Businesses lined along the steep hill Main Street in Belfast, Maine. Editorial credit: Kristi Blokhin /

7 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in Maine

Maine has long been a popular destination on the East Coast. With its picturesque, rugged coastline, delicious seafood cuisine, and bustling cultural scene, the Pine Tree State is an excellent retirement destination with plenty of outdoor opportunities. For pensioners seeking to stretch their savings, the small rural towns have everything they need to enjoy their sunset years.

Besides low-cost living, these little locations offer a peaceful environment with residents who value a strong sense of community. They also ensure seniors have access to diverse recreational activities and vital social and health amenities. Whether relocating from out of state or big cities like Portland, here are the most pocket-friendly places to retire in Maine.


Aerial view of a bridge in Rumford, Maine.
Aerial view of buildings, a bridge, and forests in and around Rumford, Maine.

This quintessential New England community in Oxford County is a four-season destination that guarantees retirees something to keep them busy around the year. It boasts beautiful outdoor spaces where seniors can find solace while communing with Mother Nature, including the gorgeous Rumford Falls. A short pathway looping around the cascade allows you to stretch your legs while taking in the magical scene. Come the snow season, all the attention shifts to the famous Black Mountain of Maine, a world-class ski resort with a reputation for hosting national and international events for family-friendly adventures on the snow.

For senior citizens who value meaningful social interactions, the 49 Franklin Reception Hall and Mystic Theater is an excellent town venue where the community converges in a lively atmosphere and enjoys fun theater productions. Rumford is also conveniently affordable, with a median home price of around $165,000. Compared to the state average of $390,000, retirees can comfortably buy their dream home in town.


The Passagassawakeag River along the coast of Belfast, Maine.
Boats along the coast of the Passagassawakeag River in Belfast, Maine.

The self-proclaimed "Broiler Capital of the World" has a history of attracting culinary enthusiasts who want to sample its delicious barbecued chicken. It hosts a quaint community of about 7,000 that take pride in friendly interactions, as best exemplified during the weekly United Farmers Market of Maine. This is a prime opportunity for fresh residents to get acquainted with local culture and make lifelong friends. Belfast's location on Belfast Bay results in lovely outdoor scenery, beckoning retirees to enjoy scenic walks along the Belfast Harbor Walk and go for easygoing picnics at Belfast City Park.

Meanwhile, history lovers can find something interesting to learn about the city's past at the Belfast Historical Society and Museum. It exhibits a vast collection of artifacts inside a 200-year-old building that intrigues visitors. Belfast has affordable homes that will not cost aspiring homeowners a fortune, considering that the median house value is $360,000, $30,000 less than the state average. In terms of healthcare, the Waldo County General Hospital offers state-of-the-art service and care.


The Camp Caribou Golf Driving Range in Winslow, Maine.
The Camp Caribou Golf Driving Range in Winslow, Maine. By Th78blue - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Winslow offers a charming mix of rich historical heritage and cozy rural surroundings. The town also boasts a colorful past, starting as a Native American settlement called Taconock. Its prime location on the banks of the Kennebec River presents a laid-back atmosphere with exciting recreational opportunities. The Messalonskee Stream Trail allows retirees to maintain an active lifestyle, providing a scenic route perfect for a stress-free walk.

The 1903 Two Cent Bridge is another interesting spot spanning the Kennebec River. Pensioners do not have to dig too deep into their retirement savings to own a home in Winslow, considering that the median housing value is an affordable $267,400. Facilities are also abundant, with the larger town of Waterville on the river's other side.


View of downtown Farmington, Maine.
Bustling cars and business along a street in downtown Farmington, Maine. By Jon Platek - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Farmington's median home listing price of $260,000 makes it one of the cheapest places to retire in Maine. The town is home to the University of Maine, which allows seniors thinking of going back to school to find essential learning opportunities. Come rain or shine, residents have access to exciting outdoor opportunities, from hiking and picnicking in the serene atmosphere of Abbott Park in the summer to skiing and snowboarding down the powdery slopes of Titcomb Mountain in the winter.

The Nordica Homestead Museum is a must-visit for history lovers. The historic building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, dates back to the mid-19th century and offers a vivid perspective of life in Victorian-era Farmington. Elsewhere, movie fans in the town converge at Narrow Gauge Cinemas to catch some of the latest Hollywood productions in a family-friendly environment. All these activities are more fun for seniors as more than 28% of locals are above the age of 65.


Brick buildings in the historic district of Gardiner, Maine.
Rustic brick buildings in the historic district of Gardiner, Maine. By Doug Kerr -, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons.

A mix of old-world architecture and classic New England culture complements the relaxed personality of this quaint community in Kennebec County. A popular tourist stop, it boasts a bubbly social atmosphere with exciting art centers like the Alan Claude Gallery and the historic Johnson Hall Opera House. Retirees can choose from different recreations to spend quality time outdoors, including playing a low-key game of golf at CR Farm Disc Golf or enjoying a laidback boating excursion on the gentle waters of Kennebec River at Gardiner Landing.

Elsewhere, walking through downtown Gardiner reveals a vibrant corridor with a rich mix of locally-owned businesses, including restaurants, shopping outlets, and pubs. These are excellent for seniors craving friendly social encounters, with popular spots like Bateau Brewing presenting a great way to catch up with peers over a refreshing glass of craft beer. There is also no shortage of peers, as nearly 23% of locals are old enough to be called senior citizens. Moreover, owning a home does not cost much in Gardiner, and the $280,000 median home value will be a relief for many retirees.


The Gray Memorial United Methodist Church and Parsonage in Caribou, Maine.
The Gray Memorial United Methodist Church and Parsonage in Caribou, Maine. By GMUMC - GMUMC, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons.

Caribou is an agricultural town in Aroostook County where sprawling farmlands and lush nature spaces contribute to a relaxed atmosphere suited for retirement living. This also means a wealth of outdoor opportunities to keep senior citizens on their feet. The nearby Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is a regional recreational hub straddling over 4,500 acres with opportunities for anglers, hikers, and campers. Elsewhere, a game of golf at Caribou Country Club makes for the perfect alternative. Indoors, residents enjoy fun stage performances at Caribou Theater, a vital social center for the local community.

Meanwhile, history lovers will fancy browsing dozens of interesting natural history exhibits at Nylander Museum, featuring minerals, fossils, and other artifacts. Furthermore, those curious about local and regional history can stop by the Caribou Historical Society for an exciting journey back in time. Finally, buying a house in Caribou costs around $150,000, a steal compared to Maine’s average of $390,000.

Presque Isle

Main Street lined with businesses in Presque Isle, Maine.
Main Street in Presque Isle, Maine lined with businesses and buildings. Editorial credit: David Deschesne /

This four-season destination promises retirees something to look forward to, come rain or shine. Presque Isle is a small Aroostook County community that offers low-cost living and plenty of recreational opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts can find exciting adventures within the almost 900-acre Aroostook State Park, from hiking and snowmobiling to camping and picnicking. When the snow season comes around, Quoggy Jo Ski Center guarantees continuous activity for seniors with its family-friendly skiing and snowboarding slopes. Retirees will also enjoy spending quality time with loved ones inside the Northern Maine Museum of Science, which features educational exhibits on natural history sure to excite all ages.

The presence of Northern Light AR Gould Hospital in Presque Isle assures senior citizens of quick medical attention whenever they need it. If they can no longer live independently, Presque Isle Rehab & Nursing and other facilities provide crucial assisted living services. Finally, homes are quite pocket-friendly in Presque Isle, with an average value of $166,000.

Final Thought

Retiring is an exciting time that allows you to do what you have always wanted but needed more time to do. However, with rising costs, it helps to find an affordable place to settle and accomplish your lifelong dreams. The above charming communities provide leeway to low-cost living for those planning to retire in Maine, with the promise of friendly neighborhoods, diverse outdoor opportunities, and rich cultural atmospheres to guarantee a high quality of life in retirement in Maine.

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