There's an interesting geographical trend developing in the U.S. retirement market, as the gap widens between the best states to retire on a fixed income and the worst states to do the same.
We'll get to those "best states" in a moment, but the reasons why the retirement-by-state gap exists in the first place are important ones, like the cost of living, the tax impact, and the prospects of owning a home or renting one.
Which U.S. states rule the roost when it comes to the best places to retire on a fixed income?
The fact is, those key issues listed above frame the narrative, and explain why states like Alabama are a great place to retire, income-wise, and why high-tax, high-cost of living states like California and New York are at the bottom of the list.
These states represent the best deal, financially, when you're planning to retire:
While Alabama does impose a state tax that caps off at 5%, the state is a very inexpensive place to live. The average cost of living ranks Alabama number nine in all 50 states (at 13% below the U.S. national average.), while median income stands at $24,000. Consequently, even a retirement income of $48,000 goes a long way in the Heart of Dixie state, where the cost of golf, dining, taxes, housing and even medical care are among the lowest in the nation. The state also offers 60 miles of pristine beaches and coastline, and offers unique living benefits to U.S. armed forces veterans.
Best city/town to retire: Look to Decatur, which offers all of the above financial amenities, plus easy access via Huntsville International Airport. For lifestyle benefits, count on parks and open spaces like Malone Park, Morgan Lake Park, Decatur Day Use Park, Point Mallard Park, Rhodes Ferry Park, and Delano Park, as well as Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge.