North Dakota – Retirement Guide

North Dakota   Retirement Guide

It may not be top of mind when you think of fabulous retirement destinations, but North Dakota — yes, frigid North Dakota — was recently named one of the 10 best states for retirement by Bankrate.com. For retirees who don’t mind the chill (the state’s average temperature over the past 31 years is 41 degrees), North Dakota has a number of benefits including access to health care, the second lowest crime rate in the nation, a low cost of living and low tax burden.

Industry in North Dakota is booming, thanks to oil; in fact the state is now topped only by Texas in oil production. The unemployment rate is also staggeringly low, at 3.3%. Despite the boom in business, cost of living remains 7% lower than the national average, and the median home price is $180,700.

Retirees considering a move to North Dakota should be well-suited for the outdoors. The state is largely undeveloped which gives residents ample room to explore.

Pros: Beautiful landscape, low crime rate, low cost of living
Con: Cold and snowy winters

At a Glance
Best For:Cold weather fans
Population: 683,932
Cost of Living: 7% lower than national average
Median Home Cost: $180,700
Unemployment: 3.3%
Top State Income Tax: 3.99%

Waterways include the Missouri River, Lake Sakakawea, Devil’s Lake and Red River, all popular with boating and fishing enthusiasts.

Hunting is another favorite pastime; the state is home to a number of big game species, waterfowl and game birds. Residents can also visit scenic Theodore Roosevelt National Park for hiking, biking and camping.

Besides cold weather, one downside of retiring in North Dakota is that the state taxes Social Security income. Still, the state income tax is so incredibly low that this doesn’t usually have an enormous impact.

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