Virginia Beach is a resort city in Eastern Virginia located right on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Its proximity to the water and sunny weather have made it an appealing option for retirees. The city is home to miles of beaches and state parks, as well as a thriving downtown shopping district.
Climate and Geography
Most of Virginia experiences a humid subtropical climate, meaning summers are hot and humid, while winters are mild with almost no snowfall. Rainfall is slightly more than the national average and residents of Virginia Beach can expect over 200 day of sun each year. Virginia Beach is a favorable location for weather on the Atlantic coast because it is too far south to experience the average storms tracks that occur throughout the year, and too far north to experience the hurricane storm tracks. However, winds coming off of the Atlantic Ocean can produce periods of slightly cooler temperatures during the summer months.
Virginia Beach is located in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain, which is mostly low, flat land interspersed with inlets and wetlands. The city is located in between two of the largest estuaries in the world, the Chesapeake Bay and the Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds, and is also right on the estuary for the James River.
Recreation, Culture & Entertainment
Residents looking for outdoor recreation in Virginia Beach have plenty of options. Sandbridge Beach and the famous Virginia Beach are popular destinations for for enjoying the sand and sun, swimming in the ocean, and walking the boardwalks. Within the city, First Landing State Park features hiking trails, canoeing, and more along the shore of the Atlantic. Just south and southwest of the city there are a number of state parks and nature preserves that offer more opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, and hunting.
The city is home to a vibrant downtown area which is the center for dining, shopping, breweries, and history and art museums. Another popular attraction is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Virginia Beach is higher than both the state and national averages due to the high cost of housing, with the cost of healthcare also contributing at slightly higher than average. Other categories such as utilities and transportation are lower than average.
Virginia is a tax-friendly state for retirees. There is no tax on Social Security benefits and there are deductions on all other retirement income up to $12,000. Residents 65 and older qualify for several tax breaks, especially for homeowners.
The sales tax in Virginia is 4.3 percent and Virginia Beach adds a 1.7 percent tax onto that rate.
Virginia Beach is home to three hospitals and medical centers. They are Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, and Sentara Leigh Hospital, each of which are ranked high performing in at least two procedures or adult specialties by U.S News.