Housing • July 21st, 2020

Great Places to Retire Near the Beach 2020

Michael Schultheiss

Key Takeaways
  • Consider climate: warm, temperate, or colder?
  • Consider the livability and attractions of the city itself.
  • Consider the cost of living there.

Retiring near the beach is something many people dream about. When you’re considering the best beach towns and cities near the coast to retire in, it’s important to think about the weather, the experience of living in the city itself, and the expense of living there.

You’ll want to think about your housing needs, and how these may change in retirement, as well as your long-term health needs. If you are able to make do comfortably with a smaller house, you may find you can afford more options for a beach-side retirement.

Only you can decide which of these great places to retire near the beach you’d prefer. By talking with a Certified Financial Planner®, you’ll know what your financial options are and how to make the most of your finances as you plan for retirement.

Daytona Beach, Florida

If you enjoy the Florida weather and are looking for a relatively affordable beach town in the state, Daytona Beach may be one of the best beach towns to retire in. It’s famous as the headquarters for NASCAR, and there are several significant motorsports events every year.

The median home price for retirees is $160,200, while the median mortgage payment is $1,173 ($433 monthly for a paid-off house). The median rent is $910 per month.

Portland, Maine

If you like four seasons, Portland, Maine, may be one of the best places to retire on the East Coast. Between the warm summers, cold New England winters, ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, and abundant seafood, Portland has plenty to offer.

The median home price in Portland is $249,200, and renters pay a median of $783 per month.

Charleston, South Carolina

Offering seaside charm and Southern hospitality, Charleston is known for boating, water sports, and seafood as well as the quality of its beaches and lively surfing scene. Built on the Charleston harbor, Charleston is also a short drive from Kiawah Island and Isle of Palms.

The median home price is $204,800, and the median rent is $1,102.

Tip: Don’t forget to consider your housing, health, and income needs and how these may change in retirement before choosing your retirement beach town.

Mankato, Minnesota

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and Mankato offers a way to experience this Midwestern scenic beauty without the high living costs of the Twin Cities. Mankato is still a relatively small city with modest living costs, even though development is on the rise. If you’re looking for the best lakes to retire on, this area has plenty, though beach activities here are confined to half of the year at best.

The median home price is $230,600, and median rent is $855.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is a city so rich in history and culture it scarcely needs an introduction. Major attractions include ballgames at Fenway Park, numerous historical landmarks, taking the ferry to Spectacle Island, and enjoying the beaches. This is easily one of the best coastal cities to live in.

The median home price in Boston is $423,450, and the median rent is $1,335.

Melbourne, Florida

Melbourne, Florida is located on Florida’s so-called Space Coast, an area of NASA activity. It is home to the Kennedy Space Center, and offers numerous museums and restaurants as well as the Indian River Lagoon waterfront. Look across the lagoon, and you will see a barrier island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Melbourne is one of the most affordable beach towns to retire in, at least on this list. The median home price is $157,900, and the median rent is $1,013.

Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Durham-Chapel Hill area is the third-highest-ranked large metro area for successful aging, according to the Milken Institute. Between them, Durham and Chapel Hill also offer tremendous cultural and recreational opportunities. The Falls Lake State Recreation Area is less than 30 minutes from Durham, and the coastal Atlantic Ocean beaches are about three to four hours away, making this one of the best places to retire in North Carolina near the beach.

The median home value is $382,900 in Chapel Hill and $229,900 in Durham. The median rent is $998.

Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay is a college town located on Lake Michigan, one that offers numerous opportunities for waterfront activity as well as dining, shopping, and sports. Green Bay is also notably affordable, though beach activities here are limited to warmer months.

Median home value in Green Bay is $146,500, and median rent is $747.

Miami, Florida

Florida is on this list three times for a reason: it has some of the best beach cities. Known as the Magic City, Miami is a tropical city with a lot to offer. If you’re looking for a faster pace, try South Beach. If laid back is your preference, try Key Biscayne.

Median home prices are $370,738, and $1,529 a month if you have a mortgage or $589 if you don’t. Renting is $998 a month.

San Diego, California

San Diego is famously located on the Pacific Ocean in southern California, a natural paradise of sun, surf, and warm weather year-round. In addition to miles of shoreline, there is also a boardwalk and world-famous amusement parks such as SeaWorld.

While San Diego offers a world-class beach retirement experience, it is also pricey. The median home price is $483,600, and median rent is $1,598.

Hilo, Hawaii

Hilo is located on the Big Island, a charming Pacific Island colonial-style town within easy reach of rainforests, waterfalls, and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park complete with active volcano Mauna Loa. Hilo is easily one of the best beach towns to retire in. If you have ever wanted to retire somewhere you could enjoy the tropical island beach experience, this is it.

Median home prices in Hilo are $339,800, and median rent is $1,600.

Conclusion

If you’re looking to retire in a beach town, it’s important to have your financial affairs in order. A Certified Financial Planner® can help you identify risks and opportunities, and make the most of your finances as you pursue your goal to retire in a nice beach town.

Author

Michael Schultheiss

Michael Schultheiss is a freelance copywriter of long-form content and other marketing communications (B2B and B2C) in the financial services and FinTech niches. In copywriting, he looks for hungry crowds. Other interests include health, fitness, and reading and writing fiction.