How much does it cost to retire in Cape Cod?

Taylor Swift, Meg Ryan, Harry Connick Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Tommy Hilfiger and JFK have all called Cape Cod home at one point or another. Patti Page sang about it, and it even has its own cocktail – if you’ve ever ordered a vodka cranberry, you’ve had a Cape Cod.

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The hook-shaped peninsula off Massachusetts stretches 40 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and includes 62 miles of the country’s most iconic coastline. Many people flock there for the holidays – the Cape Cod National Seashore attracted 4.1 million visitors even during the 2020 pandemic year. But only the chosen few dream of retired in a beach community Which was once the playground of the Kennedys.

But before you write off the idea as a pipe dream, consider that living out your golden years in Cape Cod might be within reach.

To find out, GOBankingRates used data from HUD, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sperling’s Best and AreaVibes.

Since all of Cape Cod is in Barnstable County, all eight cities that made the list had multiple overlapping data points. The average 2022 rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,428 and healthcare costs are $4,364 per year, or $364 per month, across the board. That’s not bad, the national average for health care is $5,177 per year, or $431 per month. This leaves the cost of groceries, livability score (higher is better) and combined monthly expenses as the only differences.

See how much it costs to live in Cape Cod. born_mass_istock-1249841580


  • monthly expenses: $2,232
  • Liveable Score: 72

The average grocery bill runs Bourne residents $441 per month, or $5,288 per year. While it is the lowest on the list, it is still 7% above the national average, which is $4,942 per year, or $412 per month.

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  • monthly expenses: $2,233
  • Liveable Score: 78

In Yarmouth, groceries cost a bit more than at Bourne, but by only $10 per year. The annual total is $5,298, or $441 per month, about 7% higher than the national average.



  • monthly expenses: $2,237
  • Liveable Score: 72

In sandwiches, the average supermarket bill is 8.1% higher than the national average – $5,342 per year. This works out to $445 per month. dennis_mas_istock-861482922


  • monthly expenses: $2,237
  • Liveable Score: 67

Dennis residents pay slightly more for groceries than their neighbors in sandwiches – $5,347 per year. This is 8.2% higher than the national average. Barnstable_iStock-1264371911


  • monthly expenses: $2,239
  • Liveable Score: 66

In Barnstable, the cost of groceries exceeds the national average by 8.5%. The annual total is $5,362 or $447 per month. Brewster_Mass_iStock-517305306


  • monthly expenses: $2,241
  • Liveable Score: 68

The average grocery bill in Brewster is $5,392 per year. It’s $449 per month, which is 9.1% higher than the national average. Falmouth_Mass_iStock-1264527387


  • monthly expenses: $2,243
  • Liveable Score: 71

Groceries in Falmouth cost 9.5% more than in the entire country. The average cost is $451 per month or $5,411 per year. chatham_istock-869367464


  • monthly expenses: $2,260
  • Liveable Score: 67

Of all Cape Cod, groceries are the most expensive in Chatham, where the average annual bill is $5,614 ($468 per month). This is 13.6% higher than the national average.

Methodology: To find the cost of retiring in Cape Cod, GOBankingRates used housing and urban development data for the first (1) FY 2022 Florida fair market rent for a one-bedroom apartment, as determined by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. GOBankingRates then used Sperling’s Best to find the cost of living for each selected area, looking at (2) grocery and (3) healthcare index scores. Next, GOBankingRates used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 Consumer Expenditure Survey to find annual spending amounts for both grocery (“meal at home”) and health care costs for people 65 and older. in order to determine how much a retiree can afford. Groceries and healthcare in Cape Cod Monthly. GOBankingRates sums together monthly housing, grocery and health care costs to find the cost of retiring in Cape Cod. For a place to be eligible for study, it must have a (4) livability score of 65 or higher, as sourced from AreaVibes. All data were collected and up to date as of September 9, 2022.

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