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10 US Beach Towns Where You'll Want to Retire

Our retirement advice? Consider our list of affordable United States retirement beach towns where quality of life and health-care services are tops.

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Start Planning Your Beach Retirement Now

For many, the ultimate retirement goal involves uncomplicated days when the toughest decision involves when to visit the beach. But while many beach communities are cost-prohibitive, a surprising number are within reach for those who aren’t millionaires. At HGTV we’ve researched some of the best and most affordable beach towns in the U.S.

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Photo: Jeffrey A. Remas

Melbourne, Florida

Beaches: The beaches along Florida’s Space Coast are ideal for fishing, snorkeling or just enjoying the long golden sands.
Retirement taxes: No Florida state income tax means that Social Security, pensions and retirement funds like IRAs or 401(k)s can’t be taxed. Property taxes are lower than other states.
Cost of living:
Living in Melbourne is cheaper than the national average, and the median home price hovers around $198,425.
Health care: Melbourne Regional Medical Center provides comprehensive services for the community.
Quality of life:
Come for the fishing and golf, stay for the historic downtown, museums, restaurants and shopping that are found in this city of fewer than 100,000 people.
Climate: Central Florida temperatures vary between 50 and 90 degrees, with hurricane season running from June through November.

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Photo: Explore Lincoln City

Lincoln City, Oregon

Beaches: Lincoln City contains 7 miles of sandy beaches, and while the climate isn’t geared toward year-round sunbathing, the beach is a popular backdrop for fireworks, kite festivals and more.
Retirement taxes: It’s a mixed bag: Oregon doesn’t tax Social Security, but it does tax income from an IRA and 401(k). However, there’s no state sales tax.
Cost of living: Costs in Lincoln City are a bit higher than the national average, with median home values averaging $321,454. But a modest beachfront condo can be found for less than $200,000.
Health care: Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital is the town’s main option, but it’s a small hospital. More extensive health care options exist in the state’s capital of Salem, about an hour away.
Quality of life: Fewer than 10,000 live in Lincoln City, but it’s not devoid of activities. The town is filled with restaurants, coffee shops, bars and cultural offerings. Fishing options abound, along with numerous hiking trails. For more excitement, nearby Newport offers more dining and shopping options, along with a casino. Lincoln City is also a great place to watch whales migrating between March and May, and December and January.
Climate: Anyone who’s heat averse will appreciate Oregon’s mild climate, as it typically ranges from 45 to 80 degrees.

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Hilo, Hawaii

Beaches: Hilo offers a small number of beach parks; some are good for swimming while others have nice picnic areas.
Retirement taxes: Like Oregon, Hawaii doesn’t tax Social Security, but it does tax income from an IRA and 401(k).
Cost of living:
Yes, the cost of living in Hawaii is 87% higher than the national average, but it’s still cheaper than Honolulu, or even New York. It’s possible to find small waterfront condos for about $200,000. You’ll likely need a car.
Health care: Hilo Medical Center is both highly regarded and the largest in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Hawaii’s health-care costs are below the national average.
Quality of life:
Located on the Island of Hawaii, Hilo is a small city with fewer than 50,000 people and a slower way of life, but it contains a walkable downtown with excellent food options, cute boutiques, yoga studios and art galleries. Plus, Hilo doesn’t attract many tourists compared to other Hawaiian areas. Residents can also enjoy a Japanese botanical garden, golf courses, farmers market and the annual week-long Merrie Monarch Festival.
Climate: Hilo is one of the rainiest spots in the country, with most rain falling between November and March; in turn, the temperature stays between the 60s and 80s. However, earthquakes and tsunamis are a risk factor.

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