Arizona has long been a favorite with retirees, who flock here in droves for the fabulous warm and dry climate, its access to amazing natural attractions – it’s home to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley after all – and its affordability. In fact, if you’re craving heat and don’t care so much about an ocean (you can always go to the beach at Lake Powell), then Arizona is a dreamy state to retire in. Here are five things to know about retirement in Arizona.
It’s Hot, But It’s a Dry Heat – It gets very hot in Arizona cities like Phoenix and Tucson in summer, with temperatures often soaring well above the century mark. But, unlike Florida or much of the East Coast, there is no humidity with Arizona’s heat, which makes all the difference. Kory Budinger, a financial planner with Progressive Financial Concepts in Phoenix told MarketWatch, “a 100-degree [Fahrenheit] day in Arizona can sometimes feel like 85 because it’s so dry here.”
Housing is Affordable – When the subprime real estate market crashed, Arizona was hit particularly hard. Although housing prices are now rebounding, buying in Arizona is still a great deal these days for retirees, as housing prices remain relatively low. The median home in Arizona costs around $160,000, which is down 35 percent from 2007.
Below Average Cost of Living – It costs about 5 percent less to live in Arizona than nationally, which is another serious perk for retirees on a fixed income.
How Soon Can You Retire?
Social Security Isn’t Taxed – The state also has relatively low income and property taxes, and Social Security income is not taxed in Arizona, which again makes a difference if you’re living on a fixed income.
Active Adult Communities Born Here – Arizona hosted the first “Active Adult Community” in the country, Sun City, which was developed a half century ago. Today, the state is home to hundreds of retirement communities for all life stages. “Most of the standard features of a 55-plus adult community originated here in Sun City, Arizona, including the idea of building an entire community dedicated to leisure and recreation for the active retired adult,” the Sun City website states.