Tags: Retirement | retirement | Oklahoma | drawbacks

Drawbacks of Retiring in Oklahoma

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 06:41 PM

Retirement in Oklahoma has its perks: low cost of living, abundant opportunities for recreation and entertainment, and a friendly atmosphere. However, there are a few drawbacks that could outweigh the benefits. They may or may not be deal breakers depending on what you're looking for, but are worth reviewing before you make a decision. If you're thinking about spending your retirement in Oklahoma, consider both the pros and the cons, including these drawbacks.

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  1. Unpredictable Weather - The Sooner State is well known for its chaotic climate, including an active severe weather season. Spring often brings with it thunderstorms, hail, and occasional tornado outbreaks – some of which are devastating. In fact, website FiveThirtyEight ranked Oklahoma City No. 2 in the nation for unpredictable weather. In 2013, Popular Mechanics magazine named Oklahoma as one of the eight most dangerous places in the world to live, due to the "I-44 Tornado Corridor" that runs from Oklahoma City to Tulsa.
  2. Lack of Public Transportation - Some retirees can no longer drive because of health problems or prefer the ease of taking public transportation. In Oklahoma, however, you're on your own when it comes to getting around. Most cities have no bus service, and even in metropolitan areas it's limited. In the 2014 City of Oklahoma City Citizen survey, only 9 percent of residents said they were "very satisfied" with the city's public transit system, while the highest percentage, 37 percent, said they were "very dissatisfied." Website FiveThirtyEight ranked the state's two major cities near the bottom of the list in the nation for quality of public transit. Tulsa came in at 235 out of 290 cities while Oklahoma City came in at 261.
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  4. High Crime Rate - Although Forbes magazine listed Oklahoma City as one of the best places to retire, it also noted the city's high crime as a strike against it. According to the National Institute of Corrections, the state's overall crime was 22 percent higher than the national average in 2013. Property crimes, which comprise 88 percent of the state's crime, were 21 percent higher than the national average, and violent crimes, making up 12 percent of the state's crime, were 26 percent higher than in other states.
  5. High Sales Taxes - Overall, taxes and the cost of living are lower in Oklahoma than in many other states but, in many cities, the sales tax is higher. Therefore, if you enjoy shopping, you might find that the money you save on other costs you spend when you hit the mall. According to the Tax Foundation, as of 2015 Oklahoma has the sixth-highest state and local sales tax in the country.
  6. Doctor Shortage - While some health care costs tend to be low in Oklahoma, finding a doctor is another matter. OklahomaWatch notes that the state has 76 doctors per 100,000 residents, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The national average is 220 doctors per capita. In addition, Oklahoma ranks 43rd in the nation for doctors per capita, with 72 of its 77 counties federally designated shortage areas for primary health professionals.
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Retirement in Oklahoma has its perks: low cost of living, abundant opportunities for recreation and entertainment, and a friendly atmosphere. However, there are a few drawbacks that could outweigh the benefits.
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2015-41-09
Tuesday, 09 Jun 2015 06:41 PM
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