East end of Depot Square, Northfield, Vermont, via ErikaMitchell/ iStock.com

7 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in Vermont

Depending on how well you plan for it, retirement can be the beginning of a dreamy journey into your sunset years or a streaky nightmare you cannot wait to wake up from. However, one way of ensuring everything goes swimmingly is to find a friendly destination to settle in, which is within your financial means. In the scenic Green Mountains of Vermont lie several charming small towns offering affordable living perfect for a comfortable retirement.

In these pocket-friendly communities, a dollar goes a long way without any impact on your quality of life. From artistic hamlets to quaint villages situated near amenities, each locale presents a low-cost lifestyle elevated by beautiful natural scenery. If you envision an easygoing spot to retire in Vermont, that will not drain your nest egg, consider settling in the following charming communities.


Aerial view of Greensboro, Vermont with Caspian Lake in the background.
Aerial view of Greensboro, Vermont with Caspian Lake in the background. Image Credit: Jared Benedict via Wikimedia Commons

Greensboro is the ultimate destination for retirees who embrace life in the outdoors. This tiny community is surrounded by a lush wilderness teeming with recreation opportunities. Seniors here enjoy an active lifestyle through hiking hilly trails at Barr Hill Natural Area. The climb to the top might be challenging but it rewards with exquisite views of surrounding landscapes, including Long Pond and Lake Caspian. However, those who cannot keep up with the strenuous hike may opt for an easygoing golf game at the Mountain View Country Club.

For indoor alternatives, pensioners can gather at the Highlands Center for the Arts to watch family-friendly shows on stage. Lastly, retirees who choose to settle in Greensboro do not have to think twice about investing in a permanent home, especially with the median cost below the United States average of $317,000.


Mayo Block, Northfield, Vermont, By Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States - Northfield, Vermont
Mayo Block, Northfield, Vermont, By Doug Kerr - Wikimedia Commons

Teeming with notable covered bridges, Northfield is a tiny village in Washington with a wealth of historical heritage. This is well-documented inside the Northfield Historical Society, where a collection of archives, artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts chronologically lay out all the major events in the town's colorful past. One of the best ways retirees can experience and appreciate this heritage is to visit its array of “Covered” bridges. From Northfield Falls Covered Bridge to Stony Brook Covered Bridge, these offer a window into 19th century Northfield to when they were constructed, and their postcard-worthy appearance makes them a popular subject for photography.

The small town center has many welcoming joints perfect for spending time with friends and family. For instance, Good Measure Pub & Brewery is excellent for meet-ups with peers after a long day to catch up over a glass of craft beer. Furthermore, it has the Northfield Senior Center to care for the elderly when age starts becoming an issue. Finally, the median housing cost, at $339,500, is below the United States average.


Landscape of Island Pond, Brighton, Vermont.
Landscape of Island Pond, Brighton, Vermont.

There is always something for retirees to see and do in this small Essex County village. Home to just over 1,000 residents, newcomers are instantly enticed by its small-town charm and inviting atmosphere. It is home to Brighton State Park, which spoils residents with a variety of outdoor recreations. Set on the picturesque shores of Spectacle Pond, seniors can opt for hiking, camping, fishing, boating, or nature viewing to spend quality time in the open spaces. Part of the Kingdom Trail network also traverses the town, presenting retirees with a chance to stay fit by either hiking or biking the rugged out-and-back route.

When old age starts to take its toll on pensioners, rendering them unable to live independently, Sunrise Manor is always on standby to ensure the elderly receive needed support. Furthermore, Brighton is quite generous towards pensioners with a plan to own a home as the average cost of real estate is $299,000.


Main street in Bradford, Vermont
Main street in Bradford, Vermont

Home to an estimated 1,000 people, this lovely retirement community welcomes fresh retirees to join a friendly group of peers in a smooth transition into their sunset years. Bradford hosts a pleasant downtown with an eclectic mix of businesses, with residents frequently converging at the Old Church Theater to watch moving stage performances in a family-friendly atmosphere. The town also encourages seniors to embrace an active lifestyle by offering a diverse range of recreation opportunities. Taking the 1.6-mile out-and-back uphill trail to Wrights Mountain provides enough exercise for the week, with sweeping vistas of the town waiting to reward hikers at the summit of Bradford's highest peak.

But if your legs are too feeble to handle the strenuous hike, you can opt for relaxed golfing sessions at Bradford Golf Club. Meanwhile, the presence of Orange East Senior Center demonstrates the town's commitment to taking care of its elderly population in their time of need. Finally, an average home cost of $349,000 which is within the financial reach of many retirees.


A sunset view over the Green Mountains near Brandon, Vermont.
A sunset view over the Green Mountains near Brandon, Vermont.

Nicknamed "Art & Soul of Vermont," Bradon offers a unique brand of charm with a walkable downtown hosting a delectable mix of galleries, restaurants, studios, and antique shops. Art is a prominent part of the community, and seniors can take advantage of the laid-back yet immersive cultural experiences at venues like Judith Reilly Gallery and Brandon Artists Guild, exploring awesome works by local creatives. The craft brewery and winery scene is also a pretty and vibrant part of the town, providing retirees with cozy hangouts to catch up with friends at the end of the day. Oenophiles can converge at Neshobe River Winery, as beer lovers congregate at Foley Brother Brewing.

For their time outdoors, pensioners will love the serene setting of Neshobe Golf Club. Besides practicing their swing, the green surroundings with epic views of rolling mountains, present the perfect reason to step into the great outdoors. Additionally, those who envision a healthy lifestyle can join the Brandon Yoga Center to benefit from healing therapies like yoga, pilates, and meditation. For potential homeowners, the average home price here is $380,000.


The train station depot in Chester Depot, Chester, Vermont
The train station depot in Chester Depot, Chester, Vermont. Editorial credit: Bob LoCicero / Shutterstock.com

Chester's vibrant downtown is surrounded by a lush wilderness, offering a charming contrast of experiences for retirees planning to make it their forever home. It harbors an eclectic cluster of family-owned businesses in the town center, creating a socially charged atmosphere. Souvenir collectors can shop for unique finds at the many antique centers in the neighborhood, including Stone House Antique Center and Vermont Picker Antiques. In addition, Fischer Arts offers the opportunity for residents to explore beautiful art pieces in a delightful gallery.

Elsewhere, pensioners are spoilt for choices whenever they feel like eating out, thanks to a vibrant restaurant scene in Chester. Country Girl Diner is a top local establishment with a cozy atmosphere - ideal for an evening out. Finally, Chester has a median home cost of $384,500.

Bellows Falls

Bellows Falls Opera House exterior.
Bellows Falls Opera House exterior. Image credit Beyond My Ken via Wikimedia Commons.

Bellow Falls hosts the Green Mountain Railroad, which makes transport quick and simple for retirees to get around to neighboring towns in the discovery of further recreation opportunities, or perhaps alternative social and health amenities. Locally, the Bellows Falls Historical Society provides a preview of the town's past for those interested in its colorful heritage. Pensioners can also find exciting opportunities at Riverfront Park, where a picturesque trail system encourages immersing in the outdoors. The park also offers access to the Connecticut River and its relaxed fishing spots.

Townsfolk often converge inside Bellows Falls Opera House to enjoy entertaining community-based productions, helping to maintain a harmonious atmosphere among residents. Meanwhile, Rockingham Health Center assures seniors of ready medical attention whenever necessary. With a median home price of $325,000, buying a home in Bellow Falls should not be such a drag for retirees.

Wrapping Up

Whether seeking creative communities, rural charm, access to healthcare, or cultural activities, these towns offer affordable options to embrace all, which makes Vermont a top retirement destination. Their scenic settings among lush forests and dramatic peaks provide the perfect backdrop for outdoorsy retirees, as well as those who simply want to take in peaceful vistas. With their low costs of housing, taxes, and everyday living, residents can fully relax in their golden years without financial worries when they retire in Vermont.

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