It's not a secret that Iowa is a sneaky great state in which to retire. Earlier this year, Bankrate said Iowa was one of the cheapest states to retire. NetCredit backed the study up with their findings in a similar study. Now, a new study has narrowed down a list of Midwest cities that would make an ideal place for one to live out their glory years.

GOBankingRates recently published a list of 10 Midwestern cities that rank favorably when it comes to retirement. The website looked at a variety of different factors:

Unsplash - Giorgio Trovato
Unsplash - Giorgio Trovato

GOBankingRates looked at the average 2023 rent for a one-bedroom apartment, as sourced from ApartmentList, the cost-of-living index for each listed city per Sperling’s Best, and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find the annual expenditure amount for both grocery and healthcare costs for people aged 65 and older on a monthly basis. All places on this list have a livability score of 65 or above, sourced from AreaVibes. per GOBankingRates

Several Iowa cities made the list, including Waterloo and Ames. Only Ames ranked higher than Dubuque in terms of affordability, according to GOBankingRates' study.

The average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Dubuque was only $865/month, with a livability score of 87. Other factors include comparatively cheaper grocery and healthcare costs.

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  • Groceries: $384.16
  • Utilities: $348.06
  • Healthcare: $658.49

Waterloo and Ankeny came in at #6 and #5 on GOBankingRates' list. Waterloo actually has the lowest rent on the list ($740 for a one-bedroom apartment), as well as affordable transportation at just $264.86/month, which is over 35% lower than the national average.

Meanwhile, Ankeny boasts a higher rent price ($1,595 for a one-bedroom apartment), but that is still more than $400 below the national average. Transportation, on average, is almost 30% lower than the national average.

Photo Credit: MachineHeadz, Digital Team
Photo Credit: MachineHeadz, Digital Team

In totality, GOBankingRates looked at North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. With such a pool of depth, it says something that half of their list is comprised of Iowa cities (West Des Moines, Waterloo, Ankeny, and Dubuque). Ames came out on top for the best Midwestern city in which to retire:

  • 2023 1-bedroom rent: $987
  • Livability score: 90

With the second highest livability score on the list, monthly rent that is more than $1100 lower than the national average, the best Midwest place to live on just your Social Security benefits is Ames, Iowa. Total monthly expenditures are $2,759.51. - per GOBankingRates

View the full results of the study on GOBankingRates' website.

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