Benefits of Retiring In Montana (Pros & Cons)
April 11, 2022General Retirement
Montana is a wonderful state with incredible landscapes, but how is it for retirees? What are the benefits of retiring in Montana?
When you retire, it is only fair that you want to move to a place where you can find peace. This means that the state you move in must be safe and must be riddled with opportunities for you and your family.
Montana has vast reserves of precious minerals, such as silver, sapphire, and gold. You also have top-notch education, a low cost of living, and a thriving job market. The downsides, however, are housing issues, animal attacks, and a lack of facilities.
Like other territories, there are loads of benefits, as well as disadvantages to retiring in Montana. You need to be aware of both before you decide to relocate here. Is the beauty of the state enough to help you overlook the downsides?
Having lived in Montana all our lives, we're in the perfect position to tell you all about the ups and downs that you'll have to face if you move here.
Table of contents
Benefits of Retiring in Montana
When it comes to higher public education, Montana State University and Montana University are great options for individuals who have decided to reside in the state.
If you want your children to learn new things and be educated in a non-conventional institute or want to go back to university after you retire, you should put Montana on your list of places to retire in.
In fact, if you want to make the most of this brilliant opportunity, we would advise that you retire early, move here, and seek the Lifelong Learning Status, which will allow you to take university classes in the state.
Low Cost of Living
Did you know that Montana has a low cost of living? It's true- the cost of living in this state is 6.29 percent lower than in the rest of the country. This is because energy resources, such as gas, water, oil, and coal, are available in vast quantities. Moreover, in Montana, residents are charged with the lowest of taxes.
Property taxes in the state are low, making it easier and more affordable to own houses and cars. Even though the average household income in Montana is low- $36,000, paying taxes is not a problem since they are not too high, to begin with.
The Job Market is Good
Even though Montana is the fourth largest state, there is a population of more than 1 million all over the country. Hence, jobs can usually be found in the big cities. Of course, living in rural areas is also an option if you want to get involved in construction or agriculture.
However, many residents living in Montana choose to live in cities and towns and work in conventional industries such as health care, education, and business.
The unemployment rate in Montana is 4.1 percent, while the minimum per hour wage is $8.30. According to our research, engineers, healthcare professionals, and architects get paid the highest amount.
Montana is a state known for its beauty. When you retire here, you will realize that loads of shots from your favorite movies or television series have been taken here. We can't blame producers- the glaciers, valleys, and mountains make a beautiful combination.
Moreover, a lot of the land in Montana is barren, and the population is also low, which means that you will find loads of empty corners for a photo session.
One of the benefits of retiring in Montana is that the state allows you to be more active than ever. Most of the residents living there spend a lot of time outdoors as part of their jobs, whether they are farmers, professionals, ranchers, or part of an oil company.
On the weekends, you will find many people hunting, camping, and hiking, allowing you to become part of the community.
Warm and Social environment
If you are used to the environment in which people live their own lives and do not care much about what's happening around them, you might not like Montana. Contrary to what many people think, individuals in Montana are hospitable and welcoming.
In Montana, it is not uncommon for people to chat with a complete stranger while enjoying a meal at a diner. In fact, if you are walking alone on the street, you cannot possibly avoid a conversation with a stranger.
If you are from a part of the country where people mind their own business, you might find Montana a bit unusual at first. However, we promise that you will learn to adopt its friendly and welcoming nature with time.
No Traffic Problems
One of the benefits of retiring in Montana is that there are absolutely no traffic congestions here, even though everyone there owns a car. Of course, there is public transportation in towns and cities, but there will never be a time when you find yourself in a traffic jam.
If you are planning to travel intercity, you might find yourself isolated on the roads as there is almost no traffic on the roads of Montana. In addition, in the winter season, the traffic lessens even more as the roads get slippery and people avoid driving unless there is a need to do so.
This is also because Montana does not have a large population. This makes Montana the perfect place to retire in – no traffic, fewer people, no congestion – what else would one want?
When you live in Montana, you will hear people calling out to each other to help them with their daily chores or if they need absolutely any help with the simplest of things.
It is not uncommon for the people of Montana to knock on their neighbor's door and ask them to help in their ranch or farm. This shows that the sense of community here is very strong and is perfect for someone who wants to live in a place that will make them feel accepted.
If you have dreams that involve farming, ranching, or living the cowboy lifestyle, then Montana is the place for you, as you will have plenty of opportunities to fulfill your dreams. As a matter of fact, there are more cows in Montana than the number of people living there.
Cons of Retiring in Montana
Harsh weather conditions
Living in Montana, you will have to cope with some challenging weather conditions. Despite Montana being a mountainous area, the state is unable to withstand any severe thunderstorms around the year.
If you are not living in the state's mountainous region, summers can be extremely hot, and the temperatures can be as high as 50 F.
The temperature can plummet to -50 F in the winter season unless you live near the Canadian border. In Montana, it is common to experience 100-degree fluctuations in temperatures from week to week during the months of November.
This means that it is crucial to dress in layers and always have a survival kit in the boot of your car.
If you are planning to move to Montana any time soon, you will have to opt for the rental option at the start as the real estate market is not that great, and full disclosure, may never be. A number of people drive to work from the suburbs to their respective workplaces as housing in the town is unaffordable.
Many areas have affordable housing, such as the Blaine area, in which prices of housing start from only $59,000, and the average price of real estate in Montana is around $99,000, but there are areas in which prices of houses start from $600,000 also. It's all a matter of finding what fits your budget.
Too Many Tourists
As Montana is a natural beauty, it is no surprise that it attracts many tourists around the year. The first-rate ski resorts also play a huge part in attracting tourists.
Sometimes, the number of tourists exceeds the local population and the locals are not happy with this fact- they believe the tourists spoil Montana's natural beauty.
You will have to deal with this issue if you are thinking of moving there, the truth is, there is nothing you can do about it.
Tourists increase the population of the state, which means you may find an increase in traffic- something that residents find extremely annoying.
Animal Attacks are Common
Vast areas of barren land make Montana a perfect place for wildlife to live in. Montana is home to 100 mammals, excluding birds and animals. If you live in an urban area, you will see fewer of these animals, and they may be a real threat to you.
Montana has 30,000 farms, so the locals have to keep them safe from the wildlife – an issue that can become an increasing problem, especially with agriculture.
Montana also has creatures that are not present elsewhere, such as the Sandhill Crane. You also need to be cautious as you could come across a bear or snake at any given point in the rural area. Due to this reason, hunting in Montana is common and legal.
People also rely on hunting for a part of their diet. If you are someone who is terrified of animals, this might become a problem for you.
Individuals Need to be Self-Sufficient
If you live in the rural parts of the state, you will experience power outages that last for a week. Your car battery might freeze due to the harsh winters and might not start.
You must have basic survival equipment that can last for at least 7 days. You should also have supplies in your car. You do not need heavy-duty survival supplies but enough to get you through. This can become an inconvenience, especially for those who are forgetful or like packing light.
You'll Need Your Own Conveyance
You cannot think of retiring in Montana without owning a car, as there is literally no means of transportation. This means that owning a car is imperative. In fact, a four-wheel-drive would be better.
The roads are not properly made in the rural areas, which means that if there is a storm and you get stuck, the help from snow chains will not be enough to get you out.
When living in Montana, you will want to own something that will take you from point A to point B in the winters. It doesn't matter whether you own or plan to lease a vehicle- the point is that you must have one at all times.
Being an agricultural state, Montana has a cattle population that's three times their human population. It has thirty thousand farms and ranches.
Montana contributes $4 Billion to the economy of the USA every year. Living the cowboy lifestyle in Montana can be expensive. Moreover, the prices of vegetables and fruits are also expensive. This is a big problem for those who do not consume meat.
Lack of Facilities
People coming to Montana from other cities would be shocked to see the situation here. Many reports claim that you would be better off in a village than in Montana as the amount of entertainment here is limited.
Trends also take time to reach Montana. For example, if there is a trend in California, it will take at least two years to reach Montana. You will not be able to experience whatever is hot immediately. This is a huge drawback, especially if you closely follow the news.
Moreover, living in Montana is all about being practical. You cannot take the risk of wearing a suit and stepping into the mud while making your way to a truck.
If you are someone who wants to always remain well informed about the ongoing fashion trends and what is going on in the world, then living in Montana would need you to make some serious adjustments.
Many people see Montana as a wonderland for outdoor adventures as many outdoor activities are available throughout the year. It has three out of five entrances of the Glacier national park, so the need for adventure can be satisfied whenever.
Montana is a difficult state to live in, but it has its own share of challenges. The people living there call it home, and many say that when you are able to get over the challenges of living in this state, you will become a better and stronger person.
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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We love planning for retirement. It's somewhat of a hobby, and we want to share what we've learned with you. Over the years we've found the best ways to live, how to travel, take on new hobbies and give back. Happiness in retirement is the main goal, and having the right information allows us (and you) to achieve that.