Upgrade: 4 great American cities where a Social Security check is easily enough to cover housing costs

Think low rent.

At least if you want to keep more of your Social Security check for things like food and entertainment. Personal-finance site GoBankingRates released an analysis on Thursday of cities where the average Social Security check (roughly $1,350 a month) would easily cover the median rent in town (see the full list of 25 cities, all with rents under $1,000 a month, below).

To create this list, GoBankingRates analyzed the median rents from January through May of this year for single-family residences in the 300 largest cities in terms of population in the U.S. MarketWatch highlights four compelling cities on this list that you may want to consider.

For the foodie: Memphis, Tenn.

This charming southern town has far more to offer than Graceland (though Elvis’s former home is spectacular) — including top-notch food and entertainment. Food & Wine magazine recently wrote of Memphis: “From the indie music scene to the makers and artisans, the craft brewing community and the food culture here will render obsolete whatever you thought you knew about the place.” And Southern Living magazine praised the food scene, too, noting that it offers “ribs so good they don’t need any sauce.” Rent, on average, is about $893.

For those looking for a college town: South Bend, Ind.

The fourth biggest city in Indiana, home to the University of Notre Dame, has also been in the news of late as the dominion of Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic presidential hopeful. With more than 300,000 residents in the South Bend–Mishawaka metro area, plenty is on offer for retirees to see and do. There are two major performance centers — the Morris Performing Arts Center and Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center — and you can drive to the shores of Lake Michigan in about an hour. Even better, the median rent is only about $768, so you’ll have a chunk of change left over to enjoy traveling and more.

For the history buff: Springfield, Ill.

The capital of Illinois is ideal for history buffs, as it was once the home to Abraham Lincoln and now offers a plethora of Lincoln-related attractions and activities. These include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the History Comes Alive festival in the summer, which lets you step “back in time to the Springfield that Abraham Lincoln knew before he became president.” You can also explore Route 66 and the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Dana-Thomas House. Median rent in Springfield is roughly $870 a month.

For the outdoorsy retiree: Columbus, Ga.

This riverfront town — it’s on the Chattahoochee River bordering Alabama — offers lots for an outdoorsy retiree to do, including the largest urban whitewater course in the world. Birding, biking and kayaking are big here. Plus, along the waterfront, you’ll find shops, restaurants, entertainment options including free concerts, and a farmers and makers market. The median rent here is about $840 a month.

The 25 cities where your Security Security check will easily cover rent

25. Augusta, Ga.: 2019 median monthly rentt of $923

24. Mobile, Ala.: $914.70

23. Memphis, Tenn.: $893.50

22. Jackson, Miss.: $892.50

21. Cleveland: $888.80

20. Montgomery, Ala.: $883

19. Rockford, Ill.: $880

18. Springfield, Ill.: $870

17. Birmingham, Ala.: $863.80

16. Topeka, Kan.: $842

15. Wichita, Kan.: $842

14. Columbus, Ga.: $840

13. Lansing, Mich.: $823.80

12. Detroit: $810

11. Macon, Ga.: $800

10. Toledo, Ohio: $795

9. Akron, Ohio: $779

8. South Bend, Ind.: $768.90

7. Dayton, Ohio: $760

6. Evansville, Ind.: $755.80

5. Shreveport, La.: $753

4. Fort Wayne, Ind.: $745

3. Canton, Ohio: $709

2. Saginaw, Mich.: $700.00

1. Flint, Mich.: $673.00
Source: GoBankingRates

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