Maybe one of the Alaska retirement communities?
If you are looking for an adventure, a retirement community in Alaska may be just what you’re looking for. Here you will find some of the most spectacular scenery in all of the US. There is no state income tax or sales tax and in recent years is even sending oil profit rebates back to it’s residents. But don’t pack you bags just yet….
Location and Climate: Alaska is the northernmost point of the United States and borders the northwest portion of Canada. When many people think of Alaska, they think of cold, snow and ice but that's not always the case. The interior of the state actually warms up quite nicely during the summer months. The average temperature in Fairbanks during the summer ranges from the mid 60's to lower 70's. Even in Anchorage, with it's coastal location, summertime temperatures can and do reach the upper 70's at times with very low humidity making the climate there extremely comfortable during the daytime. Fall and winter average temperatures vary but the average for Anchorage ranges anywhere from the mid 50's to lower 40's in September and October to the upper 20's to the lower 20's from December through February. The average temperatures for March, April and May gradually warm from 35° F in March to 45° F in April and then to 55° F in May.
If you are considering Alaska retirement, one of the most difficult adjustments to make is probably the amount of sunlight in the summer and lack of it in the winter months. In Barrow, located in the northernmost portion of the state, there is actually a 2 month period where the sun never rises and during the summer solstice, Barrow sees 85 straight days where the sun never sets. This area is the extreme however. Most of Alaska sees only 1 day where the the sun never sets, the rest of the summer the sun sets even though it may only be briefly. The same is true for the winter months. The sun does rise but it may only be for a short time.
Crime: For the past several years, Alaska has experienced a crime rate per capita that has been well above the national average. IN 2009, violent crime was 32.01% above the national average and crimes against property were 21.29% higher than the national average. According to the current trend however, the overall crime rate is expected to be much lower in 2012.2009 Median Home Value:
Taxes: Alaska is an extremely tax friendly state for retirees. There is no state sales tax or income tax. As for property tax, only a very small portion of the land is subject to property tax. There are only 25 cities and boroughs that levy any kind of property tax and even then, seniors aged 65 and older are exempt from the first $150,000 of the assessed property value.
In addition to Alaska being an extremely tax-friendly state, the state actually issues an Oil Revenue check. Every eligible resident (man, woman and child) receives an Oil Revenue dividend check from the states Oil Wealth Savings Account annually. For 2010, the dividend check was $1281.
Affordable Healthcare: If healthcare is an important factor in your decision and you really like the thought of Alaska retirement, you may want to consider staying near one of the larger cities like Anchorage, Fairbanks or Juno. The overall healthcare ranking compared to the rest of the United States is 34th according to The Commonwealth Fund's 2009 State Scorecard Summary of Health System Performance who rated the states according to access, quality, costs and health outcomes.
Continuing Education: If you think you may need to continue working, Alaska offers paid job training and placement assistance for seniors 55 and older through Mature Alaskans Seeking Job Skills Training (MASST).
Activities: If you enjoy nature and a more laid back way of life and don't mind the cold, Alaska retirement may be something you might want to consider.
Cost of Living: Alaska has the third highest overall cost of living in the United States (3rd quarter of 2011).
You will need to weigh all of the pros and cons before making your decision as to where the best place in America to retire may be for you. Be sure to visit the area you are considering at least twice, once in the summer and once in the winter before making that all important decision.
For some, the fabulous mountain and glacier views in places like Homer, Alaska is just too much to resist. The climate here is quite mild for Alaska, Salmon fishing is second to none and there is a local airport where you can catch one of the four daily commercial flights to Anchorage or you can make the flight in your own plane in about 45 minutes without ever having to climb above 1000 feet.
Alaska may not top everyone's list of best places to retire but if you are looking for a real adventure in your golden years, you may want to consider one of the Alaska retirement communities!