Alaska’s benefits to active adults range from its relaxing way of life to beautiful outdoor setting. The state is divided into two sections, the grasslands of Southern Alaska, and the mountains of Northern Alaska. These two regions provide distinct climates, where the cooler winters and more rain occur in Southeast Alaska, and arctic temperatures and less rain frequent the northern half.
Climate and Geography
Alaska’s climate differs based on the regions. Southeast Alaska is the wettest and warmest area with milder winters, while northern Alaska is home to subarctic climates, and freezing temperatures during the winter. Alaska has more snow and less sunny days than the national average, and snow is possible year round.
South Central Alaska is the most populated section of the state, and is home to Anchorage, the largest metropolitan city in Alaska and home to half of the state’s residents. The climate in Alaska also defines the geography of the different regions. Southeast Alaska is home to more forests and wetlands, while Northern Alaska is home to more mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes. This is also where residents can find Delani Mountain, the tallest mountain in the U.S.
Recreation, Culture, and Entertainment
Alaska is home to some of the largest outdoor recreation sites in the country with over 100 mountains and volcanoes. Two of the most popular landmarks in the state are Denali Mountain, the highest peak in North America, and Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, one of the largest deltas in the world. These and other outdoor attractions are opportunities to interact with nature with amenities such as Anon Creek Bear Observatory, Kroschel Films Wildlife Center, Husky Homestead, and more.
Besides these, there are plenty of state and national parks around Alaska. Its arctic climate creates a number of large glaciers and frozen lakes, whose scenic landscapes become tourist attractions. Anchorage is the largest metropolitan area in Alaska, so residents can find plenty of museums, antique shops, and restaurants.
Cost of Living and Taxes
Due to its limited resources and goods, the cost of living in Alaska is higher than the national average. The median housing cost is also higher than national averages. Other categories such as transportation, utilities, and groceries, are significantly higher when compared nationwide.
Alaska is one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation. There is no state income tax or state sales tax. For the cities in Alaska that do have a sales tax, the statewide average is only 1.43 percent. Social Security benefits and retirement income is not taxed and homeowners 65 and older qualify for several tax breaks.
Alaska has the third highest score in Gallup’s Well-Being Index and frequently scores among the top 10 list.
Two of the state's highest ranking hospitals by U.S News can be found in Anchorage. They are Alaska Native Medical Center, ranked high performing in one adult specialty, and Providence Alaska Medical Center, ranked high performing in four adult specialties and two procedures.