Concerned about living costs, have you considered relocating?
by Larry Steward
That is an important decision to consider. Not all 50 states are good for retirees. A group called Finance101 created an analysis of the worst states to retire in after compiling data on the price of living, taxes, medical care, and considering other factors like weather.
My wife and I were living in Connecticut when I reached my retirement age. We started evaluating how prepared we were to continue the lifestyle we liked in our retirement years. Our cost of living was a big concern. It was challenging for us to save as much as we wanted. We knew the overall cost were expensive to live in Connecticut, however I wasn’t sure how other states ranked.
The thought of relocation was not a major consideration, at least not right away. On the other hand, we had the flexibility to relocate since we had our own work from home businesses, we were empty nesters, and we didn’t have relatives nearby.
Then after reading articles comparing the cost of living rankings of all states, it became clear that there were many benefits of moving to South Carolina. Here is what convinced us:
- Kiplinger ranked Connecticut 5th overall as the worst place to retire for these reasons:
It ranks among the 10 tax-unfriendliest states for retirees. Real estate taxes are the second-highest in the country. Some residents face taxes on Social Security benefits, and most other retirement income is fully taxed, with no exemptions or tax credits to ease the burden.
- All those taxes come on top of high living costs for food, rent, etc.
- Another motivator to move was putting up with snow storms and the long miserable winters in Connecticut.
- South Carolina’s tax code is great for retirees; not only is Social Security not taxable, but there’s a sizable deduction for other kinds of retirement income.
Those under 65 can claim a $3,000 deduction, while those over 65 can claim $15,000, making it extremely friendly for seniors receiving income from sources other than Social Security.
- Property taxes are also among the lowest in the nation.
- The day-to-day cost of living, which includes things like groceries and rent is 7% lower than the rest of the nation.
- The average annual temperature is 64.2°F.
- People all over the nation think of the South as being particularly hospitable, and this appealed to us as well. In fact, Charleston, the largest city in the state, has been voted the friendliest city in America by Condé Nast.
- The small town of Aiken where we settled has all the stores, restaurants, shopping centers and other conveniences we enjoy.
- And this may be the real deciding factor, my darling wife can ride her horse just about any day of the year in this warm weather, horse-friendly town.
- Oh yeah, I don’t have to shovel snow anymore. What could be better than that?
So if you feel that your living costs are getting too high, maybe relocation will help solve the problem. Any thoughts or experiences about relocating?