Retiring in Missouri
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Missouri.
Missouri, located in the Midwest region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a more affordable and relaxed environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its scenic countryside, lakes, and charming small towns, Missouri offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Missouri had a population of approximately 6.2 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 Missouri?
Like many states, Missouri 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 Missouri:
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 Missouri?
Affordable cost of living: Missouri's cost of living is generally lower than the national average, which could be a significant draw for retirees on a fixed income. Housing and healthcare costs are lower than in many other states.
Scenic beauty: Missouri has numerous lakes, forests, and scenic countryside, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and hiking. The state also offers many charming small towns with a rich history and cultural heritage.
Mild climate: Missouri has a humid continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. However, the state has a more moderate climate than some other Midwest states, making it an attractive destination for retirees who want to avoid harsh weather conditions.
Cultural scene: Missouri 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 Missouri State Fair, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, and the Ozark Empire Fair.
What puts people off retiring to Missouri?
Natural disasters: Missouri is prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, and ice storms, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas.
Limited public transportation: Missouri is a largely rural state, with limited public transportation options. Retirees who do not drive may find it difficult to access services and activities.
Limited healthcare options: While Missouri has several large hospitals and medical centers, some areas of the state may have limited healthcare options, which could be a concern for retirees with complex medical needs.
Best places to retire in Missouri
If Missouri is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Branson: Known as the "Live Music Capital of the World," Branson is a popular retirement destination due to its low cost of living, scenic beauty, and abundance of entertainment options. With dozens of theaters, restaurants, and shops, Branson offers retirees plenty of activities to keep them busy.
Columbia: Home to the University of Missouri, Columbia is a vibrant and affordable city that offers retirees a high quality of life. With a low cost of living, excellent healthcare, and plenty of cultural events and outdoor activities, Columbia is a great choice for retirees who want to stay active and engaged.
Lake of the Ozarks: Located in central Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks is a popular retirement destination due to its natural beauty, mild climate, and abundance of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and hiking. The area is also home to numerous golf courses, restaurants, and shops, making it a great place to retire for those who enjoy an active lifestyle.
St. Louis: As the largest city in Missouri, St. Louis offers retirees a vibrant and diverse urban experience. With a rich history, numerous cultural attractions, and a thriving arts scene, St. Louis is a great place to retire for those who want to be close to the action.
Springfield: Located in southwest Missouri, Springfield is a friendly and affordable city that offers retirees a high quality of life. With excellent healthcare, a low cost of living, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities, Springfield is a great choice for retirees who want to stay active and engaged.
In conclusion, Missouri offers a range of retirement options, whether you are looking for an outdoor lifestyle with beautiful scenery or a rich cultural environment. Retirees should be prepared for limited transportation and healthcare options. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Missouri, 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.