The kids are gone, the house is paid for, and you never have to work another day again.
How do you decide where to spend the next phase of your life?
Finding the best place to call home after you’ve lived and worked all your life to get to this point can be daunting. There are many states across the nation to consider, but only if you know what to look for. In years past, you may’ve been tied to a particular location because of employment or family obligations. Now that you’re retired however, you may no longer be limited to a particular area of the country.
While many retirees will still choose to live close to family members, there is a great deal to consider when making the choice to relocate. For most of us, retirement means living on a fixed income. Because we will no longer be getting raises and promotions, we need to find a way to live comfortably within our post-retirement means.
Retirees should consider these 13 things, before they opt to relocate.
1. Location of Family Members—Living near loved ones is a top priority for many people. Now that they are no longer tied to employment, some opt to move closer to family.
2. Cost of Living—Many people will not be able to maintain their current lifestyle once they retire. The difference in the cost of food, gas, insurance, and utilities differs tremendously between states.
3. Retirement Income Tax—While taxed Social Security income may not amount to very much, other pension accounts could be seriously impacted. In 2018 a retired couple will receive on average, a little over $2340 per month from Social Security benefits. While taxes on this amount may not break the bank, some states apply rates more heavily than others on pensions and retirement accounts.
4. Military or Government Pension Tax—These may be taxed differently than 401k’s, IRA’s or other traditional company pensions as well. Mandatory distributions of retirement payments and the state’s requirements for taxation of these differ greatly in the U.S.
5. Real Estate Tax—Some states tax property more heavily than others based on home values. While retirees no longer have children in the public school system or use many of the programs designed to help families, they may still pay high amounts proportionate to their income.
6. Inheritance Tax And Estate Tax—States may tax heavily on estates. This can hamper future plans for retirees who wish to hold onto assets and pass them onto heirs later.
7. Climate—After shoveling snow and living in colder climates many flock to warmer states.
8. Medical Care—This is a big factor when considering where to retire. Proximity to good medical facilities and physicians is key for people at this time in their lives.
9. Crime Rates—Safety and security are important for everyone and retirees will take this into consideration when choosing where to live.
10. Transportation—Accessibility to train and bus lines may be a factor for some who don’t intend to drive as much as they once did.
11. Recreational Opportunities—Once retired many people look to get involved with others in the community who enjoy the same things.
12. Natural Disasters—Winter storms, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes may have many retirees looking to relocate to calmer areas.
13. Affordable Available Housing—Cost of housing is a deciding factor on relocation after retirement. Lower rents and home prices drive some to Midwestern and Southern states.
Based on property tax rates, taxation of retirement income, and cost of living, these 10 states are ranked the worst states for retirees in the U.S.
10 Worst U.S. States for Retirement – Pros and Cons