Ready to Retire? Here’s How to Retire Well in Wyoming
If you want to retire well in Wyoming, preparation is the key. By learning about the area, especially the costs you’ll encounter when there, you can make sure your retirement savings will let you live comfortably in the Equality State. If you aren’t sure how much you’ll need, here’s what you need to know to retire well in Wyoming.
Cost of Living
When it comes to assessing how affordable a state is, taking a look at its cost of living scores is a great place to start. Since the national average is permanently set at 100, you can see if a state costs more or less than the average at a glance. If the score is under 100, it’s less expensive. When the score is above 100, it’s the opposite situation.
Plus, you can compare states to one another. The state with the higher score cost more than the other one. It’s really that simple.
In Wyoming, the overall score is 95.7. That puts the Equality State firmly in the middle of the pack, sitting just below the national average.
If you look at individual category scores, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. For groceries and healthcare, Wyoming has scores of 103.5 and 100.2, respectively, putting the state above the national average slightly. For utilities and transportation, the scores are 87.4 and 94.5, respectively, showcasing affordability.
When it comes to housing, Wyoming has a score of 81.7. That’s supported by the average home values in the area. While the national average home value is $287,148, the Equality State comes in at $269,791, demonstrating that comparable properties cost less in Wyoming.
Since taxes can take a big bite out of your budget, it’s important to look at them when you’re deciding where to retire. Luckily, Wyoming has something going for it: there isn’t a state income tax. As a result, you’ll only have to worry about applicable federal taxes for your retirement income.
Plus, Wyoming also has a fairly low sales tax. The base rate is 4 percent. However, municipalities can add to that, bringing local sales tax rates up as high as 6 percent. Still, that’s far lower than you find in many other states.
Generally, Wyoming property taxes are low as well. Plus, low-income seniors may qualify for a tax rebate, reducing the liability even further.
Part-Time Job Opportunities
Many retirees want to work part-time. In some cases, it’s to supplement their retirement income. In others, it’s a way to stay active.
One way to gauge the availability of part-time job opportunities in an area is to look at the unemployment rate. If that is high, there may be fewer available positions. If it’s lower, you may have an easier time finding work, depending on the field or industry you target.
In Wyoming, the unemployment rate (as of May 2021) was 5.4 percent. That’s just slightly below the national average at that time, which sat at 5.8 percent. In general, that’s positive news, as part-time jobs are likely reasonably accessible.
Best Cities for Retirees in Wyoming
When you’re figuring out where to retire, you have to pick a city. Luckily, Wyoming has some great options.
If you’re looking for an area with low tax rates, a small-town feel, and quick access to outdoor recreation, Cody needs to be on your list. It’s popular with retirees, has plenty of amenities, and is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Yellowstone National Park.
For retirees who prefer a larger city, Casper or Cheyenne could be right up your alley. Casper has plenty of amenities and a sizeable population, but it doesn’t feel overcrowded. Cheyenne is a bit more vibrant and has a unique history that’s fun to explore. Plus, it’s home to Warren Air Force Base, which could make it a great choice for retired veterans who still have on-base access.
How Much It Costs to Retire Well in Wyoming
Since Wyoming has a slightly below-average cost of living, you can live comfortably there with a modest amount of retirement income. In many cases, $59,904 in annual retirement income will do the trick, letting you cover your needs and pay for some wants, too.
Are there any other tips that you know of that could help someone retire well in Wyoming? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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