As a retiree, it is normal to be living on a fixed income. This comes in the form of pensions and savings, as well as small dividends from investments that may mature by the time you mature.
This isn’t all that bad when the cost of living, or purchase power parity, is relatively low — however a high cost of living can greatly limit the movements and overall quality of life for seniors. The state-to-state cost of living disparity can be so large that sometimes, it is best to move rather than tough it out in an expensive place. Here are some of the most senior-friendly States for you to consider.
The Aloha state has more than the hula to offer senior citizens. With what is believed to be the best tropical climate in the United States, Hawaii also has the lowest cost of healthcare in the country. Retirees can choose from a variety of activities, with island hopping, hiking trails, waterfalls, volcanoes, and just sunning by the beach. Furthermore, the culture of the Hawaiian Islands is a beautiful thing to learn and adapt to, if you decide on moving there.
While the cost of living in Florida is about the same as the national average, which is approximately $2640 per senior citizen per month, Florida levies no state income tax. With a world-famous coastline, beautiful white sand beaches, a senior-friendly climate, and all the seafood you could ever want, Florida is also a place you might meet someone in your twilight years, with the senior population being over 17% in the whole state. There is much to do, as well — the famous theme parks of Orlando, the quaintness of Tallahassee, and the golf courses all around the Sunshine State will provide hours of fun for any active senior.
Georgia’s median income is less than $30,000, and the cost of living there is 7% lower than the national average. A dollar can really stretch out in the Empire State of the South. Health care, housing, and recreational activities are highly affordable for retirees on fixed incomes, and the topography of the land itself has mountains and beaches and everything in between.
New Hampshire is a beautiful place to be. Its mountains are beautiful — especially when fall foliage is at its peak — and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and skiing, if you’re an active senior. While higher than the other costs of living on this list, New Hampshire’s cost of living is just 18% above the national average. It is also only about an hour away from Boston, so you can visit family or catch a ball game. New England’s way of life is affordable and attainable in New Hampshire, and the state’s taxes are some of the lowest in the country.
Alabama’s known for more than Lynyrd Skynyrd’s iconic song. It is a very senior-friendly state, with the average cost of living ranking ninth amongst all 50 states. This is 13% lower than the national average cost of living. The median income is $24,000, meaning that a retirement income of $50,000 goes a lot farther than it would in New York, for example. There is medical care and senior housing, 60 miles of coastline, mild weather, and some of the best air and water in the country. The senior population is more than 19%, with some areas reaching almost 30%. Cullman, Alabama has the largest population of doctor’s offices in the State.
While known for potatoes, Idaho is also high on the list of senior-friendly states. The cost-of-living is relatively low, annual income is just over $40,000, and seniors have the option to explore the great outdoors like never before. Idaho is home to 30 different state parks, including Yellowstone. Healthcare costs in the state are also pretty low, and housing costs run less than the national average.
North Dakota has low health care costs and a rather low cost of living, just above the national average. State income taxes are low too, and most homes are worth around $200,000, making the state extremely affordable for senior citizens. The local economy of the capital, Bismarck, is pretty stable, with lots of benefits and amenities for retirees who choose to live their lives there.
Determining where to live based on factors of costs of living, the costs of healthcare, retiree amenities, and thriving communities should be part of your planning strategy for your retirement. If you’re a senior who is struggling in your current city due to the high cost of living, or because you don’t have a strong senior community with which to connect with, take a road trip and see if you like living in any of the states listed above. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised that your next adventure awaits.