Dec 7, 2022

Retiring in New Mexico or Arizona

Manny Cominsky

If you’re a longtime follower of the Sunbound Blog then you’ll know that two of our favorite retirement destinations in the country are southwest neighbors New Mexico and Arizona. But don’t just take our word for it; listen to all the retirees who have moved to New Mexico and Arizona in the past few years and helped to make the southwest one of the fastest growing regions in the entire United States. With a low cost of living, warm year-round weather, and some of the best senior living and retirement communities in the country, you can’t go wrong looking at either Arizona or New Mexico for retirement. 

Why retire in Arizona? 

There’s a lot of reasons why Arizona is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the country. First of all, Arizona offers major tax breaks. Not only are retirees charged zero tax on social security income, but there is no gift, estate, or inheritance tax. Furthemore, the tax outside of social security is low, ranging from about 2-5% on all other taxable income. If you’re moving to Arizona for retirement, particularly if you are leaving a high-cost coastal state like California or New York, you are likely to have a lower cost of living by retiring in Arizona.

Arizona gives retirees plenty to cheer about, from its low taxes and low cost of living to its wide array of award-winning golf courses.

In addition to being a generally low tax, low cost of living state, Arizona also has important benefits for its senior citizens. Along with the tax benefits noted above - including not taxing any social security income - Arizona also has several beneficial programs to help the elderly. One of its most well-known and impactful programs for seniors is the Arizona Long Term Care System, known by its acronym ALTCS, which helps qualified individuals aged 65 or older pay for some or all costs associated with long term medical care.

Another factor that makes Arizona an incredible place to retire is the abundance of amazing cities to call home in your retirement. Even just looking at Phoenix, Arizona (the state’s capital and the fifth most populous city in the entire) there are a multitude of top-ranked cities for retirement living destinations, from the shops and spas of Scottsdale to the fun college town of Tempe. Getting outside of Phoenix you can find some amazing small towns that boast, among other things, access to Arizona’s diverse and beautiful outdoors. This includes not only iconic desert towns like Tucson, but also mountain towns like Flagstaff that provide a cooler and more temperate retirement.

Speaking of the outdoors, Arizona also has a beautiful natural environment. While many people know about Arizona’s beautiful desert landscape - and perhaps its most iconic natural feature the Grand Canyon - people sometimes don’t realize the amazing diversity of outdoor activities that exist in Arizona. From Arizona’s many rivers and lakes, to the mountains in the northern part of the state, there is no end to the outdoor adventuring once you retire in Arizona. Along with these beautiful sights, another benefit is that because Arizona is a desert, many of the plants that cause people allergies or asthma don’t exist in Arizona. With a wide variety of state parks, Arizona is also a hiker’s paradise. We also can’t forget to mention the many world-renowned golf courses in the state of Arizona. And lastly, Arizona boasts year-round warm weather meaning no more shoveling your driveway!

Arizona is a great place to retire if you love the outdoors, with great weather all year long and some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.

Healthcare is another major factor to consider when thinking about retirement. Luckily, Arizona offers some of the best healthcare in the country. For example, Mesa has been ranked as one of the best places to retire for your health because it boasts top-rated hospitals, a low cost of living, and opportunities to live an active lifestyle. And by being around so many other retirees, retirement in life in Arizona keeps you active and social which has been found to be incredibly important for you as you age. 

Why retire in New Mexico?

If you like the sound of Arizona as a retirement destination due to its low taxes and low cost of living, as well as its beautiful and warm southwestern climate, but think that you would like to live in a slightly less populous place for retirement, then Arizona’s smaller neighbor New Mexico might be the perfect place for you. Like Arizona, New Mexico offers plenty for retirees to love, including favorable tax and weather environments.

Like Arizona, New Mexico is known for its low cost of living, sitting at about 3.1% below the national average. In addition to its low cost of living, New Mexico also boasts some incredibly favorable taxes including one of the lowest property tax rates in the entire country. This feature provides great flexibility and affordability for retirees in New Mexico and means that wherever you are moving from, life is likely going to be a lot cheaper once you retire to New Mexico.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is one of New Mexico's most anticipated and famous events each year.

Also like Arizona, New Mexico has a wide range of amazing and unique cities to choose from for your retirement. If you’re looking for a slightly larger and more metropolitan area, you might love Albuquerque, New Mexico’s most populous city which sits near the beautiful Sandia Mountains which provide beautiful views and plenty of outdoor activities. For fans of history, Santa Fe, New Mexico is not only one of the country’s highest rated retirement destinations, it also can claim to be one of the longest continually inhabited cities in the United States. And just like Arizona, New Mexico also has some amazing small mountain towns that you might not associate with the southwest, such as Taos, New Mexico which boasts some of the best skiing in the state. 

Speaking of the outdoors, the weather is a major factor to consider in retirement, and New Mexico has some of the best weather in the country. With year round blue skies and temperatures averaging at about 70 degrees you’ll have plenty of beautiful, relaxing days. And while the summers can certainly get warm in New Mexico, the state’s desert climate makes for a dry heat (meaning a relative lack of humidity) making the summer months incredibly pleasant. 

Retiring in New Mexico or Arizona

If you’re looking for a warm state with low taxes, low cost of living and plenty of fellow retirees, you can’t go wrong with either New Mexico or Arizona. If you find yourself choosing between these two states, ask yourself whether you want a slightly larger and more metropolitan location - in which case one of the many amazing cities in the Phoenix metro area might be exactly what you’re looking for - or if you’re interested in living a slightly more off the beat retirement, in which case you might love the less populous New Mexico. And if you really can’t decide, give us a shout and we’d be more than happy to help you find the right retirement destination for you! 

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at info@sunboundhomes.com or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

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There’s a reason why tens of thousands of people move to Arizona each year.  From the friendly climate, for both outdoor...

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