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How to Save Money by Moving Out of the City

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Big cities have specific appeal. They are buzzing with energy. There is always something to do and somewhere to go. Dining options, entertainment opportunities, and sporting and cultural events compete for your attention. And it is easy to hop from one place to another with public transportation.

But even if you loved living in a city in your younger years, you may start yearning for more tranquil surroundings when you reach a certain age or retire. Relocating from a bustling city can also make financial sense, with potential cost savings on housing, services, and daily expenses.

If you plan to move to a small town, read on to learn more about your moving options and saving money by moving out of the city. Explore the possibilities of a more budget-friendly lifestyle outside the city limits.

Why Are People Moving Out of the Cities?

Houses in a peaceful suburban neighborhood in a sunset

Many retirees (and people of working age) frequently cite the following reasons for choosing to move out of cities to small towns and rural areas:

Better quality of life: Turning your back to city life is good for your health. In a city, you cannot avoid the pollution and frantic pace of life. In a small town, fresh air, peace, and quiet await. You will probably also spend more time outdoors, which is good for your physical health and mental well-being. 

Housing affordability: Whether you are looking to buy or rent a house or an apartment, you will probably spend less money in a small town than in a city. However, since not only retirees are leaving the cities but also young adults, the increased demand has driven up the prices in some areas. Still, there are many small towns where housing remains affordable. 

Lower cost of living: Everything from goods to services tends to be cheaper in small towns (this can be due to lower rents that businesses pass on to the consumers). And since there are less traffic jams, you can save on your gas bill.

Sense of community: Small-town living usually means stronger social ties. Everybody knows everybody else. You will probably find that people are more likely to lend a helping hand. 

Pros and Cons of living in a small town

If you are used to city life, you may find the slower pace of a small town monotonous at first. Businesses will probably close earlier. There will be fewer restaurants and entertainment venues. But you will soon discover there are lots of things to do. Small towns often host various festivals and events. Many are located close to the great outdoors. Depending on where you choose to settle, you can enjoy hiking, cycling, bird watching, or simply picnicking in nature.

Probably the most important disadvantages of small-town life are the lack of public transportation and the limited availability of health care. So, if you don’t own a car, have a plan for getting around. Also, ensure that you can count on decent medical support.

In any case, prepare well for your move. Research the town you’ve set your heart on and try to understand the social norms the locals adhere to. 

A retired couple sitting on the porch of their house in a small town resting after gardening together

What Are the Best Small Towns in the USA for Retirees?

You will be spoilt for choice if you decide to move out of a city after retiring. The USA is dotted with charming small towns that offer good living conditions. Whether you want to move close to your family or close to nature, you will find your fit.

Here are just a few small towns that are popular among retirees:

  • Coolidge, Arizona, offers desert living with warm winters and hot summers. Population: about 15,000.
  • Fredericksburg, Texas, is nested among vineyards and wineries. Population: about 11,000.
  • Hamilton, Montana, has numerous small farms, ranches, and orchards nearby. Population: about 5,000.
  • Abingdon, Virginia, boasts several museums and galleries offering art workshops and classes. Population: about 8,600.
  • Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is renowned for more than 60 natural springs. Population: about 2,200.
  • Punta Gorda, Florida, has several retirement communities that feature golfing, fishing, and other activities. Population: about 19,500. 

Which small towns in the USA are the most affordable?

Kiplinger recently updated their report listing the 12 cheapest small towns to live in. We took from their list the top five.

The residents of Muskogee, Oklahoma (about 37,000) enjoy a cost of living 21.7% below the national average. House-related expenses are 44% cheaper than average.

Tupelo, Mississippi, also has about 37,000 inhabitants. The town is best known as the birthplace of Elvis Presley. The cost of living in Tupelo is 18.6% below the US average.

Although Kansas levies high taxes (especially the sales tax), 47,000 residents of Salina still have more affordable lives than many in the country. The cost of living there is 17.3% below the national average.

In Richmond, Indiana, a visit to a GP will cost you 25% less than the national average. The overall cost of living in this town of 36,000 residents is 17.1% below the US average. 

Statesboro, Georgia, is a college town with about 32,400 inhabitants and low prices. The cost of living there is 17% below the national average.

Saving Money When Moving 

Your prime motive for moving out of the city could be cutting costs. But what about the relocation itself? If you are not careful, moving can be a considerable financial burden. Fortunately, there are ways to save money when moving house:

  • Choose your moving company wisely. Look for affordable and reliable movers that provide binding quotes.
  • Time your move to avoid the busiest and the most expensive periods (weekends and summer).
  • Visit local stores and ask for free cardboard boxes. Use what you have (linen, towels, and T-shirts) for wrapping fragile objects. 
  • Declutter your possessions. The fewer items you have, the less costly your move will be. Sell what you can and donate or discard the rest.
  • Send your books to your new address by United States Postal Service Media Mail. It does not cost much (about $52 for 70 pounds) and frees up the space for other items.
  • Use up or donate all the food in your fridge and cupboards. 
  • Clean your old house yourself. The inexpensive vinegar and water solution or the baking soda plus water paste can work wonders.
  • Have a just-in-case plan. Try to find an affordable place to stay or to store your goods if you have to wait a few days before entering your new home. 
Two men over 50 discussing their retirement options and how to save money after retirement

Advantages of Moving With Shyft

AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft is designed especially for people over 50 to make the often overwhelming process of moving as smooth and stress-free as possible.

You can save money when you book your move through Shyft. Shyft is connected with hundreds of professional moving companies ready to bid for your business by offering their lowest prices. This ensures that you get the best deal. Since the moving quotes you get from Shyft are binding, there will be no extra fees or unpleasant surprises. On top of that, AARP members get an exclusive discount of up to $250 every time they move.

You will also save time. You do not need to spend hours researching moving companies and comparing quotes. Shyft will record your moving inventory and send quotes from different companies without setting foot in your house.

Your dedicated Shyft Move Coach will be your single point of contact. They will overlook the whole process door-to-door to ensure the safety of your possessions.  

How to Have a Seamless Relocation Experience With Shyft

Begin by downloading the Shyft Next mobile app, available for iPhone or Android devices, free of charge. Then call Shyft at 1-888-838-5981 or fill in a short form online to schedule a video call with a dedicated Move Coach.

During the video call, take your Move Coach on a virtual tour of your home, enabling them to compile an accurate inventory list. This process is highly reliable, with a 95% accuracy rate. However, you can add or remove specific items or services to make the list 100% accurate.

Once finalized, the inventory list will be securely transmitted to the Shyft platform, along with your moving details.

On the Shyft platform, approved moving companies independently submit their quotes. You will receive three or more competitive quotes tailored to your needs and budget. Once you select a quote, the price is locked, safeguarding you against any extra fees. The price will change only if you modify the shipment size, services required, move distance, or fail to book the move before the quote expiration date.

Throughout the entire moving journey, your dedicated Move Coach will oversee the process from start to finish. Shyft guarantees consistent quality standards across all services, whichever moving company you choose.

Moreover, AARP members can take advantage of exclusive benefits, receiving up to $250 off every booked move. This discount applies regardless of the frequency or destination of your relocation. It is a testament to Shyft's commitment to serving AARP members.

Remember, Shyft is available to assist you seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Embark on your stress-free moving experience today. Let Shyft help you on your journey.

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