9 Best Places To Retire | Retirement Planning

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Are you ready to start anew and affordably? We've gathered what we think are the best places to retire in the US. Let's plan your retirement.

RELATED: 10 Great Travel Destinations For After You Retire

Best Places to Retire | Your Guide to Retirement Planning

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Places to Retire In the West

1. Alaska

anchorage alaska skyline winter dusk chugach | best places to retire in the world

The cool, brisk air may help you relax your mind. And it helps to know that that wind won't blow away your hard-earned dollars.

Looking to downsize to a cozier cottage? At a location with a more relaxed pace and a soothing breeze?

Are you planning to work for a few more years? Because there is no income tax in Alaska, you'll be able to see more of your income and perhaps allocate them to catch-up contributions.

And to that concerned, money you may get from your 401(k), social security, and other plans are part of your income. And no, they may not be taxable.

According to the Tax Foundation, Alaska is one of eight states as of 2021 that do not impose income taxes. This is great news for those in the middle of retirement planning.

Alaska is also one of the few states that do not impose statewide sales taxes. Although, keep in mind that individual cities could apply their own.

Alaskan residents shell out only 5.16% of their paycheck, the lowest tax burden among all 50 states.

On the other hand, consider moving to the moose state if you have a hefty retirement fund. As of the first quarter of 2021, Alaska ranks as one of the more expensive states to live in.


The Kaiser Family Foundation ranks Alaska as the state with the second-highest health spending. An Alaskan may spend around $11,064 in medical bills out of their pocket.

2. Arizona

tucson arizona usa downtown skyline sentinel | best places to retire in the world

Another state down south nabs a spot on our list.

To those that still work, know that Arizona does impose income taxes. It may also include your pension and savings accounts from the IRS. However, the state does not tax your social security benefits.

The income tax rate is also graduated based on your income and may adjust yearly for inflation.

But what you don't save in cash value, you get in invaluable care and service.

The Arizona Department of Economic Security offers programs and assistance for the seniors, including:

From nutrition, health, assisted living to legal services, the state is positioned to care for the elderly.

And the state below also offers a plan for its aging population.

3. California (Up and Coming Best Places to Retire)

california coastline sunset aerial view houses | best places to retire in the us

You may not get a break on your taxes, but California has a plan on aging that could make your golden years seem brighter.

The California Master Plan on Aging has five goals:

  • Housing for All Stages & Ages
  • Health Reimagined
  • Inclusion & Equity, Not Isolation
  • Caregiving That Works
  • Affording Aging

What's great about the master plan is that it recognizes not only that aging is expensive, but also social issues that many are unaware of or even afraid to shed a light on. It is all-encompassing, making sure that Californian seniors are financially cushy, healthy, and included. The state gives importance to older adults and even encourages everyone to thrive.

Read more about the master plan on aging here.

Yes, California may have the highest cost of living, but it may also boast higher median family incomes. At $90,100 per family, it's higher than the national average of $79,900. If you plan to continue working, California could be a great state to bulk up your bank account.

California boasts picturesque views, a thriving culture, active senior communities, and affordable and healthy aging (care of the master plan on aging). If the budget affords it, definitely consider living out your second wind in California.

4. Hawaii

honolulu hawaii skyline diamond head volcano | places to retire

A pocket of paradise warmed by the sun and cooled by the sea, Hawaii is the retirement hotspot for those seeking a permanent vacation.

The income taxes may be high, but the average household income in Hawaii is $99,800, higher than the national average of $79,900. Properties may carry a high price tag, but property taxes could be relatively low, and the location, a worthy investment for those who put a premium on the view.

Social security benefits are a major source of income for the elderly population. So if you're part of the vast majority that rely on this, you'll be happy to know that the aloha state does not tax your social security.

Everyday costs are expensive in the aloha state, but healthcare may be efficient and inexpensive. The United Health Foundation dubbed Hawaii the healthiest state for seniors in 2019. With the healthiest senior population, it's no wonder that the life expectancy of Hawaiians is 81 years old.

Best Places to Retire In the South

5. Florida (Overall Best Places to Retire)

sarasota florida usa downtown skyline on | best places to retire in florida

It's only fitting to spend your golden years in the sunshine state.

Florida offers plenty of activities for its senior population. Vast golf courses, sunny beaches, fishing and hunting camps, and so much more await you. With all the amenities and activities the state has to offer, its older generation gets to stay active both physically and socially.

The sunshine state also offers outstanding healthcare, keeping costs low and medical services soaring.

Florida is also a different kind of haven for senior savers. The state does not tax your income. This could help planning your retirement easier, helping you bolster your retirement savings while keeping your expenses in check.

In addition to allowing you to keep your individual income, Florida also boasts a low cost of living and an average state and local sales tax rate of 7.01%.

And while there are many places in the world you can visit in your retirement years, no other place in the U.S. offers an abundance of R&R from your own backyard. Just don't forget to put on sunscreen.

RELATED: 10 Great Travel Destinations For After You Retire

6. Maryland

annapolis maryland usa harbor dusk | best places to retire in the us

If you can't decide if you want to live by the shore, a majestic mountain, or in a robust shopping center, choose Maryland.

Maryland is a haven for seniors, offering amenities like fishing, camping, boating, and golf courses. You will also find many outstanding museums, theaters, and the Maryland orchestra to give you your dose of culture and the arts.

Goldilocks would have approved of the weather, not too hot and not too cold. Maryland is ideal for retirees who are sensitive to temperature. It's also perfect for those that want to retire near world-renowned hospitals.

Maryland is home to top-notch hospitals like John Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Yes, the state does impose taxes on your income, but within an acceptable limit. The governor also plans on easing the financial burden of seniors by 2022.

For the calendar year 2021, adults over 65 years old can exclude a maximum of $34,300 of their pension from tax. And according to the Retirement Tax Reduction Act of 2020, the first $50,000 of a retiree's income shall not be taxed by the state.

The forgiving tax breaks, serene shoreline, and thriving culture of arts and science make Maryland a popular retirement destination for seniors.

7. Tennessee

nashville tennessee downtown skyline twilight | most affordable places to retire

Another state that is able to tread the balance between taxes and income, city living and nature, and the change from cold to warm weather is Tennesee.

The home of rock-and-roll a flourishing country music scene, it's a popular retirement home for music lovers. Enjoy the ski resorts during winter, then go fly fishing during the summer. Visit Graceland and the House of the Blues whenever you feel like it.

Because of the many sights and activities Tennessee has to offer, you may never experience a dull day in your golden years. And it also helps that the state is tax-friendly for retirees.

It is one of the states that does not tax your income as the tax on Hall Income was recently repealed. This is great news for those that want to retire as soon as possible. In addition to tax-friendly regulations that help bulk up your savings, the cost of living will help keep your wallet fat and happy.

Ultimately, the fine weather, picturesque landscape, and affordable living may convince you to move to Tennessee.

8. Texas

downtown skyline austin texas usa | cheapest places to retire

Keep your cowboy boots on. The state's tax-friendly regulations will keep you tapping with your dancing shoes.

Texas does not impose taxes on income and may rank as average when it comes to the cost of living. The state manages to strike a balance, allowing Texans to keep their wages intact but compensates in high sales taxes and property taxes.

Healthcare is also affordable and accessible for senior residents. On top of the state offering care services for its over-60 residents, it is home to nationally-ranked UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The state is relatively warm throughout the year, so you can enjoy warm outdoor weather year-round.

Best Places to Retire In the Midwest

9. Nebraska

sunrise over dismal river meandering through | best places to retire in the world

Nebraska is one of the most affordable places to retire in, on the opposite spectrum of California. It may not be a known retirement destination, but the Cornhusker State ticks off many boxes.

While the state has income taxes, it may still be more affordable than living in Florida and California, other popular retiree destinations. And while the state has biting property taxes, housing may be affordable and plentiful. If you and your spouse are considering downsizing to a more charming home, consider moving to Nebraska.

In 2019, Bloomberg crowned Nebraska as the best state to retire in. It took into consideration affordability, weather, crime, culture, and wellness.

With sprawling green lands, and wide-open spaces, the grass does seem greener here.

Here’s an infographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

9 great places to retire_infographics_revised

Check out this video to learn what a 401(k) to bump up your retirement funds:

Each state has its pros and cons. Choose the state that matches your lifestyle and retirement roadmap best. No state is 100% retiree-friendly, but some states are improving their policies and many come close.

Some items on the list may not be the cheapest places to retire, but sometimes you can't put a price on an ocean view and senior-friendly living.

Where do you think would you want to retire?

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