Wisconsin – Retirement Guide

Wisconsin   Retirement Guide

For the right type of retiree, settling in Wisconsin can be a heckuva good time. You’ll be surrounded by fellow “cheeseheads,” cheering on the Green Bay Packers, drinking a seemingly endless variety of locally microbrewed beers, and enjoying life in a history-rich state with a strong German-American heritage.

Retirees can choose to live in quiet, rural areas or more bustling urban enclaves, like Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city and bastion of breweries, or the vibrant college town of Madison, all at a cost of living that’s on par with the national average.

The median home price in Wisconsin is $139,500, making the state an affordable retirement destination for many retirees. The state’s top income tax rate is relatively high, at 7.75 percent, and although Social Security is exempt from taxes, pensions and annuities are taxed.

While sports lovers will be kept satisfied with Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers games, outdoors lovers can visit the popular vacation destination, Door County peninsula.

Pros: Access to lakes and waterways, excellent outdoor activities, fun sports and beer culture
Con: Annuities and pensions are taxed, frigid winters

At a Glance
Best For: Cold weather lovers
Population: 5,726,000
Cost of Living: On par with national average
Median Home Cost: $139,500
Unemployment: 7.1%
Top State Income Tax: 7.75%

This scenic region offers excellent beaches, waterways, campgrounds, hiking and bicycling trails, and even wineries and lighthouses. Other popular sites in Wisconsin include Wisconsin Dells, home to a number of entertaining waterparks — perfect for when the grandkids visit — such as Noah’s Ark.

Golfers can try their arm at one of the state’s 500-plus golf courses, while anglers and boaters will be in proximity to at least 15,000 lakes, including Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. If hunting floats your boat, the state has that covered as well, with millions of acres of public hunting lands teeming with wildlife, like white-tailed deer.

One downside to consider when thinking of retirement in Wisconsin is the weather. Winters can be frigid and snow-filled. That said, winter weather lovers may find their bliss in the midst of average low temperatures of 6 degrees.

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