Retiring in Nebraska
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Nebraska.
Nebraska is home to a large number of retirees, many of whom are drawn to the state for its affordable cost of living and friendly communities.
Despite its beauty, the state is prone to harsh winters, which some retirees may find difficult.
Lincoln, Omaha, and Grand Island are some of the standout locations for retirees in the state.
Speak to a financial advisor about getting ready for retirement.
Is Nebraska a good place to retire?
Nebraska, located in the Midwestern region of the United States, is an increasingly popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a peaceful and affordable environment with access to a variety of outdoor activities, cultural events, and friendly communities. With its vast prairies, rolling hills, and welcoming small towns, Nebraska offers a unique retirement experience that attracts more retirees every year.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Nebraska had a population of approximately 1.9 million people, with over 16% of the population being over the age of 65, making it one of the top states with a significant retirement population.
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Retiring in Nebraska: Pros and cons
Affordable living: Nebraska is known for its low cost of living compared to many other states, which could be a significant advantage for retirees on a fixed income. Housing, healthcare, and daily expenses are all generally more affordable in Nebraska.
Friendly communities: Nebraska is renowned for its friendly and welcoming communities, with many retirees finding comfort in the small-town atmosphere and neighborly feel of the state.
Outdoor activities: Nebraska has a rich natural landscape with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and camping. The state is also home to several national parks, including Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, and Scotts Bluff National Monument.
Cultural events: Nebraska has a diverse cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Nebraska State Fair, the Omaha Summer Arts Festival, and the Great American Comedy Festival.
Harsh winters: Nebraska experiences long, cold winters with heavy snowfall, which could be a concern for retirees who prefer milder weather conditions.
Limited public transportation: Nebraska is largely a rural state, and public transportation options are limited, making it challenging for retirees who don't drive or prefer to use public transport.
Limited healthcare options: While healthcare is more affordable in Nebraska compared to other states, the availability of healthcare options, particularly in rural areas, could be a concern for retirees who require specialized medical attention.
What is the retirement age in Nebraska?
Like many states, Nebraska 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 Nebraska:
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. You could check out the average retirement savings in the US.
However, like any location, there are both pros and cons to retiring in the state.
Is Nebraska tax-friendly for retirees?
Retirement income in Nebraska, including Social Security, is taxed as regular income.
The only deduction Nebraska offers on retirement income applies to military retirement income.
Adding Nebraska’s relatively high property and inheritance taxes into the equation, some retirees may find Nebraska’s tax on seniors a little too high.
Where is the best place to retire in Nebraska?
If Nebraska is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Lincoln: As the capital city of Nebraska, Lincoln offers retirees access to cultural events, museums, and restaurants. It is also home to the University of Nebraska, which offers educational and volunteer opportunities for retirees. Housing costs in Lincoln are lower than in many other cities in the United States.
Omaha: With a population of over 400,000 people, Omaha offers retirees access to a variety of entertainment options, including a thriving arts scene, a robust culinary scene, and multiple professional sports teams. Housing costs are reasonable, and the city offers a variety of housing options, including apartments, condos, and single-family homes.
Grand Island: Grand Island is a small city of around 50,000 people located in the central part of Nebraska. It offers retirees access to numerous parks, trails, and outdoor activities, as well as affordable housing options.
Kearney: Kearney is a small city of around 35,000 people located in the central part of Nebraska. It is home to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, which offers educational and volunteer opportunities for retirees. The city also offers access to numerous parks, trails, and outdoor activities, as well as affordable housing options.
Scottsbluff: Scottsbluff is a small city of around 15,000 people located in the western part of Nebraska. It offers retirees access to numerous parks, trails, and outdoor activities, as well as affordable housing options. The city is also home to Western Nebraska Community College, which offers educational and volunteer opportunities for retirees.
The bottom line
Nebraska offers retirees an affordable lifestyle with a welcoming community, diverse cultural scene, and ample opportunities for outdoor activities. While harsh winters, limited public transportation, and healthcare options may be a concern for some, many retirees find Nebraska to be an ideal place to retire and enjoy their golden years.
It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Nebraska, 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.