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4 Myths About Retiring in Alaska

Image: 4 Myths About Retiring in Alaska
A polar bear hide hangs on a wood rack in a yard June 4, 2006 in Browerville, Alaska. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 01:45 PM

Retire in Alaska? No way. Isn't it freezing there even in the summer? Don't moose just wander the streets? Do people even retire there? The answer to that last question is a definitive yes. In fact, Alaska ranks as one of the best states to retire in from a financial perspective, according to a PBS NewsHour report. Here are a few myths you may have believed about retirement in Alaska:
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  1. Alaska is Expensive, So It Doesn't Make Sense Financially - True prices in Alaska tend to be about 34 percent higher on average than in the lower 48 U.S. states. However, while you'll pay more for groceries and electricity, you'll pay less in other areas. "Alaska … boast(s) more generous benefits, more working opportunities and better-funded services for retirees than popular retirement destinations like Florida and Arizona," according to the PBS NewsHour report
  2. It's So Far North; It Must Be Freezing Year Round - In winter, at least in some parts of Alaska, it does get really cold. Sometimes, the mercury drops well below zero. In 1971, an Alaskan town recorded the coldest temperature ever reported in the U.S. when the temperatures plunged to 80 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, according to a MarketWatch story. However, this isn't the norm everywhere and many coastal towns like Seward and Homer stay relatively temperate – January highs are in the 20s and in July temperatures average in the 60s. Additionally, in the summer you are treated to days of endless sunlight.
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  4. It Must Cost a Fortune to Go Anywhere - This is not necessarily true. If you choose a town like Seward that is within a two-hour drive of Anchorage and home to a major airport, you'll be able to escape to warmer climates quite easily and affordably.
  5. There's No Art Scene - Sure most people come to Alaska for the wildlife, but you can also pick towns known for their arts and culture scene to retire in. One great option is the capital city of Juneau, which boasts a number of excellent galleries that focus on Native made creations from jewelry to masks to paintings as well as a theater known for premiering original plays throughout the years. The Alaska State Museum is also located here.
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Retire in Alaska? No way. Isn't it freezing there even in the summer? Don't moose just wander the streets? Do people even retire there? The answer to that last question is a definitive yes.
retirement, Alaska, myths
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2015-45-30
Saturday, 30 May 2015 01:45 PM
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