Ames, Iowa – Retirement Guide

Ames, Iowa   Retirement Guide

In Ames, retirees won’t be living in solitude in the midst of Iowa’s flat farmland; the town is home to rolling hills, Iowa State University, passionate sports fans and a colorful town center. The university’s presence means resident’s are privy to its vibrant cultural offerings, including guest speakers, lectures, film screenings and concerts. Additionally, retirees interested in continuing education opportunities will find plenty on offer at the university — from foreign language courses to cooking lessons.

Beyond the university’s campus, Ames lies in the midst of nearly 40 parks, many of which are connected by almost 60 miles of hiking and bicycling trails, as well as a number of golf courses. While outdoor activities are ample though much of the year, retirees should be aware that winters in Ames can be frigid.

Ames boasts a low cost of living, low crime rates and a median home price of $163,500. Retirees who’d like to work in retirement might find themselves in luck in Ames; the town’s unemployment is an extremely low 3.3%, and the university is one of the top employers. Still, retirees should be aware that the state’s top income tax rate is high, at 8.98%.

Pros: University town with ample cultural offerings, near many parks and trails
Con: High state taxes

At a Glance
Best For: College town lovers
Population: 59,042
Cost of Living: 7% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $163,500
Unemployment: 3.3%
Top State Income Tax: 8.98%
Crime Rate: 35% lower than national average

Top Retirement Cities in Iowa:  Ames

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