Retiring in Maine: a complete guide
Thinking of retiring in Maine? This article explores the pros and cons, costs, tax benefits, top locations, and other key factors to weigh when planning your retirement in the Pine Tree State.
Maine's largest city, Portland, is a popular retirement destination for its vibrant cultural scene, historic architecture, and proximity to the ocean.
Maine offers a property tax relief program for eligible residents aged 62 or older.
Maine exempts Social Security benefits and up to $10,000 of pension income from state income taxes.
Maine's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income.
According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data for 2021, the average annual cost of living in Maine was $50,559, meaning retirees will need a yearly income of over $50,000 to live in the state comfortably.
Best places to retire in Maine
If Maine is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Portland: Maine's largest city, Portland, is a popular retirement destination for its vibrant cultural scene, historic architecture, and proximity to the ocean. The city has a variety of restaurants, galleries, and theaters, as well as excellent healthcare options.
Kennebunkport: This coastal town is a popular destination for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and hiking. It also has a charming downtown area with boutique shops and art galleries.
Camden: Located on the midcoast of Maine, Camden is known for its scenic beauty and vibrant arts community. Retirees can enjoy hiking in Camden Hills State Park or sailing on Penobscot Bay, as well as exploring the town's many art galleries and shops.
Bar Harbor: This coastal town is situated on Mount Desert Island and is a popular destination for retirees who enjoy hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. The town is also home to Acadia National Park, which offers breathtaking views of the coast and mountains.
Brunswick: This college town is located on the midcoast of Maine and offers a variety of cultural and educational opportunities. Retirees can attend concerts and lectures at Bowdoin College or explore the town's historic district, which features well-preserved 19th-century architecture.
If you plan on retiring to Maine, it's worth speaking to a qualified financial advisor to find the best city for your budget. Match with an advisor here.
What are the pros and cons of retiring in Maine
If you’re considering spending your retirement in Maine, it’s vital you weigh up the pros and cons before you make the move:
Tax benefits: Maine offers a property tax relief program for eligible residents aged 62 or older. Additionally, the state exempts Social Security benefits and up to $10,000 of pension income from state income taxes. With the complexity of the tax situation in Maine, it is advisable for seniors looking to retire in Maine to consult with a financial advisor or tax professional to ensure they are receiving all benefits available to them.
Low crime rate: Maine has a relatively low crime rate compared to other states, making it a safe and peaceful place to live.
Natural beauty: Maine is known for its beautiful natural scenery, including the rugged coastline, dense forests, and numerous lakes and rivers. The state also offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating.
Cultural scene: Maine has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state also hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the famous Lobster Festival in Rockland.
Fresh seafood: Maine is famous for its fresh seafood, including lobster, clams, and oysters. Retirees can enjoy the local cuisine in many coastal towns and cities.
Cold winters: Maine experiences cold winters with significant snowfall, which may not be appealing to all retirees. However, many retirees enjoy the winter season and take advantage of outdoor activities such as skiing and snowmobiling.
Limited healthcare options: Maine's rural areas may have limited access to healthcare facilities, which could be a concern for retirees with medical needs.
High cost of living: Maine's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. However, many retirees find that the state's natural beauty and quality of life make it worth the extra expense. Getting informed financial guidance can help retirees on limited budgets maximize their quality of life in Maine.
Limited job opportunities: Maine has a relatively small economy and limited job opportunities, which could be a concern for retirees looking to supplement their retirement income.
What age can you retire in Maine?
In Maine, there is 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 Maine:
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.
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.
With optimal retirement timing dependent on personal factors like healthcare, income sources, and savings, getting informed financial guidance can help maximize this major life transition.
How much money do you need to retire in Maine?
According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data for 2021, the average annual cost of living in Maine was $50,559.
As mentioned, Maine one of the downsides of retiring in Maine is its high cost of living.
According to data gathered in 2022 from MERIC, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, the state ranks 40th in a list of states with the lowest to the highest cost of living. This means that if you live in Maine, you will need more money to live off when you retire compared to other states.
Is Maine a good place to retire?
Maine is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a peaceful and scenic environment with access to outdoor activities, fresh seafood, and a vibrant cultural scene. With its beautiful coastline, dense forests, and small-town charm, Maine offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.
While there is no official count of how many people retire to Maine each year, data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that, in 2020, Maine had a population of approximately 1.3 million people, with more than 20% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.
You can also check out our complete guide to the best and worst states to retire here.
It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Maine, 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.