Kiplingers top 10 places

In 2017...What are the top 10 places to retire?

Recently, Kiplinger’s released its 2017 list of the top 10 places to retire which is bases upon affordable housing and “retiree friendly” property and state taxes, good healthcare networks, arts and outdoor recreation.   So where is it that you want to settle down?

Do you stay in your current city and home?

Do you snowbird?

All great questions to ponder.

Well, Kiplinger’s focused on places that did not have excessive traffic congestion and had walkable downtowns and locations that were nearby major metropolitan areas, so residents could still take advantage of the amenities of larger cities.

Here is their recommendations and reasons why:   

1. Galveston, Texas

Population: 48,733 50 miles from Houston

Economic benefits: Texas has no estate tax and no state income tax.  Income from pensions and retirement savings are also state-tax-free.

Attractions: Bishops Palace / Gresham house- a historical landmark, galleries, parks, Lone Star Flight museum and other specialty museums

2. Ensenada, Baja California

Population: 520,000 and 88 miles from San Diego

Economic benefits: Property tax rates are usually about 0.1% of a home’s assessed value.  Renters can find options close to the water for about $500 a month, or homes with an ocean view starting at about $1,500 a month.

Attractions: “Old Mexico,” an area that was once considered Mexico

3. Lincoln, Nebraska

Population: 280,364 and 53 miles from Omaha

Economic benefits: $300,000 can buy a 4-bedroom, 3-bath home with a 3-car garage in the well maintained and family friendly, Trendwood area.

Attractions: Haymarket district, Railyard entertainment district, and Lincoln has numerous live-entertainment venues and a public market.

 4. Colorado Springs, Colorado

Population: 465,101 and 70 miles from Denver

Economic benefits: Colorado offers residents 55 and older generous tax exclusions on retirement income. There is no state inheritance tax.

Attractions: Art galleries, theaters featuring live performances, ample parklands, including Rock Mountain National Park, Rockies air and space museum and the Rocky Mountains

 5. Northfield, Minnesota

Population: 20,455 and 43.5 miles from Minneapolis–St. Paul

Economic benefits: A 4-bedroom, 2-bath 1920s bungalow with detached garage close to downtown goes for as little as $300,000

Attractions: The Northfield Arts Guild’s downtown Center for the Arts, Bridge Square, Riverwalk Market Fair. The Cannon River runs through town for canoeing and kayaking, and there are several parks.

6. Springfield, Massachusetts

Population: 154,341 and 91 miles from Boston and 26.6 miles from Hartford, Conn

Economic benefits: Massachusetts does not tax Social Security benefits or government pension income

Attractions: Springfield Museum

7. Ligonier, Pennsylvania

Population:  1,540 and 51 miles from Pittsburgh

Economic benefits:  Pennsylvania does not tax Social Security benefits or distributions from 401(k)s, IRAs or other retirement plans. The state has an inheritance tax ranging from 4.5% to 12%, depending on the relationship to the heirs.

Attractions: Town park that serves as a community gathering place.

8. Easton, Maryland

Population: 16,500 and 70 miles from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Economic benefits: Maryland does not tax Social Security benefits and its income tax rate maxes out at 5.75%. Seniors may qualify for a exclusion on pensions, which is worth up to $29,000. The state has an inheritance tax but spouses, children and siblings are exempt.

Attractions: Academy Art museum and Moton Park

9. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Population: 173,778 and 118 miles from Atlanta and 135 miles from Nashville

Economic benefits: Tennessee has no income tax or estate tax and is phasing out its tax on dividends

Attractions: Tennessee Aquarium and Tennessee Riverwalk

 10. Hickory, North Carolina

Population: 40,567 and 56.6 miles from Charlotte

Economic benefits: North Carolina has a flat income tax rate of 5.75%. Social Security benefits are exempt from income taxes, but most other retirement income is taxable. The state has no estate or inheritance tax.

Attractions:  The SALT Block, a cultural arts complex, houses a library, a science center, an art museum, an arts council, a choral society and a regional symphony.