Benefits of Retiring In Delaware (Pros & Cons)

If you’re approaching your retirement age, scouting for the best places to live out the rest of your days peacefully, retiring in Delaware can be a great idea!

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If you’re approaching your retirement age, scouting for the best places to live out the rest of your days peacefully, retiring in Delaware can be a great idea!

When searching for the best places to retire, most people often turn towards small states, such as Delaware, due to the multitude of benefits and opportunities they offer. However, like any other state, retiring in Delaware has its own sets of advantages and disadvantages.    

Delaware is a tax-friendly state with stunning beaches and seaside retreats. Those retiring here can enjoy the quality healthcare facilities, rich historical and cultural heritage, and opportunity to make new senior friends. On the downside, Delaware has a high population density, high crime rate, over-urbanization, and some eerie laws.

Also known as the Diamond State, Delaware is amongst the first colonies to become a state in the U.S. Since then, this city has seen many retirees due to its senior-friendly policies. Almost 400,000 residents that makeup 40% of Delaware’s population are 50 years and older. In its essence, Delaware has about the sixth-highest percentage of seniors compared to other states. Considering these facts, it isn’t difficult to see that Delaware is a retirees’ state.

Delaware sure is an attractive place for seniors to retire peacefully, considering all the perks it offers. However, if you are seriously considering retiring in Delaware, you must also consider the cons of this state – to ensure that you make the best suited decision. That said, having worked as a retirement advisor, I can give you a clear idea of the financial and non-financial pros and cons of retiring in Delaware.

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Pros of Retiring in Delaware

If you’re thinking of moving to Delaware to live out your golden days, you have great reasons up your sleeve. After all, we can’t deny the excellent opportunities and benefits this state provides.

However, if you still require some convincing, here are some of the reasons you should retire in the Diamond State.

Tax-Friendly Policies

The Blue Hen State has a range of tax-friendly policies for seniors, which is more than a good enough reason to pack up your stuff and move here. Let’s face it: unless you have a hefty bank account or are living off your family inheritance, you’ll want to cut down your costs and expenses as much as possible.

Paying taxes can feel like a huge burden when you’re still employed, which can become even heavier when you retire. Therefore, if you’re looking to lighten that burden and save up a significant portion of your retirement benefits, Delaware should top your list of prospective retirement states.

As a retiree or even as an individual, you can expect to enjoy some great tax benefits in Delaware. For starters, the Diamond State doesn’t impose sales tax, allowing you to enjoy tax-free shopping. Moreover, Delaware also doesn’t tax social security income.

Delaware does subject retiree pensions and 401(k) to federal tax. However, those above 60 qualify for an almost $12,500 exclusion from their retirement income, including IRAs and pension income. Additionally, those over 65 also benefit from a further deduction of $2,500.

Another attractive feature of Delaware’s tax policies is the plunging of property taxes. The Blue Hen State has comparatively lower property taxes compared to other U.S. states. Although the numbers may vary by county, property owners over the age of 65 can get a tax credit, given their property tax payments are up to date.

Furthermore, the income tax bracket in the state is also relatively lower than that of other states. Combine all these factors and the lower-than-average gas tax, and you’ve got yourself a fairly tax-friendly home for your retirement years.

Beautiful Beaches

After spending most of your professional life coping with the day-to-day stresses, you probably want to spend the rest of your years relaxing and unwinding. If that’s what you want, then there’s no better way to spend your time than on the beach, living your best summer life!

Delaware has numerous stunning beaches, like Rehoboth, that attract people from all over the States. In fact, Delaware is home to so many beach towns that you’ll be able to explore a new one every time you decide to head to the beach.

Besides burying your feet in the warm sand and enjoying the majestic waters on a Sunday, you will also love the daily seaside retreat opportunities that living near the beach will bring. For instance, you can go for a long stroll and allow the therapeutic scenery to recharge you after a tough day, or you can head to a trail near the beach for a daily morning jog. The best part about Delaware’s beaches is that they are astonishingly clean and well-kept.

Close Proximity to Many Cities

Many seniors looking to retire are often in search of a place away from the hustle-bustle of the city, yet one that’s close enough to all the action. With its close proximity to major cities and metropolitan areas, Delaware is an excellent choice.

The Diamond State has a central location, making it fairly convenient for those looking to travel to other cities and go for day trips. Most major North-Eastern cities, including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, New Jersey, and even New York, are located within short drives from Delaware. It takes barely a few hours to reach any of these cities from Delaware, making it easier for you to take short trips.

Quality Healthcare

You can deny the fact that you require more medical attention as you age. So, if you’re a senior looking to retire somewhere in the U.S., a state’s healthcare system is an important factor to consider before you move. In this respect, Delaware, fortunately, delivers excellent services.

The Diamond State is home to some great healthcare facilities, including quality hospitals, healthcare centers, and experienced professionals. Therefore, if you retire in Delaware, you don’t have to worry about receiving quality medical attention.

Rich Heritage

If you’re fascinated by history, you’d be pleased to learn that Delaware has a rich historical background dating back almost 400 years, with most of it being carefully preserved. Home to several historical landmarks, gorgeous estate homes, and botanical gardens, you won’t have a boring day in the Diamond State.

There are multiple tours that showcase the beautiful 17th-century Dutch architecture and the 1600’s whaling settlement Lewes. Another lovely sight to behold is The Du Pont mansion in Winterthur. Moreover, the Air Mobility Command Museum is also another interesting site to explore for U.S. military enthusiasts.

Delaware also has various small theaters, galleries, museums, and festivals for art aficionados. The Delaware Art Museum is most certainly a site to experience for those looking to explore historical pieces, as it showcases art dating back to the 19th century.

Exciting Nightlife

Looking to make up for the nightlife you missed during your working years? Delaware has got you covered! Home to a wide variety of exciting and thrilling night activities, Delaware has a lot to offer to retirees looking to enjoy their golden years.

The nightlife entertainment scene gears up as the sun sets in the state, giving you numerous opportunities to liven up your mood. Various bustling bars and quality restaurants are present at almost every beach in the state, and every once in a while, you also get to witness the local cultural events. In fact, there’s always so much happening in Delaware that it can very often be easy to lose track.

Known as the culinary coast, Delaware has a myriad of options to offer to those seeking to have a pleasant night full of wine and dining. With limitless choices of diverse and delicious cuisine, you can very well satisfy your taste buds at one of the local eateries.

Potential for a Good Social Life

While this might not be a very critical factor for many seniors looking to move, it may be the deciding factor for others. Everyone needs someone to shelter them from the brutal reality of loneliness, especially at a later age in life, and leaving their family and friends behind doesn’t really help with this problem. Fortunately, Delaware delivers on redeeming seniors from the solitude of old age through its active senior community.

A significant percentage of the state’s residents are retirees, opening up the opportunities for you to make a friend or two within no time. Moreover, with several retirement homes present around the state, you can enroll yourself to receive professional care while living with individuals in the same age bracket as you.

Delaware also has some great options for age-restricted communities in the form of beach properties, waterfront communities, 55+ active adult communities, and small towns.

Cons of Retiring in Delaware

After reading all the pros above, you might be thinking that Delaware lives up to its name as the Diamond State. Well, while the state most certainly delivers on many critical aspects, certain things about it stick out like a sore thumb.

So, if you’re going to make the right decision for yourself, you might as well do it right. Therefore, without further ado, here are some cons of retiring in Delaware.

Population Concerns

Delaware is the second-smallest state in terms of landmass but has a large population amount up to 1 million residents. Considering this, you will have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll be dealing with a high population density when retiring here.

This alarming growth in the population means lots of crowding and congestion, which can be overwhelming for many seniors. So, if you’re particularly adamant about maintaining your personal space and enjoying some peace and calm, you might want to reconsider your decision to move to Delaware.

High Crime Rates

Even though Delaware’s crime rates aren’t too high, you should research them before moving there permanently. According to a report, Delaware ranks 16th among states with the lowest public safety. Although this doesn’t sound too bad, the safety situation in the state could definitely benefit from some improvement.

It’s also important to note that not all cities and towns are grasped with the same crime rates as others. For instance, Wilmington, a town in Delaware, experiences an extremely high number of violent crimes, so much so that it is nicknamed Murder Town, USA.

Over Urbanization

A growing number of people have developed an interest in Delaware only recently, leading to tall buildings and modern structures cropping up at every nook and corner. What was once a calm and serene state with necessary amenities has now grown into a place with limitless facilities. Although the development of the state might sound like a good thing, it, unfortunately, isn’t.

With strip malls, undecorated modern buildings, and other unnecessary structures all around, over-urbanization has turned the Diamond State into a sore sight. Moreover, this, combined with the high population, can be a little overwhelming for a retiree looking for a peaceful place to call home.

Lack of Proper Public Transport

If you’re planning to retire in Delaware, purchasing a car is an inevitable decision you’ll have to make. Delaware isn’t the best or the brightest when it comes to public transport services, making it challenging to get around the state without a car.

The high population density paired with the lack of a proper public transport system results in terrible traffic jams in most Delaware towns and cities. It’s important to note that Delaware has some of the most careless and aggressive drivers, making it difficult for those looking to live a quiet life to get around. If you’re not used to road rage, you probably won’t be able to drive around in this state without letting your anger get the best of you.

Eerie Laws

Every state in the U.S. has its own set of laws, many of which don’t make sense to anyone, including its residents. Well, the same applies to the Diamond State. Delaware has some seriously questionable and weird laws that will leave you wondering if moving here is even a good decision.

For instance, people aren’t allowed to change their clothes in the bathrooms at the beaches, meaning that they have to sit and wait for their clothes to dry or walk home in their wet swimsuits. Given that Delaware is packed with some marvelous beaches, this law seems a bit unfair, doesn’t it?

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