More and more Boomers are looking at Delaware when they consider where to live after retirement.
“I don’t see Delaware mentioned in most national studies,” commented one recent client. How states rank on a study depends on the criteria being evaluated. Some studies examine cities or major metropolitan areas, others rank based on amenities found mostly in larger cities and states.
Delaware may not be the most obvious choice, but let’s take a closer look.
Top 5 reasons more and more Boomers are choosing to retire to Delaware
1) Delaware consistently ranks as one of the “Best Places to Retire.”
The criteria used by this January 2020 Wallethub study is some of the best I’ve seen. They covered affordability, health-related factors, and overall quality of life.
Delaware ranks #6! I particularly like these comments from one of the experts, Courtney H. Edwards, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor of Accounting, Associate Director, UNC Tax Center. “One of the biggest mistakes people can make when assessing the tax burden associated with a given state is to focus solely on income taxes. While some states have very low tax rates–and a few even have no income tax at all (e.g., Washington and Florida)–these same states can impose hefty sales or property taxes. With all that being said, taxes should rarely drive an individual’s decision about where to retire. There are many compelling non-tax considerations that should be weighted as well, such as access to quality health care, proximity to a support network of friends and family, climate, etc. If the most tax-friendly state for a retiree turns out to be Alaska, but the individual hates the cold, this would clearly be a terrible option. So, while taxes should never drive the decision about where to ultimately retire, they likewise should never be ignored.”
Delaware is one of the top ten most tax-friendly states according to Kiplinger’s and other financial institutions.
The First State is a standout among its East Coast neighbors, with zero sales tax and low property taxes. Income taxes escalate quickly, though, with the top rate of 6.6% hitting taxable income over $60,000 (for both single and joint filers), and the city of Wilmington imposing its own wage tax of 1%*. Delaware is one of Kiplinger’s top ten most tax-friendly states.Kiplinger
*Delaware does not tax Social Security income however and the first $12,500 of qualified pension income per person is exempt from income tax.
Another recent study by Smart Asset, calculates “Tax-friendliness” by state and I particularly like the map at the top of this study. When you focus on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, you’ll notice that only Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire and Delaware are “Tax Friendly.” As small as it is, the tiny state of Delaware is uniquely located and surrounded by many of the most expensive states in which to retire. https://smartasset.com/retirement/retirement-taxes#us/retirement-income-tax
2) Location, location, location.
Anyone in real estate will tell you that location is most important. Why it’s important will change when you enter retirement, but location still trumps most other factors with the exception of affordability.
While some factors indicate that places like Fargo, North Dakota rank in the Top 25 Best Places to Retire in one Forbes study, I don’t know many people from the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic that want to retire to Fargo. Delaware’s proximity to friends and family living in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut matters to retirees. More than their children, retirees want to be close enough to their grandchildren to be a part of their life.
Southern Delaware has always been a second/vacation home market and over the past 10 years has become popular with Baby Boomers in retirement. Central Delaware, home to Dover Air Force Base, has great appeal to military retirees and those retirees who enjoy proximity to Dover, the state capital. Northern Delaware, especially towns like Middletown, is popular because of the location with easy access north and south, proximity to Amtrak and both Philadelphia and Baltimore airports.
3) A wide selection of new Active Adult Communities
Delaware now has a great choice of Age Restricted 55+ communities, All Ages Active Adult communities, beach properties, small towns, and waterfront communities. If you’re looking for The Villages or one of those huge Del Webb communities, Delaware is not for you. But, if you want a well-appointed new home community with amenities, chances are we have what you want in Delaware. Our communities tend to be newer with most being built within the last 10 years at most. The smallest contain 200 – 300 homes with a few offering 400 – 600 and only one expected to reach 1,800 at completion. We like to say “We have something for everyone in Delaware.”
Look at all the 55+ communities throughout Delaware – https://www.activeadultsdelaware.com/neighborhood-results.php?varchar_col1=Yes&results=View+Results
And, if you prefer an All Ages community with many of the same amenities and services – https://www.activeadultsdelaware.com/neighborhood-results.php?varchar_col1=No&results=View+Results
4) Access to the Atlantic Ocean and Bays
All Delaware beaches are public and many are located in State Parks. Wherever you locate in Delaware, you are never more than 1 ½ hours to the ocean. Discover our State Parks located throughout Delaware.
5) Dining and entertainment
Recent studies show that dining out is the #1 activity visitors enjoy in Southern Delaware. https://visitsoutherndelaware.com/media/files/2018%20Southern%20Delaware%20Tourism%20Visitor%20Survey%20Report.pdf
In fact, it has been dubbed the “Culinary Coast.”
Delaware is the second smallest state so wherever you settle, you are not far from the abundant year-round activities, events, and culture.
Imagine miles of pristine beaches and friendly, fun coastal towns. See yourself taking a tax-free shopping spree at Delaware beach boutiques and galleries, then stepping out for an evening of cutting-edge culinary adventure, followed by a quiet walk along the surf. Envision a land adorned with grand mansions and lush gardens, inviting us all to share the regal charm of Delaware’s “Chateau Country.” Take time to pamper yourself with a spa weekend, or a quiet escape into Delaware’s wildlife refuges, alive with birds and beauty.
Delaware has so much to offer! It is no wonder that it is becoming a top choice for places to retire. If you are considering Delaware as your retirement destination, be sure to request a download of our FREE Relocation Guide here.