Many retirees like to carefully budget their living expenses, considering social security and other income. (And many people and families who aren't retired are trying to live as cheaply as possible due to inflation and the rising cost of living.)
But is a tight budget even possible in Florida, where housing costs have risen over 30% in some areas? The website Go Banking Rates, not only believes so, it has listed 10 cities where a budget of under $2500 per month is allegedly possible.
Determining Which Cities Make it Possible to Live on $2500 Per Month in Florida: Go Banking Rates used data from other sites in its analysis, which included monthly expenditures, the percent of the population over 65, and livability. Specifically, the site looked at living expenses such as the cost of a one-bedroom apartment, groceries, utilities, and healthcare. To be considered for the list, a city needed a livability score of 65 or higher (as sourced from the website AreaVibes) and 10% or more of the population over age 65.
Which Cities Made the List?: For the most part, the list had a good amount of variety in terms of geography, as different parts of the state were represented. There were also some options for people who want to be close to beaches. The list ranked the cities from low to high, and listed projected monthly expenditures, the percent of an older population, and a livability score:
- Monthly expenditures: $2,469
- Percent of population 65 and older: 12.4%
- Livability: 70
The site noted that a one-bedroom apartment in Kissimmee is only $1,255, which is $150 lower than the national average.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,489
- Percent of population 65 and older: 12.8%
- Livability: 75
Go Banking Rates wrote that Sanford is home to local attractions like the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,393
- Percent of population 65 and older: 13.8%
- Livability: 69
Go Banking Rates noted that Jacksonville is the only city on the list with an NFL franchise, and it has the second lowest cost for groceries, tied with Gainesville. It also has the most shoreline of any city on the list.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,262
- Percent of population 65 and older: 11.3%
- Livability: 65
Gainesville had the lowest average cost for a one-bedroom apartment on the list, at $1,015, which is nearly $400 under the national average. It also had the lowest monthly expenditures, and there are UF sports as well.
Panama City Beach
- Monthly expenditures: $2,330
- Percent of population 65 and older: 16.7%
- Livability: 76
For those who like to live by the beach, Panama City Beach may fit the bill. Plus, this is a somewhat small town, with just over 12,000 full-time residents. Although utilities are somewhat expensive, rent is reasonable at $1,099 for a one-bedroom apartment.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,383
- Percent of population 65 and older: 20.9%
- Livability: 75
Rent is somewhat higher here, at $1201. However, healthcare is among the lowest on the list, as are utility cost. Plus, Melbourne has a higher percentage of retirees than some of the other cities.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,369
- Percent of population 65 and older: 18.8%
- Livability: 80
You'll find Palm Bay along the Atlantic Ocean, and rent groceries, healthcare, and utilities are all lower than the national average. Palm Bay is arguably great for those who love to be outside, since it has access to beaches, golf, walking, hiking, and biking trails.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,339
- Percent of population 65 and older: 14.1%
- Livability: 85
Winter Garden is centrally located and just 14 miles from downtown Orlando. Go Banking Rates noted that its livability score of 85 is the second-highest on the list and reflects how much there is to do in this community close to attractions.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,401
- Percent of population 65 and older: 22.2%
- Livability: 82
Lakeland may be a great option for baseball fans, as it is the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers. Although groceries in Lakeland costs more than many other cities on the list, it has a high livability score and is still in the reasonable range for monthly expenditures.
- Monthly expenditures: $2,497
- Percent of population 65 and older: 24.6%
- Livability: 87
This community is located on the Atlantic coast and has a very high 87% livability score with a large population of people 65 and older. Although the rent is somewhat high at nearly $1300, this site has plenty of outdoor activities and attractions like Dunlawton Sugar Mill Gardens.