A Bigger Retirement in Texas? Optimizing Golden Years in The Lone Star State

Texas has been making headlines in recent years as an outflow of tech companies leave Silicon Valley for the likes of Austin. Media influencers like podcaster Joe Rogan has also moved from California and set up shop in the Texan city.

While Florida remains famous for its retired life and the seasonal “snowbird” migration from the north, Texas has much to offer. Florida and Texas grew their combined populations by around 1,5 million during the pandemic, while California and New York together lost over one million residents.

According to US census data, Georgetown, Texas, from July 2020 to July 2021, swelled by over 10% between July 2020 and July 2021. Two other Texan urban centers came in the top five – Leander and New Braunfels, growing by 10.1% and 8.3%, respectively.

The state remains an ideal retirement destination owing to its low cost of living, warm climate, vibrant cities, and abundance of outdoor recreational activities outdoor life.

Texas also has a relatively light tax burden and a robust healthcare system. Entrepreneuring retirees will appreciate Texas is also a business-friendly state whose strong economy can offer opportunities to do a side hustle or reenter the workforce.

This post will look at some of the best retirement destinations in Texas and get some expert input on the financial benefits of retiring in the state.

Where To Set Up

Texas encompasses a range of distinctive geographical regions, from hill country to the pine woods in the east and from great sweeping plains to the Gulf coast below. Yet this great expanse also holds a spread of fine Texan cities that dot the landscape.

For those who want to experience big city living in the heartland of the country, look no further than Houston. The city's diversity speaks for itself – nearly 150 languages are used there – and it boasts a plethora of cuisines and an array of annual events and festivals.

Those on tighter budgets and who prefer a quieter setting may consider Beaumont or El Paso, both are small cities that are very affordable destinations with plenty to offer.

Retirees in Florida aren't the only ones to take in the sea breeze. Despite being in the heart of the country, Texas also boasts a long coastline nestled on the northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico. Retirees looking for a seachange can take their pick of Texas' many pleasant beach towns. 

Among the seaside gems is Galveston. Home to over 30 miles of sandy beaches, this breezy town, replete with historic buildings, oozes laidback vibes with old-school charm. Seabrook, meanwhile, has some 18 parks to complement its 11 miles of coastline. For birdwatching, boating, and Cajun-inspired seafood, look no further than Port Arthur.

Cost-Down Living

With lower costs, life in Texas can give retirees more bang for their buck.

“Texas is unique in its cost of living, which is lower than the national average, saving you money every month,” says Jorey Bernstein, Founder and CEO of Bernstein Investment Consultants.

“Outside the larger cities like Dallas or Austin, you can find more housing options with a range of prices,” he says. “Additionally, finding quieter corners in the state can provide a tranquil atmosphere perfect for retirees while still offering them limitless opportunities to stay active and involved in what the Lone Star State has to offer.”

However, not all taxes are lower.

While cheaper living is a bonus, not all taxes are lower on every front. There are other costs they need to weigh up.

“The surprise many people may not consider is the cost of property taxes. While housing might be cheaper outside of major cities, property taxes tend to be higher,” says Elliott Appel, Founder and Financial Planner of Kindness Financial Planning.

“They are set by local taxing authorities, and the average across Texas is about 1.6%. Some counties have property tax rates above 2%.”

However, this won't bother retired renters.

“While Texas has one of the highest property tax rates in the country, somewhat of a moot point for retirees who do not own their own home,” says Tim Uihlein, Partner and Managing Director of Vincere Wealth Management.

To optimize their budgets, retirees may consider contracting out a financial advisor in the state. They can benefit from tapping an advisor's expertise in the state economy and professional network embedded in the local community. They can also help minimize tax burdens, such as inheritance tax and other tailored advice to get the most out of your golden years in Texas. For these and more services, there are a number of financial advisors based in Houston-based financial advisors, as well as in other locales across the state.

Whether it is for city life or a quiet corner tucked away in the hinterland, Texas is big enough to find a spot under its neverending blue skies. By planning and optimizing for tax benefits and lower cost of living, retirees in Texas can make the most of their golden years in the big state.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.