As you begin planning for retirement, choosing a place to live is one of the most important choices you have to make since you will be calling it your home for the rest of your life. While many people flock to Florida during retirement, the cowboy state of Wyoming has become an increasingly popular place for retirees. But before you decide if Wyoming is the right place for you, knowing the pros and cons of retiring here is essential.
Some pros of retiring in Wyoming are affordable housing, no income taxes, an increasing senior population, and gorgeous national parks. On the other hand, above-average healthcare costs, very dry and windy climate, and very little to do other than spend time out in nature are some cons.
It really comes down to how much money you have for retirement and the type of lifestyle you are looking to live. So, if you are trying to decide if Wyoming is the right fit for you, reading this list of pros and cons will help you decide if the cowboy state is the place you should retire in.
Pros of Retiring in Wyoming
There are many pros that come with retiring in Wyoming, and the increasing senior population, which includes those over the age of 65, proves that. Many people love Wyoming for the slower-paced life it provides and the gorgeous outdoors to explore during their stay. With it being the right place for you if you have been dreaming of a slower pace of life and spending your years out exploring nature.
To read more about the pros of retiring in Wyoming and why it is a great state to spend the rest of your life in, keep reading.
When you are retiring, you are most likely deciding to move so you can spend less of your retirement income per year. However, if you are retiring in Wyoming, you get the best of both worlds as the housing costs are fairly affordable, allowing you to spend less money overall.
The median home cost in Wyoming is $229,200, which is a couple of thousand less than the United States average. With $299,200 being able to afford you a spacious four-bedroom, two-bathroom house. Although, in Casper, Wyoming, the median house price is even lower at $201,200, allowing you to find a house that fits your budget, whether it is higher or lower.
You may even just be thinking about renting a place during your retirement, and in Wyoming, you can get a one-bedroom house for only $674 per month or a two-bedroom for $852, both of which are quite lower than the average rent you find in other places in the United States.
No Income Taxes
One of the most attractive things for many people planning on retiring in Wyoming is that there are no personal income taxes. This means that the state of Wyoming lets you keep 100% of your retirement income, meaning more for you to spend on a house, on experiences, and your grandchildren.
Additionally, having no income tax allows you to have a part-time job if you wish and bring in additional money as well, with no tax being charged to you whatsoever. Whereas in states nearby like Idaho or Montana, they charge an income tax of 6.9%.
Low Property Taxes
On top of having no income taxes, Wyoming also has low property taxes, making the overall cost of living in Wyoming even more affordable. Currently, the average effective property tax rate is 0.61%, ranking Wyoming to have the ninth-lowest property tax rate in the United States, which is great when you consider the fact you will be paying this rate for the near and distant future.
If the fact that this state has no income taxes, has low property tax rates, and plenty of affordable housing does not have you dreaming about retiring in Wyoming, the other pros will, for sure.
Increasing Senior Community
Since 2010, the population of residents aged 65 and older has increased 41.5%, and as someone looking to retire there, feeling confident that there is a senior population there for you to meet and make friends with is important.
Additionally, you want to feel comfortable knowing that the state puts an extra focus on senior living. Wyoming specifically puts a lot of focus on making the retired residents feel welcome and taken care of.
The cities of Jasper, Laramie, and Casper are the three cities that were chosen, in fact, as “age-friendly” communities as there is plenty of senior-friendly focused leadership in those areas.
A Large Number of Healthcare Physicians
Being confident that as you are aging and retiring, that you can find good healthcare is going to be one of the most important things to ensure yourself of as you choose where you want to live after retirement. In Wyoming, you can know that you are taken care of when it comes to available healthcare physicians and having access to clinics.
A 2017 study completed by The University of Washington revealed that there were 178 physicians per 100,000 people, with 65 primary care physicians per 100,000 individuals. While it is slightly less than the United States average, it is reasonable and ensures the Wyoming residents are in good hands.
Provides an Outdoor Lifestyle
While this could be thrown into the con column depending on the type of person you are, the chances are, if you are interested in retiring in Wyoming, you at least like spending some of your time outdoors.
For those that absolutely love it and are looking to create a more outdoor kind of life for themselves and want to retire with lots of room and space, the state of Wyoming has plenty of lands for people to explore and enjoy.
With plenty of places to explore like the Grand Teton National Park, the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, or the Devils Tower National Monument, there is an endless amount of beautiful outdoor scenery for you to see. Wyoming provides you with endless amounts of fresh air and seven stunning national parks to visit during your years in the state.
Some other amazing places you can visit and things you can do in Wyoming are:
- Go Horseback Riding.
- See The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.
- Stay at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
- Visit The Mammoth Hot Springs.
- Fishing in the Yellowstone Lake.
- See The Morning Glory Pool.
- Visit the National Elk Refuge.
- See the 84 feet (25m) descent of Gibbon Falls.
- Explore the Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming.
Plenty of Sunshine
On average, there are 222 sunny days for you to experience in Wyoming, with some cities even seeing up to 300. The overall climate throughout the year averages a low of 10°F (-12°C) in the winter and a high of 85°F (29°C) in the summer. But it differs based on the state.
Overall, you will get to experience various weather and all four seasons with the average amount of rainfall being less than the average in the United States, making this state perfect for those who love the beauty that all seasons can bring.
Delicious Country Style Food
If you are someone who loves to eat a good home-cooked white chicken chili, bison burger, or chicken fried steak on your nights at a restaurant, then Wyoming is the perfect place for you.
Wyoming provides you with delicious country cooking that you will surely love to indulge in during your retirement. Nonetheless, there isn’t much variety in restaurant eats, so if the above does not sound satisfying to you, this could be a con.
Cons of Retiring in Wyoming
While Wyoming has plenty of pros that outweigh the cons, there are some downsides and considerations that you will have to think about before moving to the state and spending your retirement there.
Continue reading to see the cons of retiring in Wyoming that you should consider before deciding that Wyoming is the right place for you to retire.
High Cost of Living
While the housing is affordable, the taxes are low, and income tax doesn’t exist, the cost of living in Wyoming is only slightly lower than the United States average of 100. The cost of living in Wyoming is 98.1, which compared to neighboring states such as Montana or Idaho, it remains slightly higher.
However, this does depend on what city you choose to live in within Wyoming as it can range from being lower than the average cost of living to being slightly higher depending on the city you are looking at.
If you are someone planning on living on less, this can be a major downside. However, you will see in the next point, this is mainly due to healthcare costs, and if you can find affordable housing, you may be able to overlook this con.
High Healthcare Costs
The cost of healthcare in Wyoming is 31.3% higher than the United States average, at 131.3. For someone looking to live in Wyoming to retire, this can be a major concern as healthcare costs can be fairly expensive.
It may be best to assess your finances to ensure you are covered for healthcare in case of an emergency, especially if you do not have a lot of leeways when it comes to your retirement income and monthly budget. All in all, this is definitely something you want to guarantee you can provide yourself as you begin to get older.
Lots of Wind
One of the biggest downsides of living in Wyoming is the frequent and strong wind, and for many, this can be enough to turn them off completely. This is especially true in the cities of Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie, where the wind is more frequent.
However, as you will find out in more detail below, if you do your research on the specific climates for different cities in Wyoming, you will be able to find somewhere that provides you with a climate you are comfortable with.
With the mountains and semi-arid climate, you will experience all four seasons to their fullest extent in the state of Wyoming. If you choose to live near the mountains, you can even experience snow in the middle of July or August.
Additionally, the state, as you will realize once spending some time there, is one of the driest, and as mentioned earlier, windiest climates you could experience in the United States with only 13 inches (33 cm) of rain falling on average every year, compared to the national average of 38 inches (96 cm) of rain every year this is quite low.
The climate also provides you with plenty of snow in the winter, and if you are planning on doing a lot of snowboarding or skiing in your retirement, this may actually be a pro. Nonetheless, the average of 56 inches (142 cm) of snow that falls every winter can still be quite annoying when it comes to shoveling, so ensuring that you are ready for the climate the state brings is essential.
Wyoming can also have some pretty serious and severe thunderstorms. Additionally, with the dry, humid, and windy summers, the potential for tornados or wildfires to form is possible. So, being able to handle a few crazy thunderstorms throughout the year, most specifically during the spring, will have to be something you are okay with.
However, if you explore the climate in different cities, you will find that they differ, and if you plan which city you are going to live in strategically, you can find ones with better climates than the others.
All About the Outdoors
As mentioned in the list of pros, Wyoming provides an outdoor lifestyle with plenty of things to do in the open space. This includes plenty of gorgeous national parks and outdoor sights that are only more stunning during the fall. However, if you are not someone who loves the outdoors, this will be a major con as the majority of the things you can do around the state involve being outdoors and exploring all mother nature has to offer.
So, if spending your days outdoors and enjoying the country lifestyle does not sound like you would enjoy your time, Wyoming may be a little too outdoorsy for you.
Not Many Specialty Stores
With regard to the fact that many of the things you can do in your free time are outdoors, this also includes the fact that there isn’t that much shopping or specialty stores to be found in the state.
While you can access all you need and give you access to the major retail chains you’d expect to see, such as Target or Walgreens, the low population has resulted in very little to no specialty stores. So, if you are looking for a very specific product, you may have a hard time finding it.
Lack of Restaurant Variety
As mentioned before, Wyoming restaurants do not vary much when it comes to options, and good old country cooking is the majority of what you will find. So, if you were hoping to experience a wide variety of culture-infused dishes in your retirement, you are more likely to find it elsewhere.
No Major Sports Teams
If you are a sports lover and enjoy the thrill of cheering for your hometown, you may be sad to discover that Wyoming does not have any major sports teams.
If you were hoping for a sports outing every once in a while, the city of Denver is only about a 2-hour drive from Cheyenne, Wyoming, and you are able to see any sports team you want there if you are willing to make the drive.
Low Diversity Levels
Another thing to consider when choosing where to retire is the diversity among the people in the state you are living in. Wyoming has a very low diversity level, so if you are looking for somewhere with people of all different cultures, there are other states with higher diversity levels than Wyoming.
Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states to visit, let alone retire in, as you get to experience the beauty of all four seasons. With its gorgeous scenery, seven national parks, the abundance of outdoor activities, and plenty of space, this state was made for you in your retirement.
Wyoming also offers you affordable housing, low property taxes, and no retirement income tax, meaning that although healthcare may cost a little more on average, you are able to save a lot more money elsewhere and keep 100% of your retirement income.
However, if you are someone who prefers living somewhere with more stable weather, are looking for a place with more to do than explore the outdoors, and want a higher diversity level apparent in the population then, retiring in a state other than Wyoming may be a better option for you.
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