a lengthy wait.

With inflation, low fixed incomes, and other issues, contemporary Americans soon-to-be retirees are looking to relocate to cities or countries that allow them to live a decent and fulfilling life.

Now, I hope you didn’t get bored just yet, because in the following lines, I will show you, based on exact records and research, what cities to avoid when staying in the Southeast:

cities to avoid
Photo by Sean Pavone from Shutterstock

1. Annapolis, Maryland

If we judge every city in our country by its exceptional landscape, then we would definitely put Annapolis, Maryland, in the top 10 most beautiful destinations. Unfortunately, in this case, Annapolis is one of the cities to avoid if you plan on retiring in the Southeast.

I hope you’re not disappointed, and I didn’t ruin it for you, but unfortunately, according to numerous statistics, things aren’t exactly good for retirees here.

This is an expensive city for seniors on a tight budget, with a cost of living that is 14.7% more than the national average and median property prices that just break the $600,000 barrier.

2. Palm Beach, Florida

Once upon a time, Florida used to be a nice place for retirees. Affordable, warm, and full of nice activities for seniors. But now, a lot of cities to avoid when retiring are in Florida, and Palm Beach is among them.

For retirees hoping to buy their forever home on a tight budget, the city may be too expensive, with typical property prices ranging around $3.5 million. The cost of living in Palm Beach is 14.1% more than the national average, and this also applies to day-to-day life there. But this doesn’t mean you can’t be a tourist and enjoy some days there for a weekend getaway!

3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Again, I hope I didn’t ruin your dreams, but according to various statistics based on people’s personal experiences, Myrtle Beach is one of the cities to avoid if you plan on retiring in the Southeast.

Living in a place where you’re near the beach and you can go for a sunbath at any point during the day sounds like a dream come true for many individuals. But how do you feel about living in a place where tourists are always loud, the streets are super crowded, and everything is basically chaos?

Therefore, the golf courses and beaches that retirees may find appealing may not wind up being that fun.

4. Oak Ridge, Tennessee

You will probably be tempted to think that Oak Ridge is a good place to spend your retirement years, and this is mostly because of the friendly tax policies. But don’t get too excited, because I have some bad news for you!

According to statistics, U.S. News & World Report gave Oak Ridge’s Methodist Medical Center a pretty bad ranking of 3 out of 5 in categories including surgical replacements, cancer care, and patient experience.

The apparent attractiveness of Oak Ridge may make it easy to get hooked, especially because of the cost of living, which isn’t that high compared to other cities on the list. However, an additional study finds a poor healthcare system, which might not be appropriate for elderly people in dire need of treatment.

cities to avoid
Photo by Dmitry Tkachenko Photo from Shutterstock

5. Miami, Florida

The second Florida destination I decided to put on the list is again based solely on statistics and is definitely one of the cities to avoid if you plan on retiring in the southwest of the country. The skyrocketing cost of living and the high median home price are two factors that American seniors commonly rely on to make ends meet.

The cherry on top is the “amazing” hurricane season. After taking these little things into account, it becomes clear why retirees are permanently departing Florida.

Is retirement a new chapter that scares you so much, but you keep denying that simply because you don’t want to be weak in front of others? Well, you must know you’re not alone in this, and while deciding to downsize, move, or make changes in your life isn’t going to be easy, it’s always nice to have a helping hand to guide you through the waves of life. 

Then how do you feel about a book that can help you decide what’s better for you? Your Home Sweet Home: How to Decide Whether You Should Stay or Move in Retirement contains analytical tools, worksheets, and a decision guide that creates a step-by-step process for sorting out fears, facts, and finances. It is available on Amazon for $10.45 for the Kindle edition. 

6. Charlottesville, Virginia

Clearly not a community that welcomes its elderly population, Charlottesville, Virginia, comes in at six on the list of the worst places in the Southeast for retirees. The city becomes unaffordable for a sizable class of retirees due to its 5.2% higher cost of living than the national average, poor health, and median property price exceeding $550,000.

Furthermore, health care in Charlottesville is not very good either because it is below 25.

7. Opelika, Alabama

The vast railroad heritage of Opelika, Alabama, is its most well-known feature. Financially speaking, the city has a cost of living that is below average and a median home price that is around $67,000 less than the current US average.

It is not possible to say the same about retirement tax laws and health requirements. Regular income policies tax IRAs and 401(k)s, but social security benefits are not deductible from taxes.


I really hope this article managed to clear things up a bit for you. I know that relocating isn’t an easy decision, and you may feel pressured now, but I can assure you that if you do your research and frequently check statistics regarding this topic, you will succeed in finding something suitable for you. May the golden years of your life actually be golden, free from worries and a huge cost of living.

Hey! If you’re new around, I am pleased to meet you! Since we have a lot of amazing articles around I hope you’ll have the time to get through most of them because trust me you won’t get bored.

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