Alberta's prime housing market continues to have a huge diversity in what consumers can invest in, from cheap homes that come with a price tag of around $30,000 in Calgary to million dollar mansions in Edmonton.

While dwindling pension benefits are forcing many Canadians to rethink how they'll spend their golden years, Calgary was the only city in Canada that saw an increase in home sales from a year ago.

"National sales activity lacks the momentum it had a year ago,'' said Gregory Klump, CREA's chief economist.

SEE: WHAT $1 MILLION WILL BUY YOU ACROSS ALBERTA

"Interest rates have remained low and the economic backdrop has remained supportive for housing activity, so that should leave little doubt that recent changes to mortgage regulations are responsible for having cooled activity," he added.

Experts also say that many retirement destinations favoured by Canadians — including parts of Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica — offer an advantage prized by those on a fixed income: a lower cost of living.

"The reality is... some people retire to Mexico because it's so darn cheap," says Rod Burylo, a Calgary-based financial advisor specializing in international retirement.

While it may not always be affordable, those retiring in Alberta can be sure to have a variety of options to pick from. From waterfront properties that include storage space for a boat, to secluded houses minutes away from town, Alberta has a lot to offer.

Here's a look at what half a million dollars can buy across Alberta:

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  • Lethbridge: $500,000

    With over 1600 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, a heated garage and a full security system, this 2011 built property has a spacious living space. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $500,000

    With over 1600 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, a heated garage and a full security system, this 2011 built property has a spacious living space. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $500,000

    With over 1600 square feet of living space, four bedrooms, a heated garage and a full security system, this 2011 built property has a spacious living space. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $500,000

    This property has just above 1400 square feet of living space, and two full suites. The first floor suite yields a rent of $1350/month and the upper floor suite was rented for $1250/month. 'Investor alert,' states this property's listing. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $500,000

    This property has just above 1400 square feet of living space, and two full suites. The first floor suite yields a rent of $1350/month and the upper floor suite was rented for $1250/month. 'Investor alert,' states this property's listing. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $500,000

    This property has just above 1400 square feet of living space, and two full suites. The first floor suite yields a rent of $1350/month and the upper floor suite was rented for $1250/month. 'Investor alert,' states this property's listing. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $500,000

    This property has just above 1400 square feet of living space, and two full suites. The first floor suite yields a rent of $1350/month and the upper floor suite was rented for $1250/month. 'Investor alert,' states this property's listing. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Rural Parkland County: $500,000

    This property boasts that it is a gardener's dream. With a lot of space to plant trees and shrubs in, to a south facing greenhouse, you can see why. The home is located on the top o fa hill with a view "second to none." Source:Realtor.ca

  • Rural Parkland County: $500,000

    This property boasts that it is a gardener's dream. With a lot of space to plant trees and shrubs in, to a south facing greenhouse, you can see why. The home is located on the top o fa hill with a view "second to none." Source:Realtor.ca

  • Rural Parkland County: $500,000

    This property boasts that it is a gardener's dream. With a lot of space to plant trees and shrubs in, to a south facing greenhouse, you can see why. The home is located on the top o fa hill with a view "second to none." Source:Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 1,100 square feet home is close to a reservoir and Calgary downtown. The listing states this three bedroom home has had major renovations, including an upgraded kitchen and the patio. Source:Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 1,100 square feet home is close to a reservoir and Calgary downtown. The listing states this three bedroom home has had major renovations, including an upgraded kitchen and the patio. Source:Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 1,100 square feet home is close to a reservoir and Calgary downtown. The listing states this three bedroom home has had major renovations, including an upgraded kitchen and the patio. Source:Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 1,100 square feet home is close to a reservoir and Calgary downtown. The listing states this three bedroom home has had major renovations, including an upgraded kitchen and the patio. Source:Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $550,000

    This property features over 3,000 square feet of living space and has 6 bedrooms and a custom built bungalow floor plan. It also has a view of Fairmont Park Lake, a deck, two gas fireplaces and a walk-out basement that leads to a yard on the lake. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $550,000

    This property features over 3,000 square feet of living space and has 6 bedrooms and a custom built bungalow floor plan. It also has a view of Fairmont Park Lake, a deck, two gas fireplaces and a walk-out basement that leads to a yard on the lake. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $550,000

    This property features over 3,000 square feet of living space and has 6 bedrooms and a custom built bungalow floor plan. It also has a view of Fairmont Park Lake, a deck, two gas fireplaces and a walk-out basement that leads to a yard on the lake. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Lethbridge: $550,000

    This property features over 3,000 square feet of living space and has 6 bedrooms and a custom built bungalow floor plan. It also has a view of Fairmont Park Lake, a deck, two gas fireplaces and a walk-out basement that leads to a yard on the lake. Source: Realtor.ca

  • County of Grande Prairie: $550,000

    This custom built home has five bedrooms and just over 1,500 square feet of living space. It is located seven miles away from Grand Prairie. Source: Realtor.ca

  • County of Grande Prairie: $550,000

    This custom built home has five bedrooms and just over 1,500 square feet of living space. It is located seven miles away from Grand Prairie. Source: Realtor.ca

  • County of Grande Prairie: $550,000

    This custom built home has five bedrooms and just over 1,500 square feet of living space. It is located seven miles away from Grand Prairie. Source: Realtor.ca

  • County of Grande Prairie: $550,000

    This custom built home has five bedrooms and just over 1,500 square feet of living space. It is located seven miles away from Grand Prairie. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 2,200 square feet home has three bedrooms, five zones speaker and sound system and a 8' high interior door on the main floor. Additional features include hardwood floors, a fireplace and full landscaping with tres and shrubs at the front and back. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 2,200 square feet home has three bedrooms, five zones speaker and sound system and a 8' high interior door on the main floor. Additional features include hardwood floors, a fireplace and full landscaping with tres and shrubs at the front and back. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 2,200 square feet home has three bedrooms, five zones speaker and sound system and a 8' high interior door on the main floor. Additional features include hardwood floors, a fireplace and full landscaping with tres and shrubs at the front and back. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Calgary: $550,000

    This 2,200 square feet home has three bedrooms, five zones speaker and sound system and a 8' high interior door on the main floor. Additional features include hardwood floors, a fireplace and full landscaping with tres and shrubs at the front and back. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Anne County: $550,000

    This lake front property has two bedrooms, 3 finished levels and large windows with a view to the lake. The front of the home that faces the lake also a garage for storing a boat or any other vehicles. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Anne County: $550,000

    This lake front property has two bedrooms, 3 finished levels and large windows with a view to the lake. The front of the home that faces the lake also a garage for storing a boat or any other vehicles. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Anne County: $550,000

    This lake front property has two bedrooms, 3 finished levels and large windows with a view to the lake. The front of the home that faces the lake also a garage for storing a boat or any other vehicles. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Drumheller: $550,000

  • Drumheller: $550,000

    This 2,122 square feet home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms (two of which have jetted tubs), vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace. It also has a fully developed basement with a games area and a custom bar. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Drumheller: $550,000

    This 2,122 square feet home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms (two of which have jetted tubs), vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace. It also has a fully developed basement with a games area and a custom bar. Source: Realtor.ca

  • Drumheller: $550,000

    This 2,122 square feet home has five bedrooms, three bathrooms (two of which have jetted tubs), vaulted ceilings and a gas fireplace. It also has a fully developed basement with a games area and a custom bar. Source: Realtor.ca

With files from the Canadian Press

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