The retirement cost of living in Vermont may be elevated with high median income and property taxes, but that’s not enough to keep active and outdoor-loving seniors away.
Small town New England charm exemplifies Vermont. It may be small — the population is 626,630 for the state's 9,615 square miles, but it boasts a thriving economy and a majestic landscape ranging from verdant pastures in the summer to a kaleidoscope of colors in the fall to crisp white winters. There are 20 ski mountains, 76 golf courses, and scads of festivals to enjoy in this little state, making it perfect for retirees who like to enjoy the outdoors.
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The cost of living in the Green Mountain State is up to 20 percent above the national average, and the housing average around 40 percent above the national average.
Veterans Affairs benefits are not taxed in Vermont, but the state is one of only 14 that taxes Social Security income. Also, there are very few retirement income tax exemptions. There’s no inheritance tax, and while there is an estate tax, it's only for those valued at more than $3.5 million, important facts for seniors planning their retirement.
But it’s not just taxes and housing prices that are high. According to Sterling’s Best Places
, everything from groceries and health care to transportation and is above the national average, making everyday living a bit more expensive than some other states.
U.S. Census Bureau data shows Vermont’s median household income is slightly above the national average, at $52,190. The number of residents living below the poverty level is also above the national average, making higher taxes more bearable and contributing to a healthy economy.
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Nursing home and assisted living costs are higher than they are elsewhere, but if retirees have their hearts set on New England, the cost of living in Vermont is considerably lower than neighboring states New Hampshire, New York, and Massachusetts.
Job growth is on the rise and the unemployment rate — helpful to know for retirees looking to possibly continue working in their spare time — is only 3.7 percent in Vermont, much lower than the national average of 6.3 percent.
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