When we are considering a retirement destination, the cost of living there is one of the first things we look into. Chicago is not the cheapest place to live, but it is the ideal place in some of the areas that matter to seniors looking to make the most of their retirement savings.
As of July 2015, the overall cost of living in Chicago is 0.6% below the national average according to Forbes. This is impressive considering that the city is the third most populous in the United States. Let’s see how the Windy City stacks up when it comes to key expenses.
In Chicago, the home prices and rents are on an upward trend, and that is not expected to end anytime soon as the city rebounds from its population slide that lasted from the 1950s into the early 21st century. According to the July 2015 numbers, the median home price in Chicago is $215,600. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,757 in Chicago as of June 2016. A two-bedroom unit will run you about $2,312. If you do not mind living outside of the city proper, there are many deals to be found in Chicago’s surrounding suburbs.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicagoans spend just about the same amount on food as the rest of the country. However, residents tended to spend a little bit more of their food budget on going out to eat and less on making their own meals. To give you a good idea of how much groceries are, you can expect to pay an average of $3.24 for a gallon of milk, $2.92 for a dozen eggs, and $5.18 for a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts as of July 2016.
Overall, residents of Chicago spend slightly less for transportation than the United States average. About fifteen percent of the average household’s budget goes to transportation, though older adults can count on spending less if they do not have a daily commute. As of July 2016, gas prices in Chicago range from $1.88 to $2.85 per gallon. Though rates vary based on driver habits, your vehicle, and driver history, car insurance rates in Chicago are among the highest in the US at an average of almost $2,900 per year compared to about $1,100 nationwide.
In Chicago, senior care costs tend to be higher. The cost of assisted living facilities is higher in Chicago ($52,200 per year) than the national average ($43,539), but nursing home care is right on par with the US median with private rooms and semi-private rooms costing $94,900 and $82,125 respectively compared to the national medians of $92,378 and $82,125. Adult day health care ($18,741) and home health care ($52,624) costs are both greater in Chicago than the rest of the country ($17,680 for adult day care and $46,332 for a home health aide).
Comparison shop for housing based on walkability, affordable transportation alternatives, and price to make sure you get the most of your retirement funds in Chicago.
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