Moving to Houston? Here’s Everything Retirees Need to Know

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The downtown city skyline in Houston, Texas at night.

10 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: Readers will gain a comprehensive overview of retiring in Houston, covering essential aspects such as climate, taxes, health care, and housing options.


Thinking about moving to Houston? It’s a hot destination for retirees. More than seven million people call Space City home, and for good reason. The nation’s fifth-largest metro area offers affordability, world-class health care, favorable tax policies, and much more.

Retirees are moving to Houston for all kinds of reasons. Some want to live closer to family, while others want to take advantage of the city’s warm weather, vibrant culture, and endless recreation opportunities. Whatever put H-Town on your list of possible retirement destinations, consider this your guide to what you should know about moving to Houston. Let’s jump in!

The Texas Waterway Square Town Center in The Woodlands, Texas.

Pros

  • Texas is tax-friendly. Living in Texas means your retirement dollars go farther than in many other states. There’s no state income tax in Texas, so your Social Security and other types of retirement income are tax-free.
  • Houston boasts warm weather. Many retirees choose to move to Texas for the warmth and sunshine. Houston might be a good choice if you’re not into cold weather or snow.
  • You can explore endless things to do. From popular cultural attractions and museums to scenic parks and world-class restaurants, Houston provides opportunities to pursue your passions—or discover new ones.

Cons

  • It gets hot. Houston’s heat and humidity can pack a wallop. The city is in a subtropical climate zone, and the mugginess can feel uncomfortable to some people.
  • The traffic isn’t fun. Like most big cities, getting around in Houston requires some patience. You’re bound to run into some congestion on the roadways.
  • The weather can change on a dime. The weather can swing drastically in a short amount of time, and severe weather can happen at any time in Houston. Be prepared for anything from strong winds and tornadoes to hail and flash flooding.
Walking path in Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston, Texas.

Living in Houston allows you to experience each distinct season. Summers are usually hot and humid with temperatures in the high 90s, but fall brings cooler temperatures and autumn leaves.

Winters in Houston tend to be mild. Though the temperature can dip below 32 degrees, the city hardly ever sees snow. Springtime in Houston means colorful bluebonnets and azaleas but also unpredictable weather. Tornado season in Texas runs April through June.

Still, the climate in Texas appeals to active adults who enjoy spending time outdoors. If you like to soak up the sun while staying active, take a stroll or a bike ride through Memorial Park or Hermann Park. If you’re into golf, tee off at one of Houston’s premier golf courses. And if you’re up for some adventure on the water, spend the day kayaking or paddle boarding on Buffalo Bayou.

Overcast view of the Houston city hall.

Houston Retirement Income Taxes

Since there’s no income tax in Texas, living in Houston allows retirees to preserve more of their retirement income. This can mean a higher quality of living. You don’t have to pay a state tax on Social Security benefits, retirement income, or pension income. And if you work part-time, you don’t have to pay a state tax on your wages.

Houston Property Taxes

While Texas doesn’t have a state income tax, the state’s property taxes have been rising in recent years. Currently, Texas has the sixth-highest property tax rate in the country. The Texas Legislature is working on a package to provide property tax relief, but in the meantime, Houstonians can expect to pay a rate of about 1.66%.

Houston Tax Exemptions for Seniors

Houston offers a homestead exemption for homeowners age 65 and older. This can provide big savings on property taxes. You need to apply for the exemption with the appraisal district in which your home is located.

Texas Children's Hospital and Pavilion for Women’s buildings in Houston.
Image provided via JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Houston is renowned for its world-class health care. The city has numerous award-winning medical centers, major university hospitals, and highly esteemed cancer-care facilities. The MD Anderson Cancer Center is consistently ranked among the world’s top cancer treatment centers. Also, the Texas Medical Center is the world’s largest medical complex, boasting 106,000 employees and 61 institutions.

You might be wondering where you should live in this vibrant, sprawling city. You could explore the Inner Loop districts if you’re looking for a bustling urban lifestyle. The Heights attracts retirees for its historic charm and eclectic mix of restaurants and shops. Also, Katy and Sugarland provide proximity to downtown without being in the mix of all the hustle and bustle.

Mera Vintage Park – Houston, TX

Prices Starting At $1,558
Exterior view of Mera Vintage Park in Houston, Texas.

Mera Vintage Park is an age-restricted apartment home community slated to offer 170 apartment homes upon completion. Active adults can choose from eight models that range from 616 to 1,433 square feet. Residences feature private patios or balconies, roomy walk-in closets, as well as in-unit washers and dryers. Some homes also feature den spaces.

Amenities include a 15,000-square-foot clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center, a golf simulator, an arts and crafts studio, and a game room. Additionally, the outdoor amenities include a kitchen and grilling space, a community garden, a dog park, and courts for pickleball and bocce ball.

Gatherings at Westview – Houston, TX

High $300ks – High $400ks
Aerial view of Gatherings at Westview in Houston, Texas.

Gatherings at Westview provides a lock-and-leave lifestyle just 15 minutes from Downtown Houston. Condos start in the high $300s and provide between 1,529 to 2,031 square feet. The community consists of three controlled-access elevators, each containing 27 homes across four stories. Residences feature modern design features such as offices and walk-in pantries as well as private balconies.

The community also offers a fitness area and game area with tables, TVs, and a warming kitchen. Other amenities include walking paths and a dog park.

Del Webb – The Woodlands – The Woodlands, TX

High $400ks – Low $700ks
The community sign for Del Webb Sweetgrass in Richmond, Texas.

At Del Webb – The Woodlands, active adult homebuyers can choose from two home series, with homes ranging from 1,711 to 2,604 square feet. Some residences feature optional mini-suites, open island kitchens, and flex rooms.

Amenities include an outdoor pool, a whirlpool spa, as well as a patio. Homeowners can also stay active along walking and biking trails or compete on pickleball and bocce ball courts. The community also features 11,500 square feet of indoor amenity space, including a social lounge, an arts and crafts studio, and a coffee bar.

Del Webb Sweetgrass – Richmond, VA

High $200ks – High $500ks
Nighttime view of the community sign for Del Webb Sweetgrass in Richmond, Texas.

Located 40 minutes from Houston, Del Webb Sweetgrass is slated to contain 1,500 single-family homes upon completion. Homes range from 1,109 to 3,800 square feet. Some homes also feature optional second floors.

Additionally, homeowners have access to numerous amenities at The Lodge. Here, they can participate in fitness programming like yoga and Zumba, take classes at the Continuing Education Center, or meet friends at the Wellness Center. Outdoor amenities include courts for pickleball, bocce ball, and tennis. Also, homeowners can enjoy the Houston sunshine along the community’s walking trails.

Chambers Creek – Willis, TX

Mid $300ks – High $1Ms
The landscape surrounding Chambers Creek in Willis, Texas.

Chambers Creek offers both single-family and attached homes. These homes range from about 1,500 square feet to over 3,000 square feet, with some featuring golf-cart storage areas, study spaces, walk-in closets, as well as kitchens with islands. This 55+ community, located about an hour outside of Houston, also features a state-of-the-art wellness and fitness center, a cafe and demonstration kitchen, a championship golf course, and an on-site marina with boat slips.

Bonterra at Woodforest – Montgomery, TX

Low $400ks – Mid $700ks
A fountain on the grounds of Bonterra at Woodforest in Montgomery, Texas.

Part of the master-planned community Woodforest, Bonterra at Woodforest offers single-family homes with stainless steel appliances and energy-efficient windows. Some homes also offer extra garage space, extended patios, and additional bedroom or study options.

Additionally, homeowners can meet new people through clubs and social events, including wine tastings, tennis, golf, and card games. This active lifestyle community features a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, a kitchen, and social areas. Outdoor amenities include courts for tennis, pickleball, and bocce ball as well as walking and biking trails and a fire pit.

Heritage Grand at Cinco Ranch – Katy, TX

Low $300ks – High $600ks
The entrance to Heritage Grand at Cinco Ranch in Katy, Texas.

Located in the master-planned Cinco Ranch community, Heritage Grand at Cinco Ranch contains attached and single-family homes with monitored alarm systems, sprinkler systems, and first-floor owners’ suites. Homeowners can participate in community activities like weekly coffee socials, fashion shows, as well as craft shows. They can also access the fitness center, library, computer room, and billiard tables. Additionally, the community features an 18-hole golf course.

Serenity at Meridiana – Manvel, TX

High $300ks – High $400ks
Interior view of a home in Serenity at Meridiana in Manvel, Texas.

Serenity at Meridiana will contain 144 residences offering 1,800 to 2,513 square feet. Active adult homebuyers can choose from several customizable floor plans, with most including open-concept layouts, sizable living rooms, as well as covered patios. Also, customization options include second-story bonus suites and extra bedrooms.

Amenities include a state-of-the-art clubhouse with a fitness center, a lounge, a community kitchen, and multipurpose gathering spaces. Outdoor amenities include a resort-style pool with a spacious patio, several bocce ball courts, and a fire pit.

Bonterra at Cross Creek Ranch – Fulshear, TX

Low $300ks – Mid $700ks
The entrance to Bonterra at Cross Creek Ranch in Fulshear, Texas.

Located in Fort Bend County, Bonterra at Cross Creek Ranch is a new 55+ community with single-family homes for sale. Upon completion, the community will contain 700 residences ranging from 1,500 to more than 3,000 square feet. Active adult homebuyers can choose from several different models, with some offering outdoor kitchens, dens, and living room fireplaces.

Amenities include a clubhouse with a fitness center, social areas, a massage room, a continuing education center, as well as an arts and crafts studio. Also, outdoor amenities include walking and biking trails, a fire pit, an event lawn, and courts for pickleball and bocce ball.

When you’re ready to discover what’s next in Houston, 55places is here to help! We’ll connect you with a local real estate expert who specializes in 55+ communities. They will be your guide every step of the way, from here to home. Contact us today!

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

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