When most people hit retirement they are typically on a fixed budget. It can be a small budget or a large one, but it's fixed nonetheless. By choosing to retire in a state with affordable living, retirees can maximize what they can spend in other areas that are typically considered nonessential.
That could mean more dinners out, gifts for the grandkids, visits to the theater, or vacations. It can also allow for a larger house with room for family and friends to stay or more land for peace and quiet. Whatever the end goal, affordable living can go a long way to improve the overall quality of life, making the most desirable places to call home also the most affordable ones.
A recent survey by the Motley Fool looked at the most important factors for retirees. For those who are focused on cost, here's a closer look at the most affordable state to retire in.
West Virginia has the most affordable housing
West Virginia came in at No. 1 as the most affordable place to retire to, from a housing affordability standpoint. Considering housing cost had average importance of 8.2 out of 10 for individuals surveyed, this is an incredibly important factor when it comes to deciding where to retire. The only other more important factor was quality of life, at 8.4. And it just so happens West Virginia ranked in the top 10 for quality of life as well as the low non-housing cost of living.
In 2019, almost 400,000 people moved explicitly for retirement reasons. More people are on the move now, and most markets are still seeing substantial growth. The point is, retirees are willing to move to live their retirement years comfortably. And West Virginia is clearly a top choice for retirees.
Is West Virginia a good real estate investment?
Typically, home affordability is based on demand. If prices are cheap, it could indicate that folks just don't want to live in there for whatever reason. When it comes to West Virginia, a big potential drawback for retirees and other residents alike is the weather. It is less than ideal with hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. This may not be as big of an issue when you're young, but shoveling snow is certainly not something most retirees are looking for. The state also has sub-par healthcare compared to much of the country.
That being said, money matters whether we want it to or not. With the average house costing just $127,000, many retirees could easily sell their homes in other states and buy a house in West Virginia outright. That leaves nothing but taxes and insurance to worry about for regular payments, far better than holding a mortgage. That's an ideal position to be in when approaching retirement. Add on the fact that West Virginia is also very affordable for non-housing cost of living; that makes it even more appealing for those on a stricter budget.
It depends on you
Whether or not buying in West Virginia is right for you will vary based on your goals and priorities. It does offer some appealing factors though, especially when looking at housing affordability and markets. West Virginia home values went up nearly 12% last year, with major cities like Charleston (16.5%)seeing even more growth. Buying in or near these hot spots will give you more selection and a larger market to sell to if you decide it isn't for you. West Virginia offers a great quality of life at an affordable cost. Purchasing a retirement property there could be a great way to enjoy all that life has to offer.