Should I Retire in New Orleans? Here Are the Facts

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Being 65 years old is the ‘new 45’ these days, and people approaching retirement aren’t necessarily wanting to slow down the pace. Climate, cost of living, and access to outdoor and recreational facilities are essential factors in choosing a place to retire. New Orleans has become an increasingly popular retirement destination for several reasons. 

You should retire in New Orleans; here are the facts: The cost of living is low, and the state is tax-friendly. There are systems in place for seniors, including medical and care facilities. The climate is mild, and New Orleans offers great recreation and cultural, musical, and historical wealth. 

The vibrant “Big Easy” offers a rich cultural history and beautiful natural landscapes for hiking, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Transport and housing are cheaper than the national average, and there are many benefits to choosing New Orleans to spend your golden years. Here are some facts behind why New Orleans may be the place for you. 

Louisiana Is Tax-Friendly

New Orleans is a tax-friendly retirement option that offers a variety of lucrative tax breaks for those in their pension years. The State and local government pensions and social security, military, and civil services are exempt from state income taxes. The state offers up to $6,000 a month per person tax exemption and low tax rates above that threshold.

Louisiana offers the fifth-lowest property taxes in the country, making it an excellent option for buying a forever home for your golden years. Although Louisiana’s state taxes are lower than the national average, their sales tax is higher than the state average.

The state taxes are as follows:

  • State Income Tax: 2% on $12,500 or less taxable income ($25,000 for joint filers)
  • 6% of more than $50,000 to taxable income for individual filers and $100,00 for joint filers.
  • Property Tax average: $534 per $100,000 of home value assessment 
  • State and Local Sales Tax: 9.52%
  • No Estate/inheritance tax. 


New Orleans Has a Low Cost of Living


Should I Retire in New Orleans? Here Are the Facts

Along with a tax system that favors retirees, living costs are also lower than the national average. New Orleans offers lodging, food, and transportation at some of the US’s most competitive rates. South Louisiana scores highest for living costs, with New Orleans offering retirees a living style that won’t burden their pensions. 

One of the lowest gas prices in the nation are in Louisiana, with easy access to Mexico’s Gulf. Greater New Orleans has relatively low traffic outside of festival times, and with the compact nature of the city, residents spend less time at the gas pump.

The variety of festivals abound in New Orleans with free access, including Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and New Years’ eve festivals. New Orleans is the soul of jazz and blues music and offers free music festivals such as the French Quarter Festival

Assistance for Seniors

New Orleans offers excellent facilities for assisted living and memory care with a variety of elder facilities. The greater New Orleans area also provides:

  • Van services for elders
  • Senior centers
  • Meals on wheels
  • Visiting nurses
  • Home care.

New Orleans also offers a wide choice of board and care options for more intimate accommodation, often set in the beautiful surroundings the area has to offer. 

New Orleans also offers top-notch medical care with institutions such as:

New Orleans Is a Sportsman’s Paradise

New Orleans boasts multiple sports leagues such as the Saints, the Pelicans, and the VooDoos. The prominence of Sport in the New Orleans lifestyle is perfect for seniors who love to be active. Being 65 in our modern lifestyles is not what it used to be in the old days, and our seniors are more active and healthy than their years attest.

There is an excellent selection of sports leagues that make it easy for residents to get involved, including Coconut Beach’s Sand Volleyball center in Kenner and Rec centers and courts citywide. Seniors can enjoy tennis, soccer, and basketball if their health allows or join the New Orleans Senior Sports Leagues and Clubs ( NOLA Boomers) for pickleball or bowling.

New Orleans has the nickname of “Sportsman’s Paradise” and offers a plentitude of open wilderness near the city centers. Rivers, lakes, parks, and recreation areas abound and offer many pursuits for nature lovers with time on their hands. New Orleans outdoor offerings include:


New Orleans nestles in a plethora of bayous and waterways as well as Lake Pontchartrain. The New Orleans Yacht Club is one of the oldest in the US, and there are also several regional yacht clubs offering slips and boats for rental. St. Bernard, Jefferson, and Plaquemines are freshwater fishing meccas, while the Gulf of Mexico is renowned for deep-sea fishing enthusiasts. 


New Orleans is bike-friendly both in the cities or for leisure cycling. The city is continually expanding its dedicated bike lanes as the sports popularity increases, and the mild climate and beautiful natural habitat make cycling popular for residents. St. Tammy’s Trace spans 28 miles and is a popular area for cycling and recreation.


New Orleans offers some top-tier golf courses, both private and public. The golf course at  English Turn Golf & Country Club is a great draw, and Lakewood Golf Club and smaller residential 18 holes such as Beau Chene Country Club and Money Hill Country Club. Golf is a popular sport in the New Orleans seniors community.

Hunting and Fishing

The Louisiana Bayous are home to some of the most diverse ecosystems in the US, where wildlife abounds. Venice, Louisiana, is known as one of the best hunting locations in the whole of the country. 

  • Alligators are ubiquitous in the Louisiana swamps, and visitors can find :
  • Turkey
  • Deer
  • Quail
  • Rabbits. 

With waterways all around, New Orleans is great for fishing and is one of the most popular pastimes in the “Big Easy.” Avid fishermen/women can opt for the Gulf of Mexico or find freshwater catches such as:

  • Redfish
  • Speckled Trout
  • Flounder
  • Bass.

Here is an excellent video on how to plan a Venice, Louisiana fishing trip:



Hiking and Nature

New Orleans boasts over 22 state parks in Louisiana, and six of them lie within an hour of the city. Nature trails and hiking paths are everywhere, with great nature trails for enthusiasts. For those who love fauna, the parks offer animals such as:

  • Snakes
  • Frogs
  • Alligators
  • Plentiful birdlife
  • Rare Louisiana black bears. 

Here is a quick glimpse of the flora and fauna and parks in New Orleans:

Great Climate

Greater New Orleans offers a temperate, subtropical climate with lush trees and green lawns all year round. Winters are mild with low rainfall, which means residents can enjoy their recreational activities year-round, including outdoor festivals.

The warm and humid summer weather stretches from April to October and makes swimming and sunbathing a popular option. Snow is rare due to the Gulf of Mexico’s influence and only occurs a few times a century. 

Over a typical year, the temperature varies between 47°F to 92°F and is rarely below 35°F or above 97°F.

New Orleans Culture

New Orleans has a rich history and is a mecca for history buffs, artists, and architectural funds. New Orleans was founded by the French, colonized by the Spanish, and bought by the United States in 1803. Their culture is an eclectic blend and unique blend. New Orleans is known for its Creole culture and vibrant history including the War of 1812 and the Civil war. 

New Orleans has a multitude of architectural styles to explore, from Spanish, French, and Greek revival to Craftsman and Caribbean-inspired colors. Victorian homes from the 1800s rub shoulders with modern buildings and the grand colonnades of the old southern plantations. 

The New Orleans Opera has been operating for 50 years but traces its roots back to the 1790s and offers various offerings for those seeking cultural activities. Museums and cemeteries abound in New Orleans, and there are several sites of cultural and historical significance such as:

New Orleans is the undisputed birthplace of Jazz. The unique cultural melting pot of French, Spanish and African cultures from slaves and European immigrants created a distinctive American music style. Music is firmly part of New Orleans culture, with an abundance of music and jazz festivals. 

Outdoor markets and galleries feature predominantly in New Orleans life and are increasing an art destination for tourists. New Orleans hosts its own ballet and philharmonic orchestra and hosts many local and international music acts. 

Here is an excellent glimpse of some of the cultural and historical sites on offer in New Orleans:


New Orleans seems to have it all and more when it comes to ease and plenty of excitement should you choose to partake. The benefits of a lenient tax structure and lower living costs are also a big draw. Although the ‘Big Easy’ is not at the top of the retirement listings as yet, it is steadily moving up the ranks as a contender for its sheer diversity and unique cultural and historical heart. 



Hey there, my name is Ruth, I'm in my late fifties. My life was turned upside down a few years ago as I experienced a burn-out. But I saw it as a sign that something had to change in my life. I'm happy I used this tough experience as a stepping stone. I now feel happier than ever and hope to inspire you to do the same, no matter how old you are.

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