Retiring in Louisiana
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Louisiana.
Louisiana, located in the Southern region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a relaxed and vibrant environment with access to outdoor activities, rich history, and delicious cuisine. With its beautiful coastline, charming towns, and bustling cities, Louisiana offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Louisiana had a population of approximately 4.6 million people, with over 14% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the states with a large retirement population.
What age can you retire in Louisiana?
Like many states, Louisiana has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose, as long as they are able to financially support themselves. However, there are some age-related benefits and considerations for retirees in Louisiana:
Social Security benefits: The earliest age at which you can begin receiving Social Security benefits is 62, but if you delay taking benefits, your monthly payments will increase. Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year. Delaying benefits until after FRA can result in even higher monthly payments.
Medicare eligibility: Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, regardless of retirement status. However, if you choose to retire before age 65, you will need to find alternative healthcare coverage until you become eligible for Medicare.
Age discrimination: It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on age.
Retirement savings: Regardless of retirement age, it is important for individuals to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Many financial experts recommend saving at least 15% of your income for retirement.
However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state.
Why do people retire to Louisiana?
Relaxed environment: Louisiana is known for its laid-back and friendly atmosphere, providing retirees with a relaxed and comfortable environment to enjoy their golden years.
Outdoor activities: Louisiana is home to numerous state parks, wildlife refuges, and beautiful waterways, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, hiking, and birdwatching.
Rich history and culture: Louisiana is steeped in history and culture, with a unique blend of French, Spanish, and African-American influences. The state boasts numerous museums, historic sites, and festivals celebrating its cultural heritage.
Delicious cuisine: Louisiana is famous for its delicious cuisine, including gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, and po'boys. Retirees can enjoy exploring the many restaurants and markets that serve up these delectable dishes.
What puts people off retiring to Louisiana?
Hurricanes: Louisiana is prone to hurricanes, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas. However, the state has taken steps to improve its disaster preparedness and response systems.
Humidity: Louisiana has a humid subtropical climate, which could be a concern for retirees who prefer a drier climate. Summers can be hot and humid, but many retirees find the mild winters to be a welcome trade-off.
Healthcare access: Some areas of Louisiana have limited healthcare access, which could be a concern for retirees with certain medical conditions. However, the state has made efforts to improve healthcare access in rural areas.
Best places to retire in Louisiana
If Louisiana is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Baton Rouge: The capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, is a great place to retire. It has a low cost of living, mild climate, and a rich history and culture. The city has a number of retirement communities, senior centers, and healthcare facilities.
Lafayette: Lafayette is located in the heart of Cajun country and is known for its rich culture, great food, and lively music scene. The city has a low cost of living and a mild climate, making it an attractive retirement destination.
Lake Charles: Lake Charles is a charming city located in Southwest Louisiana. It has a low cost of living and a mild climate, making it an affordable and comfortable place to retire. The city has a number of retirement communities and healthcare facilities.
Alexandria: Alexandria is a small city located in central Louisiana, known for its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. It has a low cost of living, with affordable housing options and a variety of healthcare providers.
Shreveport: Shreveport is a mid-sized city located in northwestern Louisiana, near the Texas border. It has a rich cultural heritage, with a variety of museums, galleries, and music venues to explore. Shreveport also has a low cost of living, with affordable housing and healthcare options.
In conclusion, retiring to Louisiana offers a unique and relaxed environment with access to outdoor activities, rich culture, and delicious cuisine. However, retirees should be aware of the potential for hurricanes, humidity, and limited healthcare access in some areas. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Louisiana, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses, in order to make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for your retirement.
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.