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It’s a rainy Sunday, and there’s not much to do – no swimming, no basketball with my son, and we just enjoyed a wonderful lunch at The Great Grill Off supporting The Christian Children’s Home of Ohio, so I’m doing what I normally do, when there’s not much to do, thinking about retirement! Specifically because of the weather – where to retire! My friends at Ramsey Solutions wrote an article about the top 14 cities to retire in February of this year. Their data was based on things you’d expect them to consider, such as cost of living, quality of life, tax rates, housing costs, quality of healthcare, and climate. Of course, Florida towns dominated the list, which is wonderful. However, the state with the second most cities that were deemed best to retire into was the great state of Texas. Now I have a heart for Texas because my wife was born there and spent part of her youth there. We make the trek back to Texas as a family every few years, and I’m regularly there visiting clients and potential clients since we are a SmartVestor in Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio.

Part of our job as Financial Planners and Advisors is to help you make your money last throughout retirement while making the most effective use of those dollars. For some, this may mean relocating once your career has come to completion. For others, because their children have relocated to parts of the west coast, they’re looking for means to create a closer connection with their kids and grandkids. If this is you, Texas may be an appropriate option for you. Nearly 1,000 people are moving to Texas daily, making it an increasingly popular option for seniors looking to spend their golden years in a warm and welcoming environment. With a low cost of living, favorable tax laws, and abundant recreational activities, Texas has much to offer retirees. This article will explore some of the benefits of retiring in Texas.

Low Cost of Living

A favorite saying of mine is this: “Retirement is the basic math equation of income = expenses.” Therefore, you can continue to save more to be in a position to generate more income or you can reduce expenses therefore putting less stress on the income side of the equation. This is one reason Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solution’s plan is crucial for the retiree because debt can be a large expense, especially one’s mortgage.

To this point, one of the biggest draws of retiring in Texas is the low cost of living. Housing, groceries, and healthcare costs are all below the national average. According to a recent Fidelity study, Texas has a cost of living that is 8.5% below the national average, and the average healthcare costs for a retired couple (two lives) come right in line with the average of around $430,561 during their retired years. Business Insider wrote a 2021 article titled “The 15 Best States to Retire for a Low Cost of Living in Your Golden Years” and ranked Texas as number 5, only behind Florida, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio. They noted that Texas is very popular with retirees and affordable, minus the fact that you’ll need to pay more to purchase your property in the state because of its popularity.

Favorable Tax Laws

Another advantage of retiring in Texas is the favorable tax laws. The state has no income tax, meaning retirees can keep more of their retirement income. Florida (along with others) is a state known for their lack of income tax and they, like Texas, typically dominate the retirement destination choices, simply because of their wise decision to avoid taxation. Additionally, Texas allows for a Homestead exemption on real estate taxes, as long as the property is your primary residence and you have turned 65 on January 1st of the year you’re applying for the exemption.

The exemption allows for as much as a $40,000 reduction in the value of your home. Meaning if my home were appraised at $300,000 and I qualified for a $40,000 exemption, then you will pay school taxes on the home as if it was only worth $260,000. You can learn more here at the Comptroller of Texas’s website.

Mild Climate

Texas is known for its warm and mild climate, which is perfect for retirees who want to avoid harsh winters. The state has plenty of sunshine, and the weather is generally pleasant throughout the year. This makes it an ideal destination for seniors who want to spend time outdoors and enjoy recreational activities such as golfing, fishing, and hiking.

In the book, What The Happiest Retirees Know (ask your Financial Advisor for a free copy today if you’re a client of Whitaker-Myers Wealth Managers and retired or within five years of retirement), the author states that the happiest retirees have around 3.5 core pursuits. The least happy only engage in 1.9 core pursuits. Many of these pursuits involve activity and are outdoors. The problem with many northern states is that your ability to chase those core pursuits is much harder during the brutal months of December, January, and February.

Wide Range of Recreational Activities

Texas is a large state with diverse recreational activities for seniors to enjoy. Whether you enjoy spending time in nature or prefer cultural activities, Texas has something for everyone. From the beaches of the Gulf Coast to the rolling hills of the Hill Country, there are plenty of opportunities to explore and experience the beauty of Texas. A personal favorite of my family is Canyon Lake which sits in the hill country outside of San Antonio. You’d do yourself a favor to plan some time exploring God’s country up there – beautiful.

Excellent Healthcare Facilities

Texas has a thriving healthcare industry, with many top-rated hospitals and medical centers throughout the state. This means that retirees have access to high-quality healthcare facilities and services. Additionally, many medical professionals are choosing to relocate to Texas, which ensures that there is a large pool of doctors and specialists available to provide care.

According to Newsweek’s, Best Hospitals in the World List for 2022, Texas has what they consider to be three of the best hospitals in the world in Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor University Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Other states with as many or more were California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.

Friendly People

Texas is known for its friendly people. It's a state where people are welcoming and hospitable, making it easy for retirees to make new friends and feel at home. Additionally, Texas is a diverse state, meaning retirees can meet people from all walks of life. One needs to look no further than my beautiful wife, who hails from the great state of Texas, as proof that they produce some of the friendliest people in the world.

In conclusion, retiring in Texas offers many benefits for seniors. With a low cost of living, favorable tax laws, mild climate, a wide range of recreational activities, and excellent healthcare facilities, it's no wonder that more and more retirees are choosing Texas as their retirement destination. Perhaps you have flexibility in how and where you can retire. If you do, you wouldn’t be unwise to choose a state like Texas. If you're considering retiring in Texas, be sure to explore all the state has to offer and find the perfect place to call home.


June 11, 2023

John-Mark Young

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