States With No State Income Tax
The first issue that you need to consider is whether or not you will have to pay state income tax on any of your retirement income. The states listed below, do not have a state income tax on regular income, although there are some other issues, mentioned below, that you want to consider.
New Hampshire and Tennessee do tax your dividends and interest income. In addition, some of those states, like Texas, have unusually high property taxes that can amount to more than residents would have paid in income taxes in other states. It is important for retirees to consider ALL the taxes that they will pay in their new location, including sales, personal property, estate and inheritance taxes.
Cities with Moderate Taxes and a Desirable Quality of Life
Paying low taxes is not enough to guarantee a pleasant retirement. Most retirees also want to enjoy a pleasant lifestyle, as well. In other words, they are looking for places where they will be able to afford to live on their retirement income while, at the same time, being able to have fun in locations where they feel safe, with good transportation and access to quality healthcare.
Many retirees also want to be able to live in the same region of the country where their adult children and grandchildren live. Often they want easy access to parks and beaches or lakes. They may be looking for a mild climate.
With all those considerations in mind, here are "Eight Tax-Friendly Cities" that, according to Where to Retire magazine, may meet your overall needs:
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
St. Marys, Georgia
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Manitou Springs, Colorado
Boulder City, Nevada
Of course, this is just a sampling of the possible choices that are available. As you can see, several of the listed cities are actually in the states that do have a state income tax. This is because the magazine looked at the entire tax burden that people experience, including property and sales taxes. Even if those particular cities will not work for you, you may consider other affordable and interesting towns within those same states. In particular, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Arizona are popular and affordable retirement meccas.
As you can see, you may not wish to move to a state simply because it does not have income taxes, until you carefully study what other taxes you may be expected to pay, as well as the overall cost-of-living.
The best state for retirement may be different for each individual. Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself:
Do you plan to buy or rent in my new location?
How do home prices and rents compare from state to state?
What will be the total impact of the taxes you will be paying?
What is the overall cost of living?
What will it cost to enjoy your favorite pastimes, hobbies and activities?
Will you have convenient access to healthcare and other services?
How much will it cost to travel to visit your loved ones?
Once you have researched the answers to these questions and considered the amount you will be paying in taxes and other expenses, then you will have gone a long way towards deciding the best place for you to live economically during retirement, while paying the lowest taxes possible.
"8 Tax-Friendly Cities," Where to Retire magazine, January/February 2015 issue, pg. 52.
For more ideas about good places to retire, use the tabs at the top of this article to find links to dozens of other articles, including where to retire both in the United States and in other countries.
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