The state that has the cheapest senior living depends on the type of care needed. As a general rule, states with low general costs of living also have low senior living costs. Affordable care is most often found in the South and Midwest. Genworth conducts a Cost of Care Survey each year to help older adults and their families understand the price of senior care. Data about the average cost per month is available for each state and many cities around the country. 

The Cost of Care at Home

Seniors living at home commonly use in-home care or home health care to help them continue to live independently. In-home care provides personal care services, such as assistance with activities of daily living. Home health care provides medical assistance in the home in addition to daily living assistance. The most affordable state for in-home care and home health care is West Virginia, with costs of $3,527 and $3,575 respectively. Louisiana comes a close second, with in-home care averaging $3,623 and home health care averaging $3,718.

Adult day care is an option for seniors who only need care during the day. If their caregiver works during the day, adult day care can provide companionship and supervision during those hours. The cost in Alabama is $758 per month, while in Texas seniors pay $769.

The Cost of Residential Care

Assisted living is a good residential care choice for those who need some help with activities of daily living. The most affordable state for assisted living is Missouri, at just $3,000 per month, followed by South Dakota at $3,391. Nursing home care is generally the most expensive care option, though there are states that are more affordable. Texas has the cheapest nursing home care at $5,125. Missouri’s nursing homes are also affordable, at $5,262 monthly.

The average cost of care is not the only thing to consider when choosing an affordable retirement location. The overall cost of living, taxes and government assistance can all have an impact on a retirement budget. Some states with low average care costs may have less Medicaid and other government assistance. Low state income tax on Social Security and other retirement funds can help keep more money available for senior care. Seniors who wish to remain living at home may also want to consider the property tax burden before deciding on their retirement location.