According to Kiplinger, a widely read personal finance newsletter, the best retirement locations offer a high quality of life and low cost of living. Retirees must also know a state’s tax burden when considering their retirement destinations. In 2009, "U.S. News and World Report" listed the top 10 affordable places to retire. The best places to retire financially include states such as Texas and Florida or cities including Pittsburgh and Chattanooga.
Texas offers a variety of affordable, spacious living communities. Retirees can choose to live in small towns or cities such as Houston, Austin and Dallas. The weather in most parts of Texas is subtropical with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Retirees in Texas benefit from the state’s taxation system. With a state sales tax of 6.25 percent and no state income tax, Texas has having one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the country, according to the Tax Foundation's rankings. Some of the best retirement communities in Texas include San Antonio, Corpus Christi, the Rio Grande Valley and The Woodlands. In 2010, the median home price in Texas was $179,800.
Pittsburgh has received consistent ratings as one of the most affordable places to live in the country. In addition to offering several arts centers and high-quality health-care facilities, retirees enjoy the city’s low cost of housing and low state tax burden. Other incentives include Pittsburgh’s efficient public transportation system. The city also houses several prestigious universities such as the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon. In 2009, the average cost of a home in Pittsburgh was $127,000. In addition to the Medical Center at the University of Pittsburgh, the city is home to more than 12 hospitals.
Florida’s year-round warm climate is ideal for retirees. Although home prices in the state vary by region, smaller towns like Cocoa and Gainesville offer affordable living. In 2010, the median home value for Florida was below the national average at $136,000. Residents of Florida are exempt from paying state income tax; retirees also benefit from the state’s moderate property tax. Retirees have access to a wide array of medical facilities and hospitals located throughout the state.
Chattanooga is the fourth-largest city in Tennessee. Retirees can take advantage of Chattanooga's relaxed pace and overall low cost of living, which is approximately 10 percent below the national average. Tennessee has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. In 2007, the average cost of a home in the Chattanooga was $122,000. In addition to its scenic waterfront downtown, the city is also home to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which offers a leading medical facility.
Selam Nuri has been writing academic articles and working across the curriculum since 2001. She has been published online at various websites and earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology in 2006 from the City University of New York.