Save Money by Living in a Small Town

by Andy Hough on September 30, 2008

We visited my mother this weekend.  My sister, who is in the Navy and stationed in California, was also there visiting.  My sister plans to retire from the Navy in three years after twenty years of service.  When she retires she will move to the small town where my mother lives.  There are several advantages of retiring to a small town and I might do the same myself.

The biggest advantage is that real estate is cheap.  My mom bought a brand new 3 bedroom, 2 bath house a few years ago for only $70,000.  Houses are still cheap there and rent is very low as well.  You also save money on transportation because everything is within a ten minute drive.  If something you want to do isn’t within a ten minute drive you’ll be saving money by doing that activity less often.  Car insurance is generally cheaper than in the city too.  That is just a few of the ways you can save money by living in a small town.

The biggest drawback to living in a small town is that most local jobs don’t pay very well.  If you’re retired then that isn’t a big deal.  Another drawback is the lack of diversity and exposure to other cultures.  I plan to travel often when I retire so I’ll get my culture and diversity during my travels.

Even with the financial advantages of living in a small town I probably wouldn’t live in one if I didn’t have family there.  If I do end up retiring to a small town it will probably be more of a pit stop between hiking and travels than  a permanent residence.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Daizy September 30, 2008 at 9:50 pm

My family lives in a small town but I don’t because of the job problem. I always said I wouldn’t want to take away a one of their jobs. It would be great to be able to start a business up there though. Ok, so I don’t like the snow either. And their gas is more expensive.

2 Tight Fisted Miser October 1, 2008 at 6:22 am

I could continue making my blog money if I lived in a small time. That is a long way from being enough to live on though.

Gas is cheaper in my mom’s small town. It was $3.07 a gallon last weekend. They might have the cheapest gas in the U.S.

3 Jennifer October 1, 2008 at 8:11 pm

I live in a small town and love it. Right now, we rent an apartment. It is much cheaper here and in a few of the other local small towns, than the larger cities.

I have a Wal-Mart and all that good stuff about 15 minutes away. Lol, even though it isn’t far, I like to think it is. We shop for groceries once a month and my partner will pick up extras on his way home from work. Since I work from home, the commute and jobs really isn’t an issue.

I love having everything within walking distance.

4 Tight Fisted Miser October 2, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Your situation sounds ideal. Not having to rely on a local job for income would make living in a small town much more viable.

5 Dividend Growth Investor October 3, 2008 at 2:12 pm

I went to college in a small town where everything was within walking distance ( especially the bars and of course the school). My monthly rent was close to what I would have paid if I had bought a house. Of course the major drawback is that i wouldn’t have stayed there because there are no jobs there.

However if you are retired and would like to live in a small town, consider moving to a small university town. There’s always plenty to do there. It’s true that summer and winter months are very uneventful but the remaining 8-9 months of the year are full of activity!

And last but not least if you have been a professional all your life prior to retirement you might somehow get involved into teaching/coaching younger people..

6 Tight Fisted Miser October 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

DGI- I should have mentioned living in a small university town. Along with there being more things to do you have more culture and diversity than in most small towns.

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