Senior Friendly States

The best place to retire is not necessarily the warmest.

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A recently retired couple consulted with me about moving out of the great state of Pennsylvania. They were not from the area originally and wanted to be closer to their children and grandchildren. What are the pros and cons of living in one state versus another? Are taxes the only consideration?

Many people dream of retiring and moving to a warmer climate. Florida has been a popular destination for many retirees. An ideal retirement location should have easy access to recreational activities that you see yourself participating in. An outdoorsman may prefer an area with hiking trails and lakes. US News & World Report recently did an article titled “Best Places to Retire” and broke locations down by 15 different criteria – bargain hunters, wine lovers, history buffs, and singles are just a sample of the ways they segmented the locations.

Financial issues are easier to quantify but you will ultimately have to decide what is important to you and what costs you are willing to pay. The first financial consideration is income tax. Pennsylvania does not tax retirement income. Many states such as Virginia and North Carolina do. If a significant portion of your retirement income is derived from a pension or IRA withdrawals, this could be a big factor. Property taxes are another important consideration. Some states will give seniors a break on their property taxes. Find out what criteria the state uses for property tax relief so you can determine if you would qualify. The Retirement Living Information Center is a good resource for comparing the taxes in one state versus another. The site breaks taxes down by income tax, sales tax, taxes on retirement income, property taxes and tax on military pay.

Living near your family in retirement has a lot of benefits. However, there can be a big difference, tax wise, between living next to them, in the same state or just across the border. Make sure you do your homework before making a move.

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Rodgers & Associates answers questions like these every day.

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