Every day, about 10,000 people reach the retirement age in the United States. Although not all of them will necessarily stop working the moment they are 65, they will almost certainly start thinking about some more senior-friendly states to relocate to. Some will want a place with a more moderate climate or a state they perceive as more beautiful. Others will consider relocating for financial reasons primarily. So, they will look into more tax-friendly states or those that offer a lower cost of living.
Some people will be preoccupied with health and research states that provide excellent health care. There are also people whose primary concern is being close to family. Whatever the reason for moving to a new location, they surely will be looking at where they can spend their golden years most comfortably. So, they should know about the U.S. states with the biggest benefits for senior citizens.
As you are approaching retirement age, you must consider the fact that the chances are you will be living on a fixed income. Therefore, you should start figuring out how you will stretch your monthly income for years to come. While there are many ways to reduce spending and save some money once you retire, you can also consider moving to a state where your life will be way more comfortable in more ways than one.
The truth is some states are more senior-friendly than others. And we are here to present you with our best pick so you can choose the one that suits you best. Get ready and travel – look around and see where you might want to relocate for retirement.
Florida - the Sunshine State
There is a good reason why a significant percentage of the Florida population (19.1%) consists of people aged 65 or more and why so many seniors decide to move to Florida once they reach a certain age. Vibrant culture, incredible beaches, golf, and incessant warm weather - what's not to like? On top of that, Florida is one of the states with no income tax and one of the states that excludes retirees of their Social Security benefits from taxation. What is more, The Sunshine State does not have estate and inheritance tax either.
Many people love Florida’s beaches.
There is a downside with Florida, though. Usually, states that do not have income taxes compensate for that in a different way. And Florida does so with a 1% higher cost of living than the national average. Another disadvantage is that this state cannot brag about high-quality health care despite so many seniors.
Tennessee - The Volunteer State
Tennessee is another state that excludes pensioners from paying tax on their Social Security benefits. It is also a state where you can get a side job without paying taxes. In fact, only if you receive a dividend or interest income will you pay income tax.
Although the percentage of the senior population here is not as high as in the Sunshine State, it's still pretty high at 15%. Tennessee takes precedence over Florida in terms of its cost of living, which is as much as 12% lower than the national average. Add to that the fact that health care costs are pretty reasonable. You can easily see why Tennessee is one of the U.S. states with the biggest benefits for senior citizens.
Bridgestone arena in Nashville - If country music sounds good to you, consider Tennessee as your future home.
And if financial benefits are not enough to persuade you to relocate here, the top-of-the-charts country music and breathtaking views will. With spectacular scenery, the Appalachian Mountains to the east and the Mississippi River to the west, many people visit Tennessee and never want to leave.
And with a few moving tips for seniors, you can be sure that relocation can be a breeze. And it doesn't have to cost that much either if you declutter and choose a moving company wisely.
Texas - the Lonestar State
Texas is the next state in line that shares the same financial benefits as Florida and Tennessee: no income tax and exemption from taxation on Social Security benefits for retirees. As for the cost of living, the news is good too. The cost of living is 10% lower than the national average. But, again, they have to compensate for all that somewhere. And that, unfortunately, is the cost of health care. It is 1.7% higher than the average.
On the plus side, there is so much to do here. Baseball is a big thing here, and the Gulf Coast is a short trip away. And you will have some company to make that trip and visit some baseball games as 11% of the Texas population is aged 65 or older.
Globe Life Field is a ballpark in Arlington, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, and is the home of the Texas Rangers.
Texas is home to three of the top ten most populated cities in the United States — Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio. While health care costs are a little higher than average, Texas is home to some of the country's largest hospitals and health systems located in those cities and throughout the state.
Pennsylvania is among the states that exempt pension income from taxation entirely. It also doesn't impose a tax on any other retirement income. Both health care costs and the cost of living are below the national average in this state, which has earned it a place on this list. Finally, the fact that as much as 16.7% of the population are seniors tells a lot.
Pennsylvania offers many types of scenery and is made up of mountains, rivers, valleys, and forests. There are two major metropolitan areas, and they are very different from each other. Philadelphia, one of the nation's biggest cities, with a big east coast feel on the plain, and Pittsburgh is sandwiched between three rivers at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains. It has a gorgeous topography.
Although you will have to pay 4.5% tax on income over $159,000 (i.e., $318,000 for married joint filers), and the cost of living is 3% higher than the US average, Arizona is still a good place for retirees since Social Security benefits included on a federal return are excluded from taxation.
That and the fact that it has been a popular place among seniors for decades shows that this is a viable option for retirees looking for a new start. Seniors make 15.9% of the population.
The state is famous for its deep canyons, high- and low-elevation deserts, numerous natural rock formations, and volcanic mountain ranges. You can even find snow and skiing in Arizona in the northern regions.
There is also plenty of high-quality health care in Arizona as the Phoenix area is a major metropolitan area.
If you are an active type, Arizona is the right place for you. You can enjoy many outdoor activities, and you have mostly fantastic weather to thank for it. Still, keep in mind that summers in Phoenix can be sweltering.
Like in Arizona, a tax of 6.93% on over $11,554 income will have to be paid. However, Social Security benefits included on a federal return are exempt from taxation, and there are no estate or inheritance taxes. Also, the cost of living is 5% lower than the U.S. average. That will allow you to stroll through the numerous parks free of care, admire the state's mesmerizing beauty, and enjoy the fresh mountain air. And given that the crime rates are low and health care ranks pretty high in terms of quality, you won't have to worry about a thing.
Just admire the breathtaking nature and relax in the beautiful state of Idaho.
Moreover, besides the cost of living, property taxes are also below average. You will be pleased when you receive your first utility bills as well, and you will have Idaho's hydroelectricity to thank for that.
And if all that is not enough, if you like to keep your wits active, colleges and universities in Idaho offer free classes for retirees.
These are some of the U.S. states with the biggest benefits for retirees and those planning retirements. Good look on your retirement journey, and congratulations on the new beginning.
About the Author
Jessica Bishop is a freelance writer who loves travel. Therefore, her primary focus is writing about her travel adventures and helping people find the best place for their new life. All the free time she has, she spends traveling and reading about the history and culture of different places in the world.
Contributor since May 27th, 2021
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