Retiring in Dallas
From pros and cons to the best locations and age-related considerations and taxes, we look at why retiring in Dallas can be a good option.
Dallas's cost of living is 0.2% higher than the national average.
Texas is a tax-friendly state - there’s no state income tax, and you can apply for property tax exemptions.
Pros include affordable housing, year-round warm weather, tax friendliness and exemptions, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Cons include a higher crime rate than some other US cities, high sales tax, and a vast area that requires lots of driving.
When making such a big decision about where to spend your retirement, it's important to seek expert financial advice.
Is Dallas a good place to retire?
With a ranking of 100.2 on the BestPlaces Cost of Living Index, Dallas is a mere 0.2% higher than the US average and 6.4% higher than the Texas average. With the total cost of housing, groceries, transportation, healthcare, and taxes being almost on par with the national average, year-round events and attractions, and the tax-friendliness of the Lone Star state, retiring in Dallas could be a great choice for you.
Of course, it’s important to remember that you will pay more to live in certain areas than in others, and your other spending and lifestyle choices will also impact your finances during retirement. If you’re one of the many Americans looking at making your home in a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb such as Richardson, Southlake, or Fairview, this article is for you.
What are the pros and cons of retiring in Dallas?
As with all locations in the US and around the world, there are pros and cons to retiring in Dallas. Let’s take a closer look.
A tax-friendly location: The state of Texas does not charge state income tax, nor does it tax retirees’ benefits or post-retirement income. Groceries, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medication are exempt from sales tax.
Low housing prices: The availability of land in and around the city and the state means that housing prices are relatively low compared to what you would pay for the same type of property in other states.
Homestead exemption: At least $25,000 of your property’s appraised value is exempt from tax if you use your property as your principal residence. If you are 65 or older, you can claim an additional $10,000 exemption.
Hot summers and mild winters: If you aren’t a fan of cold weather, you might find the region’s hot summers and mild winters (average daily high temperature below 64°F) enough of a drawcard to consider living in one of the retirement communities in Dallas.
Art and culture scene: Dallas has a thriving art and culture scene, with many galleries, theaters, opera houses, and other venues.
Getting around: The Dallas-Fort Worth area is vast, and while there is reliable public transportation, getting around can be frustrating if you do not have your own vehicle.
Crime rate: With a crime index of 4, Dallas has a higher crime rate than many other US cities, which might make you think twice about a Dallas retirement.
High sales and sin taxes: Although groceries, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter medication are exempt, other goods and services come with a state sales tax of approximately 8.2%.
What are the best places to retire in Dallas?
If you have your heart set on living in Dallas, you should consider the best places to retire in Dallas. Here are five of the top spots for retirees:
Richardson: Niche’s 12th best place to retire in America in 2023; Richardson offers an array of affordable housing options, excellent golf courses, and vibrant events throughout the year.
Southlake: Only 30 miles from downtown Dallas Fort Worth and a 15-minute drive from DFW International Airport, Southlake has a fantastic location. The suburb boasts a popular outdoor mall, parks, restaurants, a movie theater, golf clubs, annual events, free concerts, and much more.
Rockwall: A charming suburb on the east bank of Lake Ray Hubbard, Rockwall offers a variety of housing styles, from Tudor-style residences to modern townhomes on spacious lots. You’ll also find a golf and athletic club, boating, fishing, and other lifestyle options, and an array of amenities and shops – and all this is less than an hour’s drive from downtown Dallas.
Fairview: An idyllic suburb near Lake Lavon, Fairview is home to more than 55 retirement communities in Dallas. Along with being situated close to parks and green landscapes, the suburb offers convenient amenities, many dining and shopping options, and easy access to North Dallas, thanks to Highway 75.
Plano: Plano is a suburb that offers something for everyone. Retirees appreciate the many public parks, vibrant arts scene, cultural enrichment opportunities, theaters, boutiques, and more than 70 shopping centers.
What age can you retire in Dallas?
There is no legally mandated retirement age in Texas. However, there are a few age-related considerations that might make you wait a few more years before retiring in Dallas:
Social Security benefits: You can start receiving benefits when you turn 62 years old. However, delaying them can lead to an increase in your monthly payment size.
Medicare eligibility: Regardless of your retirement status, Medicare eligibility begins at age 65.
Age discrimination is illegal: According to the law, employers may not discriminate against job applicants or employees based on age.
Retirement savings: Most financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement, which makes it important for you to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Take a look at the average retirement savings in the US here.
What taxes do retirees pay in Dallas?
The Lone Star state is tax-friendly, so there’s no state income tax. This means you won’t be taxed at the state level for Social Security benefits, pension income, retirement account income, and all other types of retirement income (including if you work part-time after retiring in Dallas).
Although there is a sales tax of more than 8% in Dallas, groceries and some medications are exempt. There also are exemptions and discounts on the 1.60% property tax for retirees who own the property they live in as their main residence. Texas also doesn’t charge estate or inheritance taxes. The only other taxes that might affect you are the sin taxes, such as the $1.41 tobacco tax on packs of cigarettes and the 8.25% tax on alcoholic beverages.
The bottom line
With year-round warm weather, ample space, affordable properties, vibrant communities, modern amenities, and tax-friendly laws, Dallas has much to offer.
If you’re considering retiring in Dallas, make sure you learn more about retirement and how to prepare for it at Unbiased. Let us match you with a regulated financial advisor whose expert financial advice can help you prepare for your golden years.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.