Retiring in Maryland
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Maryland.
Maryland, located on the East Coast of the United States, is an attractive retirement destination for many Americans seeking a diverse and historic environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its stunning Chesapeake Bay, mountains, and vibrant cities, Maryland offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Maryland had a population of approximately 6.1 million people, with over 15% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a large retirement population.
What age can you retire in Maryland?
Like many states, Maryland 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 Maryland:
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 Maryland?
Diverse environment: Maryland is known for its diversity, from its historic cities to its beautiful natural areas. Retirees can enjoy living in a diverse environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences.
Moderate climate: Maryland's climate varies depending on the region, but many areas have a moderate climate with mild winters and warm summers. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who want to avoid harsh weather conditions.
Outdoor activities: Maryland is home to several state and national parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and sailing.
Cultural scene: Maryland has a rich cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C., and the Annapolis Film Festival.
What puts people off retiring to Maryland?
Cost of living: Maryland's cost of living is generally higher than the national average, which could be a concern for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs, in particular, are higher than in many other states.
Traffic: Maryland is known for its heavy traffic, particularly in and around the major cities of Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Natural disasters: Maryland is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas.
Best places to retire in Maryland
If Maryland is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Annapolis: Located on the Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis offers a charming historic district with plenty of shopping and dining options. The city also has access to water activities and boating.
Silver Spring: Silver Spring is a vibrant and diverse city that offers plenty of cultural events and entertainment options. It is also close to Washington, D.C., making it easy to access museums and other attractions.
Frederick: Frederick is a small town with a historic downtown area and plenty of outdoor activities nearby, including hiking and fishing. It also has a lower cost of living compared to many other cities in Maryland.
Columbia: Columbia is a planned community that offers plenty of amenities and activities for retirees, including parks, bike trails, and a range of cultural events.
Ocean City: For retirees who love the beach, Ocean City is a popular destination. The town offers a lively boardwalk with plenty of shops and restaurants, as well as access to water sports and fishing.
Salisbury: Salisbury is a smaller city that offers a lower cost of living and plenty of outdoor activities, including kayaking, fishing, and hiking. It also has a thriving arts scene with plenty of galleries and museums.
Bel Air: Bel Air is a charming small town with a historic downtown area and plenty of parks and outdoor spaces. It is also close to several major cities, including Baltimore and Philadelphia.
In conclusion, Maryland offers a diverse range of retirement destinations with plenty of cultural and outdoor activities, as well as a lower cost of living compared to some other states in the region. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Maryland, 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.