Kansas City is the third largest city in Kansas, formerly a streetcar suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, (which it is named after) the city has grown into it's own thriving urban center with a rich cultural heritage. It is popular for its abundant boating and swimming areas, as well as its variety of both brand-name and local boutique shopping. Besides this, its affordable housing makes it an attractive retirement destination for active adults.
Climate & Geography
Located in Eastern Kansas on the border of Missouri, Kansas City has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm, while winters are cool to cold, but extreme heat and cold swings can occur because there are no regulating geological features, like nearby mountains or water. Despite some freezing spells, heavy snowfall is not common. Rainfall is higher than average, snowfall is lower than average, and there are about 212 sunny days per year.
Kansas City is on a broad river plain at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers. The surrounding terrain is mostly flat, with some gently rolling hills to the east and open prairie to the west.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
Kansas City has several opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the city. Kaw Point Park is a popular destination with scenic views, a heritage trail, and community events. Wyandotte County Lake Park is larger, offering 1,500 acres of hiking trails as well as fishing and boating areas. Active adults can also check out the Armourdale Hike and Bike Route along the Kansas River.
For shopping and entertainment, residents have several options. The Legends at Village West is a large entertainment and retail complex in the city, featuring brand-name shops, a movie theater, and a local ballpark. For smaller scale boutiques, local eateries, and historical murals and museums, residents head to the downtown area on the east side.
Other amenities include the Kansas Speedway for Motorsports and the Hollywood Casino. Residents are also minutes away from downtown Kansas City in Missouri, which has its own vibrant community with sporting events and historic sites. To distinguish the two cities, residents of Kansas City, KS often affectionately refer to their home as "KCK" and the namesake city as "KCMO."
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Kansas City is lower than the national average because of very low housing costs. Transportation costs, groceries, and utilities are also below average.
The only retirement income that Kansas completely exempts is public pensions. Social Security benefits are only exempt for retirees with an Adjusted Gross Income below $75,000. All other forms of retirement income are fully taxed. Property taxes in the state are higher than average, but Kansas offers several tax relief programs for retirees. Additionally, the state has high sales taxes and, unlike most states, fully taxes groceries.
The Kansas City metro area ranks in the top 85 communities in the U.S. on Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
There are several hospitals in Kansas City, including the University of Kansas, which is nationally ranked by U.S. News. Other high performing hospitals include Providence Medical Center-Kansas City and Shawnee Mission Medical Center.