Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse in Lewes, Delaware.

8 Most Affordable Towns to Retire in Delaware

Delaware's peaceful and laid-back environment is perfect for retirees seeking a slow pace of life. This picturesque mid-Atlantic state offers a lovely mix of factors tailored for senior living, from pristine beaches and beautiful country landscapes to quaint cultural attractions and friendly tax policies for pensioners. However, the cost of living near major cities like Wilmington can stretch budgets, which may not be the best situation with the dwindling sources of income in retirement.

Fortunately, some small towns around the Diamond State allow pensioners to live a comfortable life without worrying too much about their account balance. Besides low-cost living, they present plenty of outdoor opportunities and access to vital social and health amenities. From Southern coastal communities to Northern towns along the Chesapeake Bay, here are some of the cheapest places to retire in Delaware.


The Robinson House is the original settlement on Naaman's Creek in Claymont, Delaware. Image credit Rosemarie Mosteller via Shutterstock
The Robinson House is the original settlement on Naaman's Creek in Claymont, Delaware. Image credit Rosemarie Mosteller via Shutterstock

Home to just about 10,000 residents, Claymont welcomes fresh retirees to be part of the friendly fold that enjoys the perks of small-town living. It strikes an impressive balance between indoor and outdoor attractions. For the indoor inclined, Claymont Stone School is an iconic town landmark from the early 19th century offering a look into the bygone eras. On the other hand, Woods Haven Kruse Park invites outdoor enthusiasts to indulge in laidback recreations, including hiking through a wooded section and picnicking on lush lawns.

Meanwhile, incoming retirees seeking a sense of purpose can join the Lions Club of Claymont to be part of meaningful social programs aimed at helping the needy in the community. Claymont also enjoys a developed transport network, with Wilmington Regional Transit providing an easy way to get to neighboring towns like Wilmington and Newark to seek further entertainment or vital health facilities. Also, real estate prices are quite friendly in Claymont, with the median house value at $329,900.


Main street in Milton, Delaware. Image credit Khairil Azhar Junos via
Main street in Milton, Delaware. Image credit Khairil Azhar Junos via Shutterstock.

Milton is a historic town known for being a prominent shipbuilding center in the 19th century. Today, it retains a laid-back charm and houses several historical sites, such as the Milton Historical Society, preserving its storied legacy. The small community boasts several social centers that encourage social gatherings and the maintenance of close ties, highlighted by the Milton Theater. Inside this landmark venue, locals gather around to watch live music shows, concerts, plays, and other theatrical performances in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Thanks to the 10,000-acre Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Recreational opportunities abound here. This is an excellent spot for retirees to stretch their legs on a relaxing walk, with activities like fishing, bird watching, hunting, and picnicking on offer. Furthermore, a low-key golf game at the Rookery Golf Course would be a worthy alternative. A new home in Milton costs an average of $564,400, which is a fair price for many pensioners.


View of downtown Lewes, Delaware from bridge with canal.
View of downtown Lewes, Delaware from bridge with canal.

The site of Delaware's first European settlement, Lewes is a tiny community teeming with colonial history. It harbors a treasure trove of historical sites, perfect for retirees with an affinity for retro experiences. A tour of the Lewes Society Historical Society provides a peek into old-day Lewes through a range of artifacts, while the Zwaanendael Museum represents the state's first European settlement, with a legacy dating back to 1631.

Lewes' location on the Delaware Bay presents a relaxed coastal scenery that blends harmoniously with the town's slow pace of life. At Cape Henlopen State Park, you can enjoy a serene atmosphere with exquisite views of the Atlantic. Residents jump on the opportunity to get on the water with the Cape Water Tours and Taxi for an easygoing sightseeing trip that allows you to discover the town from the sea. Finally, investing in a home costs about $608,900, which is the local median housing price.


Ashland Covered Bridge in Hockessin, Delaware. Image credit: Chris Foster via
Ashland Covered Bridge in Hockessin, Delaware. Image credit: Chris Foster via

Small-town charm meets big-city amenities in this adorable community in New Castle County. Its proximity to bigger cities like Wilmington and Philadelphia assures pensioners quick access to their superior amenities. Locally, residents still enjoy a respectable selection of attractions, led by the Ashland Nature Center. This beautiful outdoor space covers 130 acres of marshland, meadows, and woodland, presenting an ideal space to commune with nature while on a picnic. It is also home to Mt. Cuba Center, a great alternative for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Shopping opportunities abound at the busy Lantana Square. The corridor hosts a mix of grocery stores, restaurants, locally-owned shops, and other cute businesses, also serving as the ideal hub for social interactions. For retirees planning to buy a home in Hockessin, the average cost of properties in the town is $540,000.


Former Bridgeville Public Library in Bridgeville, now a curio shop.
Former Bridgeville Public Library in Bridgeville, now a curio shop.

Bridgeville is an agricultural town in Sussex County where new pensioners can enjoy low-cost living in a friendly community. With a median housing cost of $385,000, it is one of the cheaper places you can retire in Delaware. Thanks to its agricultural background, retirees will find healthy produce and ingredients for their meals at Evans Farms or TS Smith & Sons. Furthermore, Heritage Shores offers a lovely sanctuary tailored for seniors, where they can access social opportunities, engage in communal programs, and take advantage of amenities like a premier golf course.

Those curious to learn about the town's history can take a cozy journey down memory lane inside the Bridgeville Historical Society, home to a collection of archives, photographs, and memorabilia from eras gone by.

Delaware City

Exterior of The Old Canal Shops at 129 Clinton St, Delaware City.
Exterior of The Old Canal Shops at 129 Clinton St, Delaware City.

Living in Delaware City offers access to beautiful nature spaces and landmark historical treasures in an easygoing community of just about 2,000. It is home to Fort Delaware State Park, which harbors an iconic Union fortress built by the U.S. Army in 1812 to guard against the ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington. Delaware City is also known for hosting Fort DuPont State Park, which, apart from its historical significance, is a beautiful waterfront outdoor space with the perfect atmosphere for a picnic. It also provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and several sports.

Another great option for senior outdoor recreation is to learn how to ride a horse at Cozy Quarters Farm. This is a good opportunity to develop a personal relationship with the cute animals. Homes here are affordable and below the United States average, with a median cost of $272,400.


Delaware Park and race track, Newark, Delaware. Image credit Felix Mizioznikov via Shutterstock
Delaware Park and Race Track, Newark, Delaware. Image credit Felix Mizioznikov via Shutterstock.

Newark is home to the University of Delaware, so retirees who still harbor academic aspirations can find lovely learning programs tailored for senior citizens at the college. However, there is a lot more to the town, including exciting outdoor opportunities across the sprawling territory of White Clay Creek State Park. The Newark Reservoir is another recreational hub for water-based activities and attracts significant crowds, especially in the summer. Meanwhile, the Christiana Mall addresses all retail therapy needs for seniors, providing tax-free shopping in name-brand stores, as well as a mix of entertainment and dining venues.

The town also houses several sports arenas where pensioners can catch exciting games and cheer on the home teams alongside other excited enthusiasts. The atmosphere is always electric when there is a game at the Bob Carpenter Center and Fred Rust Ice Arena. Newark is surprisingly affordable despite all these amenities, as the median home value is $375,000.


Ice Cream Sign at the Peach Festival at Wyoming, Delaware. Editorial credit: Foolish Productions /
Ice Cream Sign at the Peach Festival in Wyoming, Delaware. Editorial credit: Foolish Productions via Shutterstock.

In a town of less than 2,000 residents, everybody seems to know everybody, resulting in a safe, tight-knit community that pensioners can comfortably settle in. Wyoming is home to Fifer's Home Store & Kitchen, a popular spot for locals to meet while shopping for fresh groceries, meats, and home-baked goods. It has the ideal social atmosphere to create friendly networks around the town. To spend time in the open spaces, residents head to the picturesque Wild Quail & Country Club for an easygoing tee time on an 18-hole championship golf course.

Wyoming has a few locally owned stores, restaurants, and pubs that are ideal social hangouts after a long day, allowing pensioners to catch up with peers. Brown’s Wyoming Tavern is an excellent example. It charms with a rustic interior and serves delicious foods and great cocktails. Even better, the local real estate prices average around $394,500.

From the scenic Atlantic shores to the lush pastoral countryside, these little-known gems harbor a distinct appeal and community vibe. Their recreational opportunities, access to healthcare, and lower living expenses than larger cities present the ideal circumstances to retire in Delaware without a high price tag. While Wilmington and other popular hubs offer more to do, these scenic small towns allow enjoying a leisurely, affordable pace of life amid pretty surroundings. For those hoping to make Delaware their long-term retirement destination on a fixed income, settling in one of the above communities makes fine economic sense!

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