The second largest state, both in terms of both size and population, Texas has a lot going for it as a retirement destination. The weather is mild, there is no state income tax and there are lots of towns and cities from which to choose—all of which offer reasonable costs of living.
So, is Texas a good place to retire?
The answer is a resounding yes, for all of the above and several more reasons.
No State Income Tax
That’s right, every dollar you earn is a dollar you’ll keep, as far as the state of Texas is concerned. This can be especially beneficial in terms of Social Security income. It also means you can work part time, freelance or work as a consultant without the state demanding to “wet its beak”. Yes, you’ll still be looking at federal taxes— the IRS doesn’t care how old you get — but at least the overall bite is smaller in Texas than other states.
Reasonable Living Costs
While the large metropolitan areas (yes we’re looking at you Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston) will exact more of a toll from your budget, they still cost less to inhabit than similarly warm-weather metroplexes like Miami and San Diego. Aim for one of the smaller cities like Corpus Christi or a small town like Brownsville or Edinburg and your retirement dollars will go even farther.
Plenty of Opportunity
Settle in Houston and you can audit classes at the University of Houston for free. Moreover, the higher education system in Texas is very robust if you want to go back to school as a regular student. The job market is strong too; finding part time work to help ends overlap is easy to do. Recreational opportunities are boundless as well. Settle along the Gulf Coast and you have a semi-tropical climate, sandy beaches and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy.
Outstanding Health Care
Texas boasts two-dozen medical schools plus two more, for a total of 14. In addition to teaching hospitals, there are research hospitals and facilities that specialize in cancer, diabetes and other diseases commonly found in older adults. In all, Texas has more than 600 hospitals. The state also has a network of Aging and Disability Resource Centers to help Texans find personal care, nursing care, help at home and other long-term care services.
All is not playtime in the sunshine however.
There are a few “hidden costs” in Texas to consider.
Higher Property and Sales Taxes
The Lone Star State makes up for that missed income tax with higher property taxes and sales tax than you’ll find in other states. This is why it’s a good idea to come into the state free of debt, so at least you won’t be dealing with credit card bills. Freedom Debt Relief has a number of solutions to help you in that regard.
Extreme Weather Events
Hurricanes have been known to strike along the Gulf Coast, while the northern and central areas of the state are prone to experiencing somewhere around 100 tornadoes annually.
Relatively High Crime Rates
You’ll need to choose your town carefully, as Texas still has a bit of a Wild West element to it. Lubbock and Corpus Christi have pretty rough reputations when it comes to illegalities. Nationally, Texas ranks 15th in terms of incidences of crime.
Summers Can Be Hot
You’ll need A/C pretty much any place you choose to live in Texas, as it’s known for exceedingly hot summers. On the other hand, Texans seldom have to deal with snow, so maybe it’s a fair tradeoff.
Like anywhere else you’ll consider, there are both pros and cons. However, most experts agree that the upsides of retiring in Texas far exceed the downsides. Other favorable warm weather coastal states include Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.