AARP Wrong Again: Best Places to Live on $100 a day

San Antonio Riverwalk

Each year, the editors compile a list of the best places to live. This year, the August/September issue offers The Best Places to Live on $100 a Day.

I think they got it wrong. Here’s what they considered…

We wanted to find places where retirees could live well on $100 a day, or just $36,500 a year. At a 25 percent tax rate, that’s $27,375 in spendable income, or about $2,281 a month. If we spent about a third of that—$720—on mortgage payments, we could buy a home that costs $192,000. It turns out there are quite a few really wonderful cities where $192,000 buys not just a great home in a great neighborhood, but loads of culture, fun restaurants, and lively entertainment.

Seems to me they missed some rather large living expenses: income tax, property tax, sales tax, homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, HEALTH insurance, cost of health care, heat and air conditioning,  etc. Never mind the “extras’ like traveling to be with friends and family, eating out sometimes, and taking in a movie once in a while.

Misleading at best, misguided for sure. A disservice because AARP makes it sound like you can live in a lovely environment on $100 a day. I’d like to see a full budget taking into account ALL living expenses for boomers.

The magazine breaks things down in fun ways like the vibe, best daytime lark, local flavor, and # of sunny days per year. The median home income and “special affordability sauce” are also factors.

This year’s top cities are:

  • San Antonio, Texas
  •  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Gainesville, Florida
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Grand Junction, Colorado
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Las Cruces, NM
  • Roanoke, VA
  • Spokane, WA
  • Morgantown, WV
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AARP Wrong Again: Best Places to Live on $100 a day — 2 Comments

  1. Excellent points! Especially about the healthcare, that’s the biggest concern for most of us boomers that won’t be retiring with a gold plated pension and health care.
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