What are the Best Places to Retire in the US?  

The U.S. retiree landscape has seen a drastic shift in recent years. Many retiring Baby Boomers find it challenging to secure a viable, comfortable future on their fixed incomes. They’ve been seriously affected by recession losses, low-interest investment returns and increasing health care costs.

Considering that the 4 million who decide to retire each year are collectively living longer and saving less, it’s no surprise that, out of pure necessity, retirement decisions are changing with the times.




The 40th Annual United Movers' Study reports customers’ state-to-state migration patterns and motivations.



40.30 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Delaware.



34.12 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Florida.



32.43 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Nevada.



32.35 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to South Carolina.



30.75 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Arizona.



27.13 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to New Mexico.



25.00 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Idaho.



24.75 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Montana.



24.72 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to Maine.



23.08 percent of surveyed United customers reported retirement as a primary motivation for moving to New Hampshire.


One of the most notable trends observed by United Van Lines’ 40th Annual National Movers Study is a clear shift in retirement destinations. More and more, retirees typically known for seeking sunshine and recreation are now relocating to destinations that offer remedies for both health and wealth.

“We are seeing more retirees than ever decide to relocate, and as a result, new retirement hubs are popping up,” said Michael Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Confirming this theory, the United Van Lines’ study closely aligns with Kiplinger’s State-by-State Guide to Taxes on Retirees, with United’s top three retiree destinations: Delaware, Florida and Nevada, ranking among Kiplinger’s most tax-friendly states.

And if those states don’t appeal to you? We have several other states topping the charts in affordability and the overall lifestyle they offer. 


Delaware has emerged as a haven for cost-conscious retirees on the East Coast, where real estate prices and taxes are driving many away. With convenient access to several major metros and 381 miles of Atlantic coastline, Delaware offers the living potential that many retirees seek with a host of attractive tax benefits and was named Most Tax-Friendly State for Retirees by Kiplinger’s. 
  • Social Security benefits not taxed
  • Allows significant pension deductions
  • Caps income taxes at 6.6 percent


Perhaps America’s most-recognized retirement destination, Florida caters to Boomers. With more than 1,250 golf courses and 663 miles of beachfront, the Sunshine State is perfect for active seniors seeking affordable fun and sun. 
  • No state income tax
  • Retirement income not taxed
  • No tax on Social Security benefits
 

Widely known for its golf, entertainment and gambling, Nevada is also recognized as a low-tax oasis for retirees. The Silver State offers substantial savings to Boomers betting on a long retirement. 

  • No state income tax
  • Broad exemptions for Social Security and pensions
  • No inheritance or estate taxes


4. South Carolina

South Carolina offers a taste of the good life for retirees interested in preserving their financial assets. Residents enjoy stately Antebellum homes and an exceptional array of annual events and festivals. 

  • One of the lowest state tax rates in the nation
  • No state tax on Social Security benefits
  • Many tax exemptions on retirement income

The sunny climate of Arizona offers real benefits for retirees looking to get back to nature and explore the great outdoors. Arizona allows seniors on a budget to stretch their savings a little bit further with numerous benefits for older residents. 

  • No tax on Social Security benefits
  • Property tax breaks for seniors
  • No inheritance or estate taxes in the state

While New Mexico does tax Social Security benefits, which could take a healthy chunk out of funds intended for retirement, for some, the stunning geological formations and cultural opportunities available in this region are enough to compensate for the increased tax burden.
  • Lower state sales tax rates
  • $8,000 exemption on retirement income taxes
  • Tax rebates for those 65 and older
 

Best known for its bountiful crops of potatoes, Idaho has much more than just spuds to offer retirees in this scenic state. Homeowners aged 65 or older may be able to qualify for a temporary property tax deferral program offered by the state of Idaho, allowing improved cash flow management for older residents.

  • No taxes on Social Security benefits
  • Prescription drugs exempt from state sales tax
  • Retirement benefits deductions for qualifying individuals


8. Montana

Montana’s wide blue skies of largely unspoiled area is a beautiful place for many retirees. Unfortunately, Social Security payments and other forms of retirement income are taxable, and this added financial burden may make Montana a less desirable option for some retirees. But, the state does offer some other financial benefits for retirees.

  • No state sales tax
  • Some retirement income exemptions available
  • Property tax assistance and tax breaks for seniors

With nearly 230 miles of coastline, Maine enjoys warm summers and cold winters with plenty of snow and the traditions associated with it. Located at the northernmost end of New England, the state of Maine has many advantages for those interested in retiring to this scenic location.  

  • Social Security benefits not taxed
  • Some pension-income exemptions
  • Food and prescription drugs exempt from sales tax


10. New Hampshire

Picturesque barns and farmhouses exist alongside modern edifices in this New England state.  Retirees should know that when they relocate to the Granite State, they may pay more in property taxes for their new home, and there is also a tax assessed on interest and dividends.  

  • No state sales tax
  • No income tax
  • Retirement income not taxed

Deciding where to spend your retirement years may seem like an overwhelming process. But by considering both the financial advantages and drawbacks of various locations, you can save more of your hard-earned cash for the things you enjoy most. Selecting a state that offers the right climate conditions and entertainment options can further enhance your enjoyment of your golden years.

At United Van Lines, we specialize in professional relocation services that can help you make the right move during retirement or any other phase of your life. We work with you to ensure the most affordable and dependable moving services for your valued possessions. Whether you’re heading for the wide open spaces of Montana or the sunny beaches of Florida, United Van Lines can help you make your next move the best one yet.




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