Retiring in Massachusetts
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts, located in the northeastern region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a rich and diverse environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its beautiful coastline, rolling hills, and historic cities, Massachusetts offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Massachusetts had a population of approximately 7 million people, with over 16% 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 Massachusetts?
Like many states, Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts:
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 Massachusetts?
Diverse environment: Massachusetts is known for its diversity, from its historic cities to its beautiful coastal towns. Retirees can enjoy living in a diverse environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and cultural experiences.
Moderate climate: Massachusetts has a four-season climate, with mild summers and cold winters. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who enjoy the changing seasons and want to avoid extreme weather conditions.
Outdoor activities: Massachusetts is home to numerous national parks, forests, and beaches, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and boating.
Cultural scene: Massachusetts 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 Boston Marathon, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, and the Salem Halloween Festival.
What puts people off retiring to Massachusetts?
Cost of living: Massachusetts' 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: Massachusetts is known for its heavy traffic, particularly in and around the major cities of Boston, Worcester, and Springfield.
Natural disasters: Massachusetts is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, blizzards, and flooding, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas.
Best places to retire in Massachusetts
If Massachusetts is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Boston: Boston is a popular retirement destination for those who love urban living. The city offers a rich cultural scene, excellent healthcare facilities, and easy access to many amenities.
Cape Cod: Cape Cod is a beautiful coastal region that is popular with retirees for its scenic beauty, laid-back lifestyle, and rich history. The area is known for its beaches, lighthouses, and quaint seaside towns.
Martha's Vineyard: Martha's Vineyard is an island located off the coast of Massachusetts that is known for its beautiful beaches, scenic landscapes, and charming small towns. The island has a relaxed, laid-back vibe that makes it a popular retirement destination.
Worcester: Worcester is a city in central Massachusetts that offers a high quality of life at an affordable cost. The city has excellent healthcare facilities, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and easy access to Boston.
Springfield: Springfield is a city in western Massachusetts that is known for its affordability, excellent healthcare facilities, and beautiful parks and outdoor spaces. The city is also home to many cultural attractions, including the Springfield Museums and the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Northampton: Northampton is a charming small town in western Massachusetts that is popular with retirees for its excellent healthcare facilities, vibrant arts and culture scene, and beautiful natural surroundings.
In conclusion, Massachusetts offers a range of retirement options, from historic cities to beautiful coastal towns. Retirees can enjoy a mild climate and a variety of recreational activities but should be prepared for a higher cost of living. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Massachusetts, 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.