Alaska – Retirement Guide

Alaska   Retirement Guide

Rugged outdoors lovers with a penchant for snow, frigid winter temperatures and remote locales (hey, some people like those things!) will settle in nicely to a retirement in Alaska. The Last Frontier, as the state is known, offers spectacular natural beauty in settings like Denali National Park and Mount McKinley, which many argue is unrivaled across much of the continental United States. Still, in order to enjoy those glorious vistas you must first put up with many months of challenging weather.

Alaska’s 3 million lakes, 3,000 rivers and miles of coastline leave boaters and anglers occupied, while endless acres of parks and trails will occupy hikers, cyclists, bird watchers and campers. Hunters will have scores of wild animals, such as bears and deer, at their fingertips. Winter sports fanatics will experience some of the finest skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in the world.

While there’s no state income or sales tax in Alaska, there are other financial realities to consider. The cost of living in such remote environs is as much as 34 percent higher than the national average, and the median home price is $291,900. Utility costs are far higher here than on the mainland, as are food costs.

Pros: Magnificent natural scenery, plentiful outdoor activities
Con: High cost of living, frigid winters, remote locale

At a Glance:
Best For: Rugged outdoors lovers
Population: 731,449
Cost of Living: 34% higher than national average
Median Home Cost: $291,900
Unemployment: 6%
Top State Income Tax: No state income tax

The population density in Alaska is, in a word, sparse. On average, there’s 1 person per square mile. Still, there are larger towns, like Anchorage (pop. 295,570), Fairbanks (pop. 32,036) and Juneau (pop. 32,164) in which to settle.

Photo by DenaliNPS via Flickr. All statistics were up to date as of publication. See these sources for the most current data.