New Mexico remained largely unnoticed by the retirement population throughout most of the twentieth century. Recently, however, the state has received more attention from retirees as an up-and-coming retirement destination. As prices and population in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas increased dramatically throughout the 90s and early 2000s, people looked for an escape that offered reasonable prices and less congestion in New Mexico age-restricted communities. As a result, New Mexico emerged as a logical alternative to those seeking an active retirement community in the Southwest.
New Mexico s rise in active adult communities is well-deserved. The overall tax burden on its residents is in the lower third of all the states and among the best of the entire Southwest states. New Mexico offers a wide array of landscapes, rich culture and plenty of recreational opportunities.
Climate & Geography
Despite New Mexico s reputation as an arid desert state, it is actually covered in a varied landscape of high snow-capped mountains and lush forests. The climate varies tremendously by location and altitude. Though summer days can typically rise into the 90s throughout much of the state, a sweater or light jacket is usually a requirement in the evening as temperatures typically fall into the 50s and 60s. Winter highs tend to be in the 40s throughout most of the state and lows are in the 20s. Most 55+ communities in New Mexico experience in excess of 300 days of sunshine a year; as a result, rain is scarce. Places at higher altitudes experience abundant snowfalls throughout the winter.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
New Mexico s active retirement communities enjoy the varied landscape and year-round reasonable temperatures that make it a great place for a variety of recreational opportunities. There are over a dozen ski resorts in the state and when the snow melts, the mountains make for great hiking, fishing, mountain biking and hunting. Albuquerque is home to seven horse tracks and the University of New Mexico, where retirees can attend sporting events, lectures, performing arts and concerts. The states Hispanic heritage means there are plenty of museums and art galleries that showcase exhibits devoted to Native American life, artifacts and history. In addition, places like Santa Fe and Taos are known for their thriving artistic communities. For those looking for something more urban, Albuquerque is home to over half a million people and is a great spot for entertainment, dining and nightlife.
Cost of Living & Taxes
New Mexico's tax liability is better than most states, but certainly not in the top ten. Still, among the Southwest states, it ranks as one of the best. New Mexico s state income tax is graduated from 1.7 to 5.3 percent, depending on income bracket. All income over $24,000 is taxed at the 5.3 percent level. Married couples over 65 filing jointly receive a $12,300 deduction. Sales tax varies from 5 to 6.25 percent and there are no sales tax exemptions. Property taxes range from 0.6 to 1.5 percent of the home's value in New Mexico's active adult communities.
There are 56 hospitals throughout the state of New Mexico. The most hospitals can be found in or near Albuquerque. These include Heart Hospital of New Mexico, Lovelace Medical Center, Presbyterian Hospital, Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital, and University of New Mexico Hospital. The number of doctors per resident is 197 physicians per 100,000 population, which lower than the US average due to the state's smaller overall population.