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Want to Know About Retiring in Texas? Here’s Your 2024 Guide

Retirement Texas

by Bridget Houlihan Posted on December 19, 2023

If you’re looking for a great state to spend those golden years in, you should definitely consider retiring in Texas. The Lone Star State is the second largest state in the country, which means you’ll have all kinds of options when you’re ready to settle down into retirement. And whether you prefer city living or small-town charm, Texas is filled with affordable options. In fact, retirees from all walks of life can find a home in Texas. It’s full of friendly communities with lots of outdoor opportunities and more space for your money — just to name a few benefits. From bustling big cities and towns near the ocean to quiet places on the plains, there’s no place quite like Texas!

 

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What Are the Benefits of Retiring in Texas?

When you think of Texas, chances are, you think of wide open spaces, beautiful Gulf beaches, and friendly hospitality. And you wouldn’t be wrong! Texans are known to be very welcoming, which is important to those looking for a safe place to spend their golden years. 

One of the major benefits of retiring in Texas is its mild weather. If you’re done shoveling snow and dealing with ice, then Texas would be a great retirement choice. 

It also has a relatively low cost of living compared to other popular places among retirees. It’s important to note that the cost of living will vary depending on whether you choose to live in a larger city or a smaller town. But no matter where you live, you won’t have to worry about an overload of taxes overall, as the state ranks 13th in the nation when it comes to low taxes.

And did we mention Texas has 367 miles of Gulf shoreline? That means there’s plenty of coastal area available, if you always wanted to retire close to the beach.

Retiring in Texas FAQs

Q: Is Texas a good state for retirees?
A:
Yes, Texas is a wonderful state for retirees! With no state income tax, affordable housing, and lots of recreational opportunities, Texas should be high on your list.

Q: Why are retirees leaving Texas?
A:
Some retirees are leaving Texas because of the high property taxes and sales tax.

Q: Is it better to retire in Texas or Florida?
A:
That’s a personal decision, of course, but Texas does offer a lower cost of living and more access to affordable housing, compared to Florida. 

Q: Where is the best place to retire on Social Security in Texas?
A: 
If you’re living off of your Social Security benefits, you may want to consider these best places to retire in Texas on a budget: Athens, Lufkin, Port Arthur, Lubbock, and Midland. 

A recently retired couple poses for a photo with their adult son and granddaughter at their new Texas ranch.

Retiring in Texas – Pros and Cons

It’s important to do your research when it comes to figuring out the best place to spend your retirement. Everyone’s situation is different, but chances are, as a retiree, you’re looking for a place that’s affordable, has lots of entertainment options, has access to quality healthcare, and is in a safe community. And while the Lone Star State offers all of this (and more!), it’s important to cover both the pros and cons of retiring in Texas.

Pro: Affordable Cost of Living

Texas has an affordable cost of living, coming in at 94.2/100, which means things like groceries, entertainment, utilities, and housing are all below the national average. This is fantastic news for retirees on a budget. The housing cost in Texas, in particular, is 83.5/100, so you can expect to find the retirement home of your dreams for a lot less than you would in other states.

Con: Severe Weather and Natural Disasters

Because Texas is so big, depending on where you choose to settle down, you may experience some severe weather. This can mean tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, and possibly hurricanes on the coast. 

Pro: Limitless Outdoor Activities

Texas has all kinds of beautiful areas for you to live — whether that’s the coast, the prairies, the canyon country, or the hill country. Suffice it to say, you’ll never get bored living in any of these picturesque locales. And once you’re a local, you can take advantage of plenty of fun outdoor activities, like walking, boating, fishing, horseback riding, or simply sitting outside and enjoying the view.

Con: Tough Summer Climate

Texas has relatively mild weather throughout the year, but it is susceptible to very high temperatures in the summer. Between May and September, 90 degree days are normal, and you can expect plenty of humidity and sunshine. The chance for high heat indexes may vary, depending on where you live in Texas.

Pro: Top-Tier Healthcare

In Texas, you’ll find that you’re never far from a great healthcare system. Whether you need to manage chronic conditions, are looking for a specialist, or just need a primary care physician, Texas has plenty of world-class options. 

Con: Big-City Crime Rates

Texas has some large cities — including Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio — and with larger cities come higher rates of crime. If you want to retire to a large city, make sure you do your research and find a safe senior community that meets your needs. 

Close-up view of a calculator being used by a senior couple to calculate their retirement savings.

How Much Money Do You Need To Retire in Texas?

According to CNBC, to retire comfortably in Texas, you’ll need around $60,353 annually. This can vary from location to location, though, and of course, how much money you need to retire comfortably in Texas depends on factors such as your particular lifestyle and how much you saved up for retirement. 

One of the major benefits of retiring in Texas? It’s a low-tax state. There are no state income, inheritance, or estate taxes, and the especially good news for retirees is that Social Security, pensions, IRAs, and 401(k)s are not taxed either. This means you’ll have more money in your pocket to enjoy hobbies, spend time with family, or explore your community!

It’s important, however, to be aware that although Texas has no estate taxes, the local property taxes can be high, depending on where you choose to live. But to help seniors with this, those 65 and older can claim an additional $10,000 exemption on their homes — on top of other exemptions available to Texas homeowners.

The sales tax in Texas is 6.25 percent; however, many items are not subject to this tax, including:

  • Prescription medications
  • Groceries
  • Over-the-counter medication

The Best Places To Retire in Texas

1. DeCordova, TX

DeCordova is one of the best small towns in Texas to retire. In fact, residents think it’s one of the best kept secrets in the state. It’s a safe, gated community located right on Lake Granbury and is only 45 miles from Dallas-Fort Worth. That means you’ll get the best of both worlds: a small community to live in with easy access to dining, attractions, and entertainment in the big city.

Although home to families and professionals, DeCordova is a great place for seniors because there are a lot of ways to stay involved in the community. You can enjoy visiting the local businesses, getting in a round of golf at one of the 7 golf courses, or walking the trails along the lake, taking in the beautiful scenery. Lake Granbury is also a great place for boating or fishing, and locals love stopping by Abby’s Restaurant for a bite afterward.

2. Bullard, TX

Located in the east-central part of the state, you’ll love the neighborly and outgoing community that surrounds you in Bullard. You can enjoy small-town fun like decorating the town Christmas tree, going to farmer’s markets, or watching the fireworks on the 4th of July. 

Bullard is close to larger cities like Tyler, and you have easy access to Lake Palestine and all the outdoor fun available there — especially if you like fishing! Don’t feel like you have to compete in the local bass tournament to have a good time, though. Lots of folks just love all the boating, camping, and walking options this man-made reservoir offers. 

You can also enjoy a round or two of golf at the Eagle’s Bluff Country Club. And when the grandkids visit, you can take them to the nearby Caldwell Zoo. When you’re done, make sure to visit Hondo and Shortys for burgers or Milano’s Pizza for a slice.

Aerial view of Barton Springs and the skyline of Austin, Texas. The Springs are just 8 miles from nearby Barton Creek, Texas.

Barton Springs in Austin, Texas (just 8 miles from Barton Creek)

3. Barton Creek, TX

Wanting to retire near Austin? Then you should consider Barton Creek. It’s a mere 30-minute drive from the big city.

In Barton Creek, there’s always time for a golf game at the Westlake Country Club, or you can go hiking or bird watching in the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve.

And, of course, when you want to make that short drive to Austin, you’ll have access to world-class entertainment options like:

Bring the grandkids along, and enjoy a day at the Kalahari Resorts or the Museum of Ice Cream!

It’s also the live music capital of the world, so you won’t have a hard time finding music of all genres to listen to. And when you’re ready to grab some delicious fare, consider stopping into CARVE or Nopales.

4. Weston Lakes, TX

Located in Fort Bend County, Weston Lakes is 45 minutes from Houston and offers residents a quiet, relaxed lifestyle. In addition to the welcoming atmosphere, there are plenty of local amenities seniors are sure to love. There’s an 18-hole golf course to play on, opportunities to fish on the Brazos River, trails to walk along the shore, or you can just enjoy relaxing in Pecan Park — just to name a few. When you’re ready for a bite, locals love the Texas cuisine at the Saltgrass Steak House and the seafood at Pier 36 Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar.

4. Weston Lakes, TX

Located just north of Dallas is the lovely area known as Highland Park. You can expect well-maintained streets, beautiful homes, friendly neighbors, and lots of ways to get involved in the community, if you spend your retirement years here. 

Want to practice your golf swing? Check out the Dallas Country Club. Interested in staying active elsewhere? You can always walk or bike around Turtle Creek and Exall Lake.

You can also scoot over to the Highland Park Village for any and all shopping needs. Be sure to check out what’s on the menu at the upscale Cafe Pacific or Sadelle’s!

Of course, the bustling city of Dallas offers all kinds of amazing options, when it comes to a night out on the town or a fun afternoon with the grandkids. Some of the top amenities include:

Best Places To Retire in Texas on a Budget

Looking for an affordable option to retire in Texas when you’re on that retirement budget? You’re not alone. Lots of retirees are conscious of keeping their living expenses low. Consider these charming options:

  • Athens
  • Lufkin
  • Port Arthur
  • Lubbock
  • Midland

A senior couple is checking out the PODS portable moving container in their driveway as a PODS driver opens the door to the container.

Retiring in Texas: Making the Move

When you’re ready to move to one of the best places in Texas to retire, enlist the help of PODS to get you there. Each move always comes with one month of free storage, so you can take your time packing and loading. And PODS can even give you suggestions for local packing and loading help to make moving into your new home that much easier.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25 and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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