Paugus Bay, in Weirs Beach, Laconia, New Hampshire.

6 Budget-Friendly Towns in New Hampshire for Retirees

The Granite State has been long sought after for its beautiful parks, colorful autumns, and crisp, cool New England air, but what many don't know is that with its perfect conditions, it too is an amazing place to settle down and live the rest of one's life while on the edge of an infinite and vast horizon. New Hampshire is a gateway to an easier, sometimes slow, but fulfilling retirement. While New Hampshire is generally considered a pricier state, among many states on the Eastern Seaboard, there are several budget-friendly towns for retirees to explore.


The River Walk Covered Bridge with the Grist mill on the Ammnosuoc River in Littleton, New Hampshire.
The River Walk Covered Bridge with the Grist mill on the Ammnosuoc River in Littleton, New Hampshire.

With a lower-than-average median gross rent of $814 (according to and compared to the state average of $1,396) and a median listing home price of $392,000 (according to, Littleton proves itself to be in a much more inexpensive place than the rest of its New Hampshire neighbors. Putting that aside, this colorful town offers much in the form of entertainment and attractions.

Completed in 2004 and a staggering 352 feet long, the Riverwalk Covered Bridge has become a Littleton staple, providing views and an artistic experience that leads to the historic downtown, where unique and family-owned shops thrive. It is also in these shops that buildings from over 100 years ago are common, as are interesting spots like the world's longest candy counter at Chutter's.


Aerial view of downtown Meredith.
Overlooking downtown Meredith, New Hampshire.

Meredith, a small town surrounded by trees and the greenest hills and glades one has ever seen, is a place where the median age is 50 and the rent is cheaper than average ($1,117), but what makes this small town truly standout is its location.

The deep blue waters of Lake Waukewan are on the edges of the town, while the year-round Meredith Sculpture Walk on its perimeter adds a bit of flavor and personality, which has been noticed and continues to attract many. Lastly, the Inn at Mill Falls, right on the lake, is true to its name, and despite the luxury and comfort the Inn promises, the real attraction is the small waterfall right by its entrance.


Aerial view of Main Street and the coast of Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.
Main Street and the coast of Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

In yet another town made by nature's paintbrush, Wolfeboro boasts a population where 34% are over the age of 65, and the median gross rent is $1,020. The real secret to this town is its vibrant culture and surrounding natural beauty.

One can never expect to get bored here, as Wolfeboro gives access to Allen Albee Beach on the shores of Lake Wentworth. This is not the typical beach; the shoreline kisses dense thickets while the water remains clear and reflective. Near the town docks, Cate Park also provides a pier and a place to peer into the reflective waters, perfect for contemplation.

But if one wanted nature one day and the history of man another, the Clark Museum Complex features many buildings, houses, and other landmarks that date back to the 1700s. With a mission to serve and spread knowledge, the admirable people there are always on the lookout for locals and soon-to-be ones.

New London

Aerial view of New London, New Hampshire.
Overlooking New London, New Hampshire.

A New London with old charms? This town has been brought further into the modern age than others, but it still manages to hold onto what keeps it special. While it's true that the rent is only slightly below average at $1,317 and only about a quarter of the population is above the age of 65, New London is proof that fresh air can breathe new life into an old place.

Places like the Ice House Museum are unconventional but showcase the old ways of New London while attempting to bridge an education on the past with how the town is now. In a dissimilar but not unrelated fashion, the New London Barn Playhouse collaborates with emerging artists and performers to put on live shows that have entertained guests nearly every year since its opening in 1933.


Waterfront homes along the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia, New Hampshire.
Waterfront homes along the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia, New Hampshire.

A larger town, Laconia is home to roughly 17,000 people, where the median age is 43 and the median gross rent is $1,163. But Laconia's spirit does not come undone by the slight uptick in population; instead, it has capitalized on what others may deem a misfortune, and now it is a lovely combination of special interests and new faces.

To take a walk through history, the Endicott Rock Historic Site is just as its name suggests, but what one doesn't get from the name is the marker left by some of the earliest European settlers, those from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The over 300-year-old marker on the rock now sits protected in a beautiful area and park that soothes the soul. For a more refined experience, however, the Lakeport Opera House still has live performances and even hosts private events. It just goes to show the many faces of a burgeoning town.


Durham, New Hampshire, in winter.
Durham, New Hampshire, in winter.

A place that is not too large or too small, but that single porridge that is just right. Durham has a quarter of its population over the age of 65, and while the median gross rent is a little bit below average ($1,216), this lively town has a few worthwhile tricks up its sleeve.

The first is the UNH Observatory, and while such a place would normally be off-limits, guests are welcome with no appointment needed. Come and see the celestial bodies on the first and third Saturdays of every month; just be sure there is no cloud or rain. In any case, the observatory is the opportunity of a lifetime, one that is normally reserved for a select few.

For the history buff, the town has their needs covered. The General Sullivan House belonged to an important general (John Sullivan) who rose to fame for his battles against the Loyalist forces in the Revolutionary War, thus proving that Durham has had its fair share of historical aptitude.

Why Choose These?

New Hampshire is normally only for those with means, but the same cannot be said about each and every one of its small, rare, and spirited towns. Whether that be by embracing tradition, synthesizing it, or coming into its own, these towns nonetheless find a way to stand out amongst their brethren in a state filled to the brim with natural beauty—it means much more than words can do justice. Nonetheless, these towns are the cream of the crop, ones that find their own path and history while also being excellent destinations to settle down—and inexpensive while at it.

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