Tags: Retirement | retirement | Iowa | cost of living

Retirement Cost of Living in Iowa

By    |   Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:59 AM

When it comes to how much it will cost you to retire in Iowa, the overall cost-of-living index puts Iowa at just 89, compared with the national average of 100, Sperling's Best Places reports. That means the Hawkeye State is a place where housing, food and groceries, transportation, utilities, health care, and entertainment all cost less than average.

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It may be better for retirees to head to colder climates instead of sunshine, according to CNN Money's report on "New Rules for Retirement." "Yes, you are still going to need a snow shovel," Chris Kahn, research and statistics editor at Bankrate told CNNMoney, "but you're getting a lot in return for that cold weather." Iowa ranks No. 9 on Bankrate's list of 10 states offering the best mix of affordability and lifestyle. It gets high marks for low crime and living costs and high-quality health care.

While it's not the warmest or the least expensive state to retire, it may be the safest, according to a study by MoneyRates.com, an Internet site for financial information. MoneyRates.com looked at retirement cities based on five factors: economics (including taxes and cost of living), crime rates, weather, senior life expectancy, and the size and growth of a state's senior population. "Iowa did not really excel in any one category," The Des Moines Register quoted the study as saying, "but it was well above average in four out of five," including having a low crime rate.

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However, the state's taxes bring down its retirement-friendly ratings, the personal finance site Kiplinger.com says. The bottom line regarding Iowa taxes is that the Hawkeye state is "not tax friendly," Kiplinger reports. Iowa taxes "a considerable amount of retirement income and doesn't offer a low sales-tax rate or other tax trade-offs to make up for it," the site says. "Its top income tax rate is a steep 8.98 percent." Social Security benefits are free of the state income tax. The sales tax here is 6 percent, and there's a property tax credit available for seniors.

Still, U.S. News & World Report says you can retire well on a small amount of savings in Iowa. You can live on $75 a day in Des Moines, the magazine says. Time magazine agrees that Iowa is among the "Best Places to Retire." Money magazine says Iowa City is among its best places list because of its short commutes and diverse employment opportunities. Money also cited the city's services such as free transportation for seniors, its wealth of health care options and its volunteer opportunities. The other thing it mentioned was not so positive: the challenging winters.

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When it comes to how much it will cost you to retire in Iowa, the overall cost-of-living index puts Iowa at just 89, compared with the national average of 100, Sperling's Best Places reports.
retirement, Iowa, cost of living
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2015-59-05
Friday, 05 Jun 2015 01:59 AM
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