You may wish to consider Southwest Florida or specifically the one hour radius around the new VA hospital opening this summer in Cape Coral.
Note that Florida does not get the extreme heat in the summer that most of middle States get, especially Texas, and this is especially true if you are very close to the gulf coast. This is due to the moderating effect of being surrounded by the gulf and Ocean. Of course, Florida in winter is paradise, and no state income tax.
The Cape itself has thousands of miles of canal homes, mostly dated, so very affordable, especially if you are not on a canal. Renting in Florida avoids a host of problems and risk. There is not a lot of employment and still a surplus of housing, so the economics is keeping the cost of living very low.
Although hurricanes are rare on that part of the coast, if you do get one, with renting you just travel light and don't come back if it is wiped out. In recent past entirely low cat hurricanes in SWF, its really only the trailers and mobile homes that have suffered anyways.
If you like a more rural feeling, go over the causeway to Pine Island, or if you like more eccentric, scout around Matlacha, which is a fishing paradise with a string of funky shops. The Matlacha bridge is know as the "fishing'ist bridge in the world". Matlacha is a series of small inland waterway type saltwater islands between the coast and Pine Island with spectacular salt flatwater fishing.
for more information on the overall area, consider this link
You could also check out San Carlos Island (between Fort Myers and Fort Myers beach) which is where the professional fishing boats are stationed and there is affordable housing, marinas, waterfront bars and seafood restaurants, and flatwater fishing outside your door and the open gulf minutes away. All of these locations discussed are 30 minutes from the VA hospital.
On the east coast or along the Tampa-Orlando strip, there is more industry which drives up the cost of housing, they catch more vigorous canes and middle/north Florida can be downright frosty in January.
Inland, there are some small cattle or horticulture towns where the housing is absurdly cheap and you can live in a bygone era of rodeos and strawberry festivals, but you have Texas style summer heat. Slightly up the coast toward Sarasota, or slightly down the coast toward Naples, it gets very expensive close to the coast.
50k goes far in Florida and the entire SWF infrastructure is oriented to our age group.