If you’re nearing retirement, you’re probably starting to think more seriously about where you would like to retire to? Have you considered Virginia? Many new retirees have and are making the move to one of Virginia’s retirement counties – areas where the number of residents over the age of 60 grew by 15 percent or more between 2000 and 2010.
This article will highlight some of the benefits of retiring to one of the top recommended retirement destinations – Williamsburg, VA.
How to choose the best place to retire
Before digging more into what Williamsburg offers, let’s talk about some of the common considerations that come into play when making this decision. As a retiree, you likely have more freedom to decide where to live without having to worry about proximity to the workplace or school. From that perspective, you could really relocate to any part of the country (or even to another country) that appeals to you. Common considerations when choosing the ideal retirement place are proximity, lifestyle, and finances.
1. Proximity is still key
Although you will no longer have to worry about commuting to your workplace or driving the kids to school, “proximity” may still play an important role in your decision process.
You may have friends or family you want to stay in touch with, visit, or host in your new community, making proximity to an airport important. That airport is also a priority if one of your retirement goals is to travel more frequently
In addition, there will be still a need for other services such as shopping, health care, and entertainment. Therefore, it’d be prudent to choose a place that’s as close as possible to the nearest social amenities. For one, if you like exploring places and revisiting your historical places or events, then museums and national parks could be on your priority list.
2. The cost of living
When it comes to the cost of living, it’s imperative to think long-term.
It’s, therefore, upon you to assess your financial ability and decide on a place to live while considering all your other needs. Remember, the two main factors to keep in mind when it comes to finances are housing and the area’s overall cost of living.
3. Retirement taxes
Another thing worth noting is the retirement tax, and this varies from one state to another. So, before you decide on whether to move to a given city, understand the taxation system of that area. The three key aspects to consider are state and local taxes, taxes on retirement income, and taxes on dividend income.
What you need to know about Williamsburg VA
Now that you have an idea of how to choose a place to retire, here’s what you need to know about Williamsburg before deciding if it’s a good option for you.
Whenever you mention the name of this city, what comes to mind for many people is colonial Williamsburg where movies in period garb paint the 18th-century lifestyle. However, there’s more to this place than what these actors depict.
The city was founded as the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the 17th century. It was among the first planned cities in the United States, however, it lost its city status in the 18th century. It wasn’t until around 1926 that its restoration began, and it became the historic city you see today.
Apart from being one of the oldest cities in the country, Williamsburg is also known for being part of the Historic Triangle. The other two cities that complete this triangle are Yorktown and Jamestown. The whole Historic Triangle region hosts over 500,000 people, with about 15,000 residing in Williamsburg.
An essential question in determining where to relocate is for many retirees is “the cost of housing?” On average, housing costs in Williamsburg – either purchased or rented – are slightly higher than the national average.
Cost of living
How does the standard and cost of living in Williamsburg compare to other cities? The overall cost of living, including Groceries and Healthcare, is also somewhat higher than the national average. However, utilities and transportation costs do fall below the average.
Regardless of where you move to, you’ll still need to pay taxes. The difference, however, is what and how much are taxed. Of course, for someone who is active in the employment sector, the values will be different from what you’ll be paying as a retiree.
So, what taxes are you expected to pay if you plan to move to Williamsburg, VA as a retiree? Social security retirement benefits are not taxed, making it friendly for seniors.
Retirement account withdrawals, pension income, and other retirement income are taxed, but the maximum limit for retired persons is $12,000 annually. You’ll also pay property and sales taxes, but they’re relatively low.
Quality of life and security
Speaking from personal experience, one area where Williamsburg shines is the quality of life. Whether you enjoy education or recreation, there are endless activities available to you. Williamsburg scored 77 on “livability.”
This score takes into consideration factors like transportation-–-which is quite accessible and quick in the area. The crime rate is also very low, about 42% lower than the national average.
Entertainment and recreation
If you enjoy recreational activities Williamsburg has you covered. Enjoy easy access to historical settings, golf courses, hiking, bicycling, equestrian, and water activities,
The prestigious (and local) College of William & Mary is the second-oldest institute of higher learning in the country.
Former American presidents John Tyler, James Monroe, and Thomas Jefferson all studied at the school.
As a retiree, you may be interested in the College’s cultural and entertainment options for people over 60 years old.
You can audit classes for free or, if you’re an art lover, you can enjoy exhibits at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, or take in performances by the dance and theatre departments.
Want to visit the city? Richmond and Virginia Beach are both about an hour’s drive away.
Your health, especially as you age, is paramount. Therefore, it’s important to find a place where medical facilities are accessible and affordable and offer high-quality care.
Williamsburg, VA offers just that through the Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. This hospital has been ranked among the top 150 hospitals in the world.
Apart from having state-of-the-art facilities, this hospital is also highly ranked because it offers health solutions in almost every area. It has excelled particularly in neurology, cardiology, spine and orthopedic surgery, and neurosurgery. (5)
Is Williamsburg a good place to retire?
And now the final verdict… If you love history, entertainment, and recreation, you’ll love Williamsburg.
I am of course, biased, but also experienced. Williamsburg is a great place to call home.
Want to learn more about living in Williamsburg, or help in getting the most out of your retirement – schedule a call with an advisor.
1. “How To Decide Where To Retire.”, Source: https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/baby-boomers/articles/how-to-decide-where-to-retire
2. “Least And Most Expensive States To Live In 2022.”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewdepietro/2022/02/09/most-and-least-expensive-states-to-live-in-2022/?sh=2cff1df51289
3. “Where Should You Retire?”, Source: https://www.thebalance.com/where-should-i-retire-2894254
4. “The Oldest College In Every US State.”, Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/oldest-college-every-state-2018-10?r=US&IR=T#:~:text=The%20College%20of%20William%20%26%20Mary,esteemed%20and%20influential%20alumni%20members.
5. “About Sentara.”, Source: https://www.sentara.com/aboutus.aspx
6. “Williamsburg.”, Source: https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/williamsburg-va/