For a long time, Florida and the states of the sunshine belt topped all the lists of best retirement locations. Unfortunately, in many cases the large influx of retirees changed the landscape of those locations. High demand for housing and large population increases lead to rising prices for housing along with other goods and services. Traffic increasingly becomes a problem with a booming population. In addition, tax rates increase to provide public services to this larger population. Thus, the list of top retirement states looks different in recent years.
Income tax rates are one of the biggest draws for retirees. Wyoming boasts the lowest income tax rates in the country at just 6.9%. While housing prices are around the national average, other living costs in Wyoming are well below the national mean. Wyoming residents experience minimal crime, and they enjoy amazing national treasures such as Yellowstone National Park and Teton National Park.
Colorado weather ranks third in the United States for its mild summers and dry, mountain air. While Colorado can get a considerable amount of snowfall in the mountains, it does not have the frigid winters that tend to accompany such snowfall levels. Colorado ranks sixth in the country for satisfaction among retirees. Cost of living and crime rates in Colorado remain below the national average, and healthcare is rated above average.
Weather in Utah is ranked sixth in the nation due to its dry climate and sunny skies. Utah’s healthcare system is ranked seventh in the United States, and few of the state’s elderly are hospitalized each year with the flu. Utah also has few hospitalizations due to diabetes and a lower than average cancer rate among its citizens. In addition, cost of living in Utah is lower than the national average.
Idaho has beautiful weather, which is perfect for enjoying the outdoor life in the Gem State. Over 70 percent of the land in Idaho is public, undeveloped land that boasts some amazing monuments, parks, and preserves. The cost of living is far below the national average, and the crime rate is the second lowest in the United States.
It would be hard not to love Virginia because it truly has something for everyone from small towns to big cities and mountains to oceans. The climate is neither too hot nor too cold. Healthcare in Virginia ranks above average in the nation, and overall cost of living is relatively low (though higher in the Washington, DC suburbs). Virginia has the third lowest violent crime rate and the eighth lowest property crime rate in the United States.
Which of these retirement locations appeals the most to you? Have you thought about where you want to retire? I’m already planning on retiring to a beach house and just need to find the right state with the right beach.