Active adults looking to retire in the Southwest should consider Arizona or Nevada.

Active adults looking to set their sights toward the Southwest should consider Nevada or Arizona as their ideal retirement destination. But which one is right for you? Well, that all depends on personal taste and what’s important to you when choosing where to retire. Both states are similar in regards to climate, low taxes, outdoor recreation, and affordable homes. They also have a lower cost of living when compared to other states for retirees like Oregon and California. Nevada and Arizona also have a variety of active adult communities that are perfect for retirees who want a vibrant and social lifestyle. So which state will it be: Nevada or Arizona?


Retirees often seek a year-round warm climate where they can forget about snow. Both Arizona and Nevada offer a favorable climate that appeals to active adults. Arizona and Southern Nevada have similar climates with desert to semi-arid weather and low humidity. Retirees love that both states get an abundant amount of sunshine each year. Nevada has a diverse geographic area from the dry Mojave Desert to the mountain valleys of the Sierra Nevada, giving retirees options for a change of scenery and weather.

Typically, most days are dry and sunny while nights are cool in both states. Nevada is the driest state in the U.S. and the weather up north gets fairly cold during the winter months while parts of the southern state experience short and mild winters. With both states having dry climates, Arizona and Nevada are perfect places to retire if you suffer from allergies or asthma.


Taxes might the biggest determining factor when choosing a location for your retirement home. Luckily, Nevada and Arizona are tax-friendly states for retirees. Arizona exempts Social Security and some pensions from state income tax and there is no inheritance tax, gift tax, or estate tax. Nevada doesn't have a state income tax or inheritance tax. All of this makes Nevada and Arizona ideal retirement destinations for Baby Boomers living off their savings and a fixed budget.

Cost of Living

Affordability is another important factor that retirees must consider. Certain states have a higher cost of living that wouldn’t benefit Baby Boomers on a fixed retirement income. Luckily, Nevada and Arizona offer a low cost of living. Arizona’s cost of living is 5% below the national average and homes are relatively affordable. Nevada also has affordable homes and an overall lower cost of living than most parts of the country. Although there are a few places that are more expensive like Kingsbury and Gardnerville. While Arizona has Sun City, which was the first active adult community in the U.S., Nevada has also seen an influx of 55+ active adult communities pop up in the Silver State to meet the growing demands of the Baby Boomer population.


Arizona and Nevada are full of attractions, outdoor activities, and plenty of other recreational facilities. Cities like Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma, and Prescott are the four largest metropolitan areas in Arizona that offer professional sporting events, museums, restaurants, and art galleries. Arizona is home to popular sights like the Grand Canyon National Park and Red Rock State Park, both of which offer majestic views that are truly breathtaking. Arizona also has about 70 highly ranked public golf courses.

Las Vegas is Nevada’s largest city and most popular destination for entertainment and attractions. Besides casinos and nightlife entertainment, Nevada is also known for other great resort destinations and attractions like Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, Lake Tahoe, Reno, and Laughlin. Both states also provide fun activities for white water rafting or fishing along the Colorado River. Nevada also has wineries, street festivals, golf courses, and art shows.

While Arizona and Nevada share many similarities, each state has its own unique charm and characteristics that appeal to a variety of Baby Boomers. All you have to do is choose the right place for you!