Lists for the best retirement communities often feature tropical hot spots, sunny deserts or temperate regions where year-round averages are around 70 degrees. Yet climate is only one factor in choosing a retirement destination and not every active adult is interested in relocating across the country. Midwest retirement destinations, such as Illinois retirement communities, give local active adults a chance to find affordable resort-style living without moving away from their friends and family.
Illinois retirement communities offer a mixed picture when it comes to taxes and other expenses. The state’s average cost of living is less than one percent higher than the national average and its median home price is currently $154,300. Social Security benefits and retirement income are largely tax exempt, but state and local sales taxes are relatively high. Regular income is taxed at a flat five percent rate. In addition to the General Homestead Exemption, there are additional tax breaks for senior citizen homeowners.
Active adult communities have sprung up throughout the state, yet the Chicago area, also known as Chicagoland, has become a particular Illinois hot spot for both age-restricted and age-targeted resort-style living. Luxurious developments like Sun City Huntley and Carillon feature challenging golf courses, spectacular clubhouses and homes in a wide variety of styles and sizes. There are also several mid-sized retirement communities and small neighborhoods for those who prefer a more intimate setting.
Indiana may offer an affordable retirement destination with an average cost of living that is nearly 11 percent below the national average, yet its tax laws have mixed results. When it comes to retirement income, Social Security benefits are exempt and there are some exemptions for military and civil-service pensions. Out-of-state pensions are fully taxed and counties are able to add their own taxes to the state’s flat 3.4 percent rate.
Active adults who want to find resort-style living can find some great options in the Indianapolis area. Britton Falls, in Fishers, is an age-restricted Del Webb property which features an impressive clubhouse, swimming pools, beautiful grounds and outdoor recreations such as tennis and bocce ball courts. Though it is an open-age community, The Villas at Geist, in McCordsville, has lovely low-maintenance homes as well as a clubhouse with a fitness center, demonstration kitchen and heated outdoor pool.
Since new laws were put in place in 2012, Michigan has become less tax-friendly for retirees, yet the state’s average cost of living is 12.4 percent below the national average and the median home price is just $95,200. Pension income may now be subject to state income tax, which is a flat rate of 4.35 percent (due to be reduced to 4.25 in 2013). Potential pension deductions are based on factors such as age, income and type of pension. Social Security benefits are exempt.
Active adults can find affordable homes in lovely age-restricted communities, particularly in Eastern Michigan near the cities of Flint and Detroit. In Brownstown, Bridgewater is a new Del Webb development with a spacious clubhouse, resort-style amenities and plans for 631 single-family homes. Closer to Flint, Del Webb’s Grand Reserve also provides an amenity-rich clubhouse, as well as both single-family homes and attached villas.
Beautiful neighborhoods with affordable homes are showing up throughout the midwest, which means local retirees do not have to move away from their friends and families to enjoy an active adult lifestyle.