What Makes New Castle, Delaware an Affordable Place to Retire?

New Castle, DE is an affordable retirement option near the East Coast\'s biggest cities. (Image via Shutterstock.com)

On 55places.com’s list of most affordable places to retire, New Castle, Delaware was the 7th most affordable place to live. Mid-Atlantic residents know that Delaware’s no sales tax makes it a great place to go shopping, but lots of factors contribute to New Castle being an affordable place to call home.

The economy around New Castle is strong, and according to a housing market analysis, much of the growth in population since 2000 is from adults over 55 moving into the area. Here are some reasons why active adults are choosing to move to New Castle.

Cost of Living

According to an analysis done by Kiplinger, Delaware’s cost of living was 11% above the average for the country. Cost of living calculations usually take into consideration the costs of housing, transportation, food and goods, healthcare and utilities.

While Delaware’s is slightly higher than the national average, nearby states like Maryland, Northern Virginia, and southeast Pennsylvania are all much higher. Healthcare costs for a retired couple are also below average.

Average Home Price

The cost of housing plays a large role in the overall cost of living score. Generally, people shouldn’t be spending more than 30% of their income on housing in order for it to be called affordable. In New Castle, prices are especially affordable. 55places.com found that homes sell for an average of $127,000, and the housing analysis from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that recently prices for resale single-family homes averaged $237,900 in 2017.

Compared to booming housing costs in the Washington, D.C. area, and higher prices just across the Pennsylvania border, these low prices offer a big incentive for active adults on a budget.


While the average income for 65+ households is relatively low in Delaware, at just above $50,000 a year, the state offers older adults great tax benefits. The state does not tax Social Security income and taxpayers over age 60 can exempt up to $12,500 worth of income from their taxes.

Income tax ranges from 2.2% to 6.6%, while the average tax rate in the country is about 21%. And of course, there is no sales tax and lots of outlet stores in the Wilmington area let residents take advantage of that benefit.

Affordable 55+ Communities Near New Castle, DE

Crossings at Christiana

The attached homes in the Crossings at Christiana range from the high $100s to low $200s. The tranquil and landscaped community includes a clubhouse with fitness and meeting rooms. Located south of the city, residents have easy access to Interstate 95 and the New Castle Airport.

Spring Arbor

Spring Arbor is a larger, resort-style community in the Middletown area south of New Castle. McKee builders plans to construct over 300 attached and single-family homes in the community, ranging from the low $200s to mid $300s. Residents can meet and socialize in a 7,000 square-foot clubhouse or exercise at the fitness center, in the swimming pool, or on trails in the neighborhood.

The Village of Hershey Run

Located in Wilmington, The Village of Hershey Run offers attached homes from the low to mid $200s. Residents enjoy scenic walks in the neighborhood, while located just minutes from I-95 and shopping malls. Active adults will also enjoy spending time in the exercise room, outdoor pool, and tennis courts, or getting to know other neighbors.

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

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