9 Communities in Iowa
Iowa’s benefits for active adults range from a low cost of living to diverse amenities and diverse cultural attractions. The state is divided into four different regions, with vibrant downtown areas in Central and Eastern Iowa, and attractive scenery in Western and Northern Iowa. Iowa is also the only state whose east and west borders are formed entirely by rivers. The state is home to all four seasons, with warm summers, and cold winters.
Geography and Climate
Iowa lies on a humid continental zone and generally has hot summers, cold winters, and wet springs. Summers are warm and humid, with average temperatures in the 60s, but this can vary from region to region.
The state consists of mostly flat land, with rolling hills, valleys, dense forests and wetlands. Southern Iowa is where residents will find forests and grasslands. Northern Iowa is the drier part of the state, with less precipitation throughout the year. This area is considered to be a part of the Great Plains. Bordered by the Mississippi River, Iowa is also home to many river valleys and large bodies of water.
Recreation, Culture, and Entertainment
Iowa’s amenities can be divided by its different regions. Central and Eastern Iowa is home to the largest metropolitan cities in the state, Des Moines and Iowa City. Western and Northern Iowa is where residents can find more scenery, state parks, forest preserves, historic landmarks, and plenty more outdoor attractions.
Residents love to visit University of Iowa and take advantage of all the activities the college town has to offer, including continuing education opportunities, sports games, and cultural events. Besides that, Iowa boasts a number of cultural sites, including Amana Colonies, the Lewis and Clark Monument, Herbert Hoover National Historic site, and many more. Outdoors, residents can visit Iowa’s botanical gardens, waterparks, and farmers markets.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Iowa is lower than the national average. The housing cost is also significantly lower when compared nationwide. Other costs such as transportation, utilities, and groceries are less than the national averages.
Iowa does have an income tax rate but retirees qualify to exclude some of their earnings from that rate, with even more exemptions for those that have a lower income. Social Security benefits are not taxed, and older adults are eligible for exemptions on their pension and retirement benefits. Iowa has a statewide sales tax of 6 percent, and cities can add as much as a 1 percent tax on that rate. The average combined rate in Iowa is 6.82 percent.
Iowa generally ranks among the top states in Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
The highest ranking hospitals by U.S News can be found in Iowa’s larger metropolitan areas, including Iowa City, Des Moines, and Cedar Rapids. These hospitals are University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, MercyOne Des Moines Medical, and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is nationally ranked in six adult specialties and rated high performing in two adult specialties and four procedures.