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Best Cities for Early Retirement
Early retirement has considerable appeal, but many people simply don’t have the financial resources to make it work. But if you would like to retire from your current job before you hit 65 – and maybe start a second work life either to help you with expenses or just to do something different – it matters where you live.
Kiplinger.com has compiled a list of the 10 best cities for early retirees, considering issues such as employment rates, climate, cost of living, crime rates, income levels, tax laws and the concentration of people ages 45 to 64. Here are their Top 10:
10. Honolulu. The amazing weather is not all the capital of the Aloha State has to offer. There are lots of people ages 45-64, and the crime rate is lower than the national average. However, the cost of living is 49 percent higher than the national average, and the tax laws are not all retiree-friendly.
9. Virginia Beach, Va. You can enjoy the beach and golf almost year-round. The cost of living is about average. But retirees do enjoy some tax benefits: There is no state tax on Social Security, there is no inheritance or estate tax, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs are exempt from sales tax.
8. Midland, Texas. The economy is booming, and the weather is warm – or hot – all year. The cost of living is 9 percent below the national average, and Texas has no state income tax, estate or inheritance tax.
7. Peoria, Ariz. Arizona has long drawn retirees because of its sunny weather and its favorable tax code. Peoria also boasts a low crime rate, a cost of living that is 9 percent below the national average, and easy access to the entertainment and cultural offerings of Phoenix.
6. Bellvue, Wash. Bellvue has a high cost of living – 16 percent above the national average. But it has low unemployment, a low crime rate and no state income tax. Plus it offers lots of natural beauty and is only a short trip to Seattle.
5. Souix Falls, S.D. South Dakota may not seem like a top retirement destination. But it has been called one of the top places for business and one of the best U.S. cities for aging. Plus, it has a cost of living that is 18 percent below the national average, a low crime rate and no state income tax.
4. Sandy Springs, Ga. This suburb offers easy access to Atlanta with a crime rate that is about half as high. The cost of living is slightly above average, but the tax picture is very friendly.
3. Alexandria, Va. This Washington, D.C., suburb has a strong and stable economy and a low crime rate. However, its cost of living is 21 percent above the national average, and its tax treatment of retirees is mixed.
2. Cary, N.C. As part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Cary has a strong economy. It also has the lowest crime rate of any of these 10 cities and excellent health care, espcially the nearby Duke Medical Center. The cost of living is only 2 percent above average, but the tax picture is mixed.
1. Naperville, Ill. Close enough to Chicago to provide easy access to the city’s attractions, Naperville also offers a low crime rate and a cost of living only 3 percent above the national average. In addition, more than 27 percent of its residents are ages 45-64. But it has a sales tax of 7.25 percent.