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States with low cost of living may offer advantages to retired nurses.  Especially if you are concerned about outliving your money.   But no state is perfect.  And it’s important to do your homework if you are considering moving to a state with a low cost of living.  In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of cost of living.  We’ll explore what makes up cost of living and why it is important for retirees.  You’ll also discover comparison tools to use, should you consider moving to a state with a low cost of living.

Cost of Living Defined and Calculated

cost of living image on states with low cost of living blog post at www.drgeorgenecollins.comCost of living is important to everyone.  It encompasses various expenses individuals face.  Since 1968, The Council for Community and Economic Research has conducted research on cost of living.  From the research an index is produced to help rank and compare states.  According to Lightcast, an index of 100 or below indicates a lower cost of living.  The index made of:

  • Groceries
  • Housing
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Healthcare
  • Miscellaneous Costs

Importance of Considering Cost of Living

Cost of living directly impacts one’s financial health and overall well-being.  Choosing a state with a lower cost of living can lead to significant economic advantages and an improved quality of life.  Let’s explore some potential benefits of living in a state with a low cost of living.

Economic Advantages

States with a lower cost of living often attract businesses and individuals, creating economic opportunities.

Quality of Life Improvements

A lower cost of living allows individuals to enjoy a higher quality of life with more disposable income for leisure and personal pursuits.

Savings and Financial Stability

Residents of states with lower living costs can save more, consider additional investment opportunities, and work toward achieving financial stability more efficiently.

How to Find States with Low Cost of Living

cost of living image (2) on states with low cost of living at www.drgeorgenecollins.comIn 2023, US News published an article on cost of living and affordability for all 50 states (retrieved January 21, 2024).  In addition to cost of living and affordability, the article digs deeper into each state by other rankings which include data on crime, economy, and healthcare, to name a few.



But if you are looking for a cost of living calculator, consider trying the one by Bankrate.  With this calculator, you can compare standard of living by income between two cities.  If you are planning retirement, consider using your retirement income to help you decide if you can keep the same standard of living in the city and state you want to move to.  You will also receive information on the common indicators that make up cost of living like groceries, housing, healthcare, utilities, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.

Tips for Moving to a State with a Low Cost of Living

Moving at any age can be exciting and scary.  And depending on how long you’ve lived at your current residence, you may want to consider your moving plan well in advance to help you adjust.  Here are some relocation tips to help with your plan.

Research and Planning

Consider thoroughly researching your new location.  With your finances, other things to consider before moving are crime rates, socialization and entertainment opportunities, and availability of interests important to you.  Consider visiting the area with friends or family before moving.  This can help you gain outside perspectives which you may not consider on your own.

Budgeting Strategies

If you haven’t already, consider creating a budget.  A budget can give you a baseline of your expenses and income and help you decide how much you’ll need in retirement.  This may help guide your decision to move.  Also consider the cost of moving in your budget.  Transportation companies typically charge by weight or volume for interstate moves.  Many will give you an estimate based on the number of rooms you are moving from.

Learn from Others

Consider reading blogs and forums by others who have moved to states with low cost of living.  Consider reaching out to coworkers, family, or friends who have relocated in retirement to gain their perspective.


States with low cost of living have pros and cons to consider.  If you are considering moving to a state with a low cost of living, consider all aspects including crime rates, opportunities to explore personal interests, and others in addition to your finances.  Consider using a cost of living calculator, exploring articles from reputable websites, or learning from others through forums and blogs.  While the goal may be to not outlive your money in retirement, it’s important that your new location supports your lifestyle and retirement goals.

Want to learn if you are ready for retirement?  Take the Retirement Readiness Assessment.

Ready to take control of your finances?  Contact me.


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Georgene Collins

Georgene Collins, RICP®, RN, PhD, MBA is a registered nurse turned Financial Advisor at Airey Financial Group. Georgene helps other nurses take control of their finances and prepare for retirement. Georgene began her career with Airey Financial Group in 2017 after retiring from 30 years in healthcare. Georgene holds the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) designation from The American College of Financial Services. She holds health and life insurance licenses and a long-term care certificate in Indiana and Illinois. Georgene is a Registered Representative and Investment Advisor Representative and has earned the FINRA Series 63 and 65 registrations.