13 Best Places to Retire in Arizona on a Budget

Arizona is a fantastic place for retirement. There are many reasons why the Grand Canyon state tops many lists of locations to consider as a long-term home. 

One of the main appeals for residents and visitors is the impressive landscapes, mountain ranges, and rock formations against the desert. The dry, pleasant climate offers a fantastic place for wildlife and plants, sports enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a beautiful place to live.

While the state of Arizona is a beautiful place to visit and consider for relocation, some cities and communities may be costly to buy a home or rent an apartment. Fortunately, retirees have inexpensive options, including various housing options, including mobile home parks, and thriving communities with excellent homes that cost less. You’ll find many excellent locations that are safe, affordable, and enjoyable for retirement.

An image of the flag of Arizona painted onto a timber wall. The flag has an orange star in its middle, with the bottom half of the flag painted blue.

1. Flagstaff

Flagstaff is known for its beautiful sky views and scientific research. It’s also a popular spot for tourists, as it’s close to the Grand Canyon. The average home is below average, with a reasonable projection for the economy that includes many business growths. Flagstaff may be one of the best places to invest in a new house or rent or purchase a mobile home in one of the city’s many terrific long-term mobile home resorts.

The city is home to Northern Arizona University and has been a staple in the community since it was founded in 1899. Flagstaff was developed through several industries in its early years, including lumber, livestock farming, and the railroad. 

2. Gilbert

Like Flagstaff, this suburban area of Phoenix offers a reasonable cost of living and housing for retirement. Gilbert has a population of just over $260,000, offering the best of city life and a quiet, affordable place to live. The city is located in Maricopa County, with a median home value below the average.

Gilbert is an exciting town to get familiar with, especially if you’re seriously considering this town as your new home. Some interesting facts about the city include its very low crime rate (it’s considered one of the top safest cities in the country), features a solid agricultural-based economy, and has one of the best quality of living.

3. Sierra Vista

A scenic photo of the Sierra Vista, Arizona. It shows a vast expanse of land with plains, moiuntains and hundulation hills. The terrain is green dotted with many trees

Sierra Vista is one of the most inexpensive places to live in Arizona, offering low average rent prices and proximity to other towns and cities. It’s the perfect place to settle if you’re active and enjoy the great outdoors, whether it’s hiking, cycling, golfing, or taking road trips. The small city offers all the comforts and features of a large city center, without the high cost of living. It’s also well-known for its technology professionals and offers a great place to retire and enjoy a slower, more enjoyable pace in life.

The city offers a beautiful temperate climate year-round, making it the perfect spot for festivals, concerts, and live events. There are fantastic trails throughout the mountains and lots of nature excursions for some adventure. If you plan on driving to nearby cities, the commute is a quick 15-20 minutes, and you’ll find everything you need within the town or a short distance away.

One of the top reasons to choose a home in Sierra Vista is the proximity to the impressive mountain views, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your house or rental unit. Many retirees who visit the city grow fond of the sights and atmosphere quickly, which leads to a permanent and affordable move. The city is considered one of the top cities for retirement in the country.

4. Mesa

Mesa is an incredible city to consider moving to if you enjoy historical wonders, indigenous culture, and nature. The town offers a reasonable cost of living that’s easy to afford so that you can enjoy many of the local attractions and parks. Mesa is located close to the country’s fifth-largest forest, the Tonto National Forest, and there are plenty of fantastic desert views and outdoor spaces for fitness enthusiasts.

The town offers some of the best weather for outdoor activities. It’s one of the largest suburban areas in the country, with over half a million permanent residents. Mesa offers many exciting facilities, including higher education (Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus) and a vibrant core that features innovative arts and music venues and programs for all ages. 

There are plenty of attractions for families, which is ideal for children and grandchildren when they visit. There’s excellent weather year-round, making it ideal for enjoying the city anytime.

5. Queen’s Creek

A photo of Bryce Canyon National Park, near Queen's Creek, Arizona. It shows a rocky landscape dotted with pine trees, in the distance is a large mountain range

Queen’s Creek is a fantastic place to consider for retirement if you’re looking for the best of both small-town charm and hospitality and a close drive from a larger city, Phoenix. This community is ideal for retirees who plan to continue traveling and staying active, offering a local airport, several 18-hole golf courses, mountain ranges, and horseback riding.

It’s a town that continues to grow at a comfortable pace while offering a reasonable, cost-effective place to live and thrive. The city is one of the fastest-growing places in Arizona, and the population is predicted to grow significantly within the next few years. 

If you move to Queen’s Creek, you’ll find the small-town esthetic will prevail along with the progressive nature of this city, which is perfect for all ages, including retirees looking for a calm, peaceful pace of life.

6. Litchfield Park

If you’re looking for a place to retire that offers beautiful sidewalk cafes, beautiful homes, and properties with lots of casual and open parks and outdoor spaces, you’ll love Litchfield Park. You’ll find a new affordable home with aspects of luxury and elegance in this beautiful place. There are many fantastic places to socialize and enjoy high-quality dining, golf courses, recreational centers, and more.

The community is small but vibrant and located in Maricopa County. Litchfield Park is a short drive to Phoenix, with beautiful scenery and lots of shopping and business amenities. Many homes are woven in between European-style sidewalk cafes and esthetically designed communities, including the Wigwam Resort. 

The town offers many casual, open public spaces and lots of activities to enjoy for a small population of just over 5,000 residents. Litchfield Park offers the pleasant experience of living well and getting the most out of retirement without spending a fortune on investing in a home or renting.

7. Goodyear

This small town is just a short, 20-minute drive from Phoenix and offers the comfortable pace, safety, and affordable living that a small town provides. Goodyear offers over 20,000 acres of gorgeous outdoor space, including recreational parks, trails, and over 100 miles of hiking and cycling routes to keep active.

The Goodyear Ballpark features professional training every spring for athletes and is named after the tire company. You’ll also discover lots of local music festivals and sporting events, as well as fantastic cuisine, shopping, and other attractions. Goodyear offers a fantastic movie theatre complex that boasts 16 screens for film fans at the Harkins Estrella Falls. 

It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a quiet life with some great entertainment and reasonably priced living.

8. Tucson

A photo of the city of Tuscon, Arizona. It shows a modern city spread across a large distance. A huge mountain range is in the distance and the sky is bright blue

The largest city in the state offers affordable living, which is ideal for retirees who enjoy a more urban lifestyle. Tucson is located in the south part of the state in the Sonoran Desert. You’ll find everything you’re looking for in a city, from exciting shopping, restaurants, and entertainment to incredible mountain and desert views from the comfort of your home.

There are some genuinely remarkable sights and unique things about Tucson. The downtown core features impressive scenery, including the famous mountain Sentinel Peak, which is darker in color at the base. You’ll discover numerous art installations in and around the city, including a large metal snake-like bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, light displays, and great sky and mountain views from every perspective.

While most urban homes, whether you rent or won, tend to cost more than average, though Tucson is reasonably priced and affordable for retirees. 

9. Yuma

Yuma is situated on the Colorado River and a popular destination for many retirees who enjoy visiting for the winter months or permanently moving to the city. While the city expands its population during the colder season, it’s one of the least expensive places to live in the state and offers a wide range of cultural and natural activities year-round.

The Marine Corps Air Station is located in Yuma and provides homes to many Marines’ families. You’ll find the town conveniently close to San Diego, California, and Mexico, making it easy to enjoy a weekend getaway or vacation.

Related: Living in Scottsdale, Arizona

10. Avondale

A suburb of Phoenix, Avondale is a progressive place to call home if you enjoy living within the city limits but not downtown. This place offers a lot of great outdoor spaces that feature a lot of recreational facilities and sports. It’s a city that offers many potential, especially if you enjoy urban attractions and stay in touch with nearby friends and family.

The downtown core of Avondale is ever-changing, with lots of exciting developments underway. The city is located at the Agua Fria and Gila Rivers’ meeting point and is surrounded by the Sierra Estrella Mountains. While many developing cities offer a higher cost of living, Avondale remains affordable and a great option to consider for retirement.

11. Sedona

A Sunset photo taken on Cathedral Rock near Sedona, Arizona. It shows a massive stone outcrop which is bright orange. The sky is pink and purple

If you’re looking for a city that features both economic growth, stability, and breath-taking views, you’ll love Sedona. The city is known for the fantastic views of canyons and red soil and dynamic growth for jobs and homes. It’s a great place to call home, whether you’re young and looking for a career opportunity or retiring and looking for a beautiful place to settle down.

If you enjoy the colorful esthetics of the autumn season, you’ll love the fall leaves and unique landscapes in Sedona. This northern Arizona town offers some of the most impressive autumn foliage to enjoy as you hike through the region’s many trails or take a day’s drive. The town also offers impressive canyons to explore, if you’re feeling adventurous, with incredible varieties of stone and historical artifacts.

Retirees with family living in Arizona will find this city ideal for their new home while having the ability to visit nearby friends and family members. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a unique vacation and may well be the ideal place to consider for your retirement.

12. Casa Grande

Casa Grande is a great spot to live for its relaxing, small-town atmosphere and year-round golf course. You’ll find all the comfort and amenities you need in this town without the hassles of navigating through a big city. It’s the perfect spot to go hiking, cycling, and sightseeing the great historic downtown core. The city is ideal for community events and an excellent place for socializing with new and familiar people.

This city is located in Pinal County and near the Santa Cruz River. Casa Grande is home to a health resort, and lots of rich agriculture, where you’ll find many alfalfa, fruit, and cotton. The area was once a significant part of the mining industry, with local mines of silver, gold, and copper. There are also indigenous ruins and other excellent sites in and around the city.

Casa Grande offers high-quality facilities and something for everyone in town. You’ll find an affordable, enjoyable place to visit and move to for retirement. It’s an excellent place for anyone who enjoys healthy, active living, whether it’s spending time at the resort, shopping for organic produce, and hiking, or cycling the nearby trails.

13. Coolidge

One of the least expensive cities to live in Arizona is the newer, developing city of Coolidge. The cost of housing is significantly below the average price across the United States. It’s a fantastic place to settle into retirement and offers excellent job growth and opportunities to friends and family too. 

The city offers impressive historical sites, including the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and nearby preservation, including the Ancient Sonoran Desert community, which is over 650 years old. Coolidge is a fantastic resource for many attractions, including the Catalina State Park, Lost Dutchman State Park, Usery Mountain Recreation area, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. 

There are many places to see and things to do year-round in this town, including an impressive number of golf courses, including the Dave White Municipal Golf Course, Poston Butte Golf Club, and The Links Golf Club.

The city also features many outstanding museums and galleries to explore the arts and history of Coolidge. It’s an excellent place for retirees, due to the variety of interests and attractions. The city offers a wide variety of communities for everyone and an affordable cost of living in and around this town.

Related: Living in Yuma, Arizona

Arizona’s Beautiful and Affordable Communities

Moving to Arizona is a fantastic way to retire. You’ll find many unique places for retirement, whether you enjoy the excitement of a large urban center, a hub of entertainment, sports, music, or a small town with lots of outdoor spaces and a lot of hospitality. Many communities and cities in the state feature many of the benefits you’ll find in cities and towns alike.

Many progressive towns and communities are currently affordable, though they may increase in a few years. Investing in purchasing a new home or condominium is incredibly affordable for many of the towns mentioned above and cities without compromising the quality of living and access to safe, affordable spaces.

If you choose to rent a home, apartment or move into a mobile home park, you’ll discover an excellent selection of well-maintained buildings and parks to find your new home, and available at every budget level. Arizona features unique places without breaking the budget, whether you’re looking for a summer rental, a temporary residence for the year, or a permanent place to call home.

Related: Pros and Cons of Livining in a Duplex

Visiting Arizona to Get Acquainted with Affordable Retirement Living

Before you decide to move to Arizona, consider planning your next vacation in one of the state’s many affordable communities. Just one or two weeks of vacation can give you a solid idea of whether the town or community works best for your lifestyle. It’s also a great place to visit with friends and family members, who can offer their feedback on various towns and communities.

Consider your current interests, activities, and budget. One of the most vital features that draw many retirees to the state is the first-class golf courses, which offer all players and budgets. If you have family and friends that enjoy travel, they will love the local attractions and entertainment when they take a road trip to the state.

There is a bit of variance between each town and the city’s cost of living. However, the overall housing prices and rentals are significantly lower than many other places within Arizona and across the country. You’ll find many of the towns and communities in the state, whether you’re considering buying a new home or moving into a rental, are more affordable than the national average.

Frequently Asked Questions

Arizona is a great state, whether you visit or stay. There are many activities, communities, and affordable housing to fit any lifestyle, including retirement.

What City in Arizona has the Lowest Cost of Living?

Sierra Vista offers the lowest cost of living, offering monthly rent and housing expenses significantly below the national and state average. 

Is Arizona a Good Place to Retire Financially?

Arizona is one of the best states to retire, offering a wide range of housing and lifestyle options for every retirement budget. You’ll find the cost of living is relatively low, with a high quality of living.

What are 5 Inexpensive Retirement Communities in Arizona?

There are many communities perfectly suitable for an affordable retirement. Out of the thirteen communities listed above, the top inexpensive places include Sierra Vista, Goodyear, Mesa, Yuma, and Litchfield Park.

What are the Cheapest Places to Live Near Phoenix, Arizona?

There are some ideal areas to consider for retirement near Phoenix, which are just a short drive away. These include Sedona, Mesa, and Litchfield Park, which all offer an inexpensive cost of living.

Conclusion

Many real estates and rentals that communities and cities in Arizona offer some of the best cost of living opportunities in the country. If you’re looking for safe and quality living, there are many towns, cities, and communities to consider for your retirement in Arizona. 

As you travel and explore the state of Arizona, you’ll discover many communities that are considered excellent in many ways. You’ll find some of the highest quality in terms of safety in these places, which is essential for retirees, families, and guests. The spectacular scenery is one of the major attractions for tourists, where many people become inspired to make Arizona their new home.

The lower cost of living allows retirees to enjoy many other aspects of life, including activities that you may not be able to afford in other places around the country. There are many affordable housing options within each town and community, which include mobile parks that offer a wide range of year-round housing, fantastic apartments, and even purchasing your home.

The spectacular weather in Arizona is another major attraction, which draws many new residents every year to call the state their new home. While the northern regions offer four seasons, you’ll find hot, dry climate conditions towards the southern areas of Arizona. You may also choose to visit more than one community to decide which area suits your budget and lifestyle next.

Arizona is an excellent state for retirement living due to many factors that create the perfect affordable, comfortable living environment. Whether you live close to the state or across the country, you’ll find the state’s unique, inexpensive communities worth considering for retirement.

Related: Pros and Cons of Living in Arizona