Top 6 Places To Retire On The Water Without Breaking The Bank.

I just came across this recent article over at Money.com about places that you could retire on the water without spending a fortune and figured I would share it with you guys. If you have any thoughts on any of these please, would love to hear about it in the comments!

Dunedin, FL – 20 miles west of Tampa, 3 bedroom houses go for around $200,000 and condos near the water range from $100,000 to $200,000. I know a lot of people love living in Florida, and my Aunt & Uncle do too, but I don’t know if I could deal with the threat of hurricanes through my retirement!

Beaufort, SC – Prices in old Beaufort start at $500,000, but nice houses in newer neighborhoods just 10 minutes away average about $300,000. Doesn’t seem that cheap if you ask me, and the humidity would kill me. I went to college in the south and remember it well…

Sequim, WA – This seems like a place I could live. Located two hours north of Seattle, Sequim offers a lower cost of living and for about $300,000, you can get a three-bedroom house.

Durango, CO – After living practically in the Rocky Mountains, here is another place I could see myself living in retirement. Sure, Colorado is not exactly on the ocean, but they have plenty of water – but typical three-bedroom home goes for $500,000. Ouch.

St. Joseph, MI – I have heard some great things about Michigan, as long as you don’t mind winter. Three-bedroom houses here within walking distance of the water typically cost only about $250,000, which makes this a very affordable place to retire.

Marble Falls, TX – Hot, hot, hot summers. But only 47 miles northwest of Austin and in the middle of a chain of seven large lakes on the Colorado River. With house prices averaging about $250,000 near the water, this is another very reasonable retirement spot.

So what do you guys think? Anyone live in or around any of these places? I always find it interesting what magazines have to say about lists like this compared to what locals have to say!

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Comments (16)

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  1. Emily says:

    My grandparents retired to Dunedin. It is such an awesome little town.

    My father-in-law lives in Durango and hubby grew up there. Another great town.

    Do I get to retire yet?

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  3. david says:

    Yes, starting today Emily!

  4. Forget Florida – it’s God’s waiting room, and hurricane prone. Texas is too hot, Michigan too cold, There are plenty of great affordable lake communities in the mid-south – central KY, middle and east TN, and Western NC.

  5. Miranda says:

    There are also a lot of communities in Idaho, Utah and Northern Arizona that are near rivers and lakes that are quite affordable.

  6. David says:

    As well as New Mexico, where I live…but shh, don’t tell anyone – they think it is all desolate desert!

  7. S. says:

    LOL, that’s hilarious to see Dunedin. I lived there during my teen years, and I hated it…lol. Florida is fantastic, although yes the hurricane threats do create quite a load of stress, especially now that hurricane season tends to last longer than it did in past. There actually are quite a lot of older people in Dunedin, part of why I couldn’t deal with it. I needed a younger population, and I’m definitely more of a big city girl than a small town one. Its downtown area is quaint, one of its enduring qualities. It def has a small town feel to it though. I couldn’t deal with the fact that most the people who live there, were born there, live there and then die there…I just can’t handle that small town way of life, but I’m also not 70-80 years old. It’s also quite weird because all the surrounding cities have a much younger population overall. I still live in Florida now, and I absolutely love it…despite hurricanes, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. It is so beautiful, the winter is fantastic (I hate the cold) and you couldn’t ask for nicer beaches (except maybe in the Caribbean). I am thankful everyday to be living in such a wonderful place. Oh and the cost of living in Dunedin, yeah ur going to have to pay a bit more than they listed if you want a half way nice place, especially one on the water. Not quite sure where they come up with those figures.

    To the Arizona suggestions, I could not do that. For most of Arizona, I can’t deal with the lack of humidity, and then the farther north you get; it actually gets pretty freaking cold (especially Flagstaff). Sedona is nice but, again only if you’re into the small town feel. But being a Florida person, I need my humidity and Arizona (and Nevada too) just don’t have any.

    Washington state would be kind of nice. I lived in Seattle for a little bit, but only during the summer. I have visited various times during the year though, including winter. The nature atmosphere up there is amazing. It was really nice and I would definitely do it again.

    I lived in Texas before I moved to Florida and I really don’t know if I would recommend that as a retirement place. I loved living there, but I also so love really hot weather. Plus in my opinion the threat of tornados is a much greater concern than hurricanes. At least with hurricanes you have some advanced notice, tornados, not so much.

    I also lived in Savannah for a year. I know, I mentioned I don’t like small city type places, so why would I live in Savannah. Well lets say it was an experience, but definitely not my type of place. You really have to like that southern type of feel to be into living in Georgia or South Carolina.

    The other two listed, CO & MI, well I haven’t ventured to either of those just yet, so I have no opinion.

    Ok so I have either traveled or lived in quite a few places…lol. But I love travel and exploring new places, so it’s ok…lol

  8. David says:

    See, I knew someone had lived in almost all those places!

  9. Frugal Dad says:

    Though I have never been, Sequim, WA sounds just about perfect to me (and no state income tax!). My retirement destination requirements are pretty simple…away from tourism, close to nature and affordable. Oh, and someplace cool! I despise weather in the south, and even though I was born and raised here, I never get used to it.

  10. Well I’m not sure about the other places, but Sequim is nice. Interestingly, it’s pronounced ‘Skwim’, (rhymes with swim). It’s a bit too far from Seattle to make going there anything but a special trip, but if you like little towns it’s nice. Also, it doesn’t have the gloomy rainy weather that Washington state is famous for- it is in a microclimate of it’s own and has something like 300 sunny days a year.

  11. MM says:

    We’re in Austin and we ‘vacation’ in Marble Falls – it’s great. Yes – we leave our house, drive 45 minutes and camp out on the lake for our frugal vacations…The locals and the snowbirds live in harmony and it’s close enough to civilization to enjoy Austin music/art/theatre and access to significant shopping within an hour’s drive. So I can totally envision a happy retirement, should you be able to acclimatize to the summer heat. I personally think Texas hot is better than Florida hot, because it is nowhere near as humid as Tampa. My 2 cents!

    Canyon Lake and Lake Buchanan are also affordable lake-lifestyles within an hour’s drive of Austin and much less developed (now – that’ll change within the next decade, I know) than Lakes LBJ and Marble Falls. Canyon is within an hour of San Antonio, too…Before I moved to Austin, I really didn’t realize there was so much water!

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  13. Catherine says:

    I live in Durango. I love the town, minus the housing prices. We do have the river and the water activity that comes with it but I would never imagine it on a list of places to more for the water.

  14. Eloise says:

    I live on the beach in Sequim, Washington. I have lived in many places and this is the best. There’s not a lot of industry here for the working person. This is not a place for mall lovers or people who want to wear bikinis on the beach. It is about kayaking, crabbing, artsy fartsy stuff, motorcycling, hiking, being “green”, exploring tide pools, loving nature (eagles, deer, elk) and loving the environment. It is nestled between the Olympic Mountains (like the Alps) and the Straits of Juan de Fuca that go between us and beautiful Victoria, Canada. It gets windy but has moderate temperatures. It’s just that if everyone moves here we get traffic and we don’t like that! We have a lavender festival every July.