If you want to retire to the United States and want more bang for your buck, then you may be surprised to find out that some big cities have a much cheaper cost of living than others.
When thinking of the USA, most people dream of living in New York, Miami, Los Angeles or Chicago.
But like other major world cities, living expenses and property all cost a lot more if you want to live somewhere close to the action.
If you are on a tight budget and still want the best of what the USA can offer, web site GoBankingRates has compiled a comparison chart for the country’s cheapest 50 cities, considering expenses such as housing, food, transport, utilities and health.
Cheapest US cities for retirees
The surprise winner was Birmingham, Alabama, where the cost of living is 27.4% lower than the national average.
Retirees should budget to spend $33,219 a year, with housing costs of $5,242.
With 15 golf courses, ample green space in parks, local lakes for fishing and a program of arts and entertainment events, Birmingham scores high.
And the city has the USA’s cheapest healthcare at $4,915 a year.
Detroit, Michigan, comes in slightly cheaper than Birmingham – with an annual budget of $33,356, housing costs of $3,177 and health spending of $5,994.
If you want to live comfortably in a big city, then budget to spend a lot more than needed for Birmingham or Michigan.
San Francisco is most expensive place to live
San Francisco is the most expensive place to live in the USA, with an annual budget of $110,357 needed.
New York is the most expensive east coast destination, coming in at $86,446, while Washington DC needs deep pockets as well with an annual spend of $80,273.
“You don’t need to be rich to live comfortably — but you do need to make a certain amount of money. The key is to earn enough to cover the cost of your necessities, pay for non-essentials and build your savings,” said a spokesman for the web site.
“A good way to gauge whether you can live a comfortable financial life is to apply the 50-30-20 budgeting rule, in which 50% of income covers necessities, 30% covers discretionary items and 20% is for savings. From here, you can figure out whether your income is sufficient to cover cost-of-living expenses in your city.”