One of the biggest factors that I see affecting people’s decision on when to retire is their monthly expenses. Specifically it is the relationship between their monthly income that they will have in retirement versus their monthly expenses in retirement.
More importantly, how do you reduce your retirement expenses WITHOUT making big sacrifices. Let’s face it, there are plenty of cheap places to retire in the world. But moving to the other side of the globe is a pretty big sacrifice. What if you could find cheap places to retire here in the United States? That wouldn’t require near as big a sacrifice.
Here’s One Cheap Place To Live
Now there are plenty of places in the United States to live that are rather cheap. In fact, I may in the future do a whole series on cheap places to live. But today I’m going to talk about just one place: Hardin County, TN. The main town in this county is Savannah, TN.
I actually live in this town, and I have had the privilege over the years to get to know the Director of Tourism for Hardin County, Rachel Baker. Click below to see our interview.
In this interview we discuss some of the lifestyle benefits of Savannah, TN. Remember, money is not the only factor to consider if you are thinking about relocating to a cheaper cost of living region. Rachel discusses some of the benefits her town has to offer.
One great resource that she shares with us in this interview is the Cost of Living calculator from the website www.RetireTennessee.org.
Hardin County / Savannah, TN is just one of the regions that is featured on that site. And you can use the Cost of Living calculator to figure out how much further your dollar could stretch in Hardin County. It’s easy to use. Here’s how you do it.
First visit www.RetireTennessee.org.
Then scroll down to the Cost of Living Calculator and choose the region you currently live in.
For our exercise I chose the region of Sacramento, CA. Then click the “Get Started” button.
It will take you to a screen where you can input your current income (if you are planning for retirement, enter in what you estimate your income will be in retirement). The “Moving From” tab should already be chosen (in my case it was Sacramento). Then choose a town in Tennessee from the “Moving To” list. There are 16 areas that participate in the Retire Tennessee organization. For our example, I chose Savannah, TN / Hardin County.
Then enter your email address and click “Submit.” Don’t worry, they aren’t going to spam you with a bunch of emails if you give them your email address. In fact, I did this exercise over a week ago and I have yet to receive one email from the RetireTennessee.org organization.
After you hit submit the report will instantly pop up on the screen. For the example I did, it looks like this:
This is just the first part of the report that appeared on my screen. If you scroll down you’ll see a detailed report that will break down individual items and compare them across the regions you selected. Pretty cool stuff.
For this example, it is saying that if you made $70,000 in Sacramento, CA, the equivalent you’d have to make in Hardin County, TN would only be $57,823.
Let me put this in perspective for retirees and people that are planning for their retirement soon. Let’s say you have added up your income sources that you will have in retirement from Social Security, pension, annuities, and any other sources.
Let’s say they added up to $70,000 a year. And let’s say that you have calculated that you will need every dollar of that to cover your annual expenses in retirement. In other words, you have also estimated that your annual expenses for where you currently live will also be $70,000.
This means if you moved from Sacramento, CA to Hardin County, TN, your living expenses would drop to $57,823. You would still have the same income of $70,000 a year. It doesn’t matter where you live, Social Security, your pension, and your annuities are going to keep paying into your bank account.
Therefore, you’d have $12,177 extra money left over after paying your costs of living ($70,000 – $57,823 = $12,177).
Now if you do some quick math on that, it means you have essentially received a 17.39% raise.
$12,177 / $70,000 = 17.39%
Not too shabby. And keep in mind you would get that effective pay raise all while still living in the United States. That means staying in a culture that you understand, with a language that you understand, and being in a place that is highly accessible to your family if you are willing to drive or fly for visits.
You Can Find A Cheap Place To Retire
You may decide that Hardin County, TN and Savannah, TN are not right for you. That’s fine. You may even feel that relocating in retirement is not for you because you’d prefer to stay near other family members like kids and grand kids. That’s a perfect reason to stay put.
But if you have ever considered moving to a cheaper place to live, then I hope that this article and video has opened your eyes to some of the possibilities that are out there. Possibilities that can help you reach your retirement goals much quicker than you realized.
If you like what you read and saw in this article, be sure to share it with someone that is retired or planning for their retirement. Just click the Facebook icon on the left of the screen to instantly share this with your friends.
P.S. If I get some good feedback on this video and topic, I may do more interviews with people in other cheap places to retire in the United States. Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below. Would you like to see more interviews with people talking about cheap places to live? Just say so in the comments and I’ll make it happen.