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Retirement

What You Need to Know to Retire Well in North Dakota 

how to retire well in north dakota

As retirement draws near, choosing where to live is often part of the equation. Often, the goal is to find a state that offers retirees their ideal lifestyle without breaking the bank. If you’re hoping to retire well in North Dakota, here’s what you need to know.

Cost of Living

When you’re considering various retirement destinations, taking a moment to review the state’s cost of living scores is a smart move. It gives you an idea of the area’s overall affordability. When a score is over the national average – which is always set at 100 – it means that category costs more in that state. The opposite is true of scores under 100.

In North Dakota, the overall cost of living comes in at 96.5, putting the state slightly below average. However, when it comes to individual categories, it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Groceries and transportation are slightly above average, coming in at 101.7 and 104.4, respectively. Healthcare has the highest score, sitting at 113.2.

On the other side of the spectrum, utilities are at 90.6. Additionally, housing comes in with a 90.9, a score that’s supported by an average home value of $243,979, which is a bit below the national average of $281,370.

Tax Considerations

Taxes can dramatically impact your budget in retirement. That’s why it’s wise to review what you’ll need to handle if you move to a new state.

North Dakota does have an income tax, ranging from 1.10 to 2.90 percent. Social Security and other forms of retirement income are not excluded, though the low tax rate may make this of little concern.

Property tax rates are also on the lower side. Additionally, while the state doesn’t have a specific program for retirees, there is a range of property tax credits and exemptions that may lower your tax burden.

As for sales taxes, North Dakota has a general rate of 5 percent. However, municipalities can add to that amount, potentially pushing the number higher in some cities or counties.

Part-Time Job Opportunities

Many retirees plan to work during their golden years. By reviewing the state’s unemployment rate, you can get a general idea about the availability of part-time job opportunities.

When unemployment is high, it’s often harder to find work of any kind. When the rates are low, opportunities are typically more plentiful.

As of March 2021, the unemployment rate in North Dakota was 4.4 percent. This is notably below the national average at that time, which came in at 6.0 percent.

While the kind of work you’re after and the city you choose do play a role in the equation, these numbers mean that finding part-time jobs, in general, isn’t overly difficult. However, that doesn’t guarantee a specific kind of role is available in any given area, so it’s wise to do some research before you select a city for your retirement.

Best Cities for Retirees in North Dakota

When you’re deciding where to retire, the city you chose is a crucial point to consider. It determines the kind of lifestyle you can lead and your access to amenities or entertainment. Plus, some areas cost more than others, impacting your budget.

If you’re looking to retire well in North Dakota, Fargo may be the right place for you. It offers an amazing landscape and numerous options for outdoor recreation. Plus, it has a wide range of amenities and entertainment options, all while remaining reasonably affordable and maintaining a small-town vibe.

For retirees who prefer the feel of a bigger city, then Bismarck might be right up your alley. It is the state capital, so it can provide nearly anything you’d want in regards to amenities. The city also has a vibrant nightlife and a fun, modern style, which is something youthful retirees might appreciate.

If you would rather go with a rural community, consider Horace. It’s big enough to cover your needs but maintains that small-town feel. Plus, most of the residents are homeowners, creating a sense of stability.

For a more suburban vibe and easy access to water activities, go with Devil’s Lake. Fishing and hunting are popular here. Plus, there are nearby casinos for those who appreciate that kind of entertainment.

How Much Money You Need to Retire Well in North Dakota

With a moderate cost of living, you don’t need a ton of income to retire well in North Dakota. In many cases, around $61,171 a year will do the trick, allowing you to cover your needs along with some fun wants.

Can you think of any extra tips that may help someone retire well in North Dakota? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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