Retiring in Oklahoma

1 min readLast updated April 16, 2024by Kate Morgan

This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Oklahoma.

Summary

  • Oklahoma is home to approximately 640,000 over 65s.

  • The state's affordable cost of living, friendly communities, and vibrant cultural scene make it an attractive destination for retirees.

  • Like many states, Oklahoma has no specific retirement age that is mandated by law. This means that individuals are free to retire whenever they choose.

  • Speak to a financial advisor about saving for Colorado retirement.

Is Oklahoma a good place to retire?

Oklahoma, located in the south-central region of the United States, is a growing retirement destination for many Americans seeking a peaceful and affordable environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and friendly communities. With its scenic landscapes, vibrant cities, and low cost of living, Oklahoma offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.

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According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Oklahoma had a population of approximately 4 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.

If you’re still unsure about where to retire, it’s wise to seek expert advice. Explore our article on the top financial advisors for more insight.

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What are the pros and cons of retiring in Oklahoma?

The pros:

  • Affordable cost of living: Oklahoma has a lower cost of living than many other states, which can be a significant advantage for retirees on a fixed income. Housing, healthcare, and transportation costs are generally lower than the national average. 

  • Friendly communities: Oklahoma is known for its friendly and welcoming communities, with a strong sense of community spirit. Retirees can enjoy living in a supportive environment that offers plenty of opportunities to make new friends and socialize. 

  • Scenic landscapes: Oklahoma is home to numerous state parks, lakes, and rivers, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The state also has a rich Native American history and culture, with many sites and attractions dedicated to preserving and celebrating this heritage. 

  • Cultural scene: Oklahoma has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, theaters, and festivals throughout the year. The state hosts several events and celebrations, including the Oklahoma State Fair, the Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival, and the Tulsa International Mayfest. 

The cons:

  • Weather extremes: Oklahoma has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The state is also prone to severe weather, including tornadoes and thunderstorms, which could be a concern for retirees living in certain areas. 

  • Limited public transportation: Oklahoma has limited public transportation options, particularly in rural areas. This could be a concern for retirees who do not drive or prefer not to rely on personal vehicles. 

  • Limited healthcare options: Oklahoma has a shortage of healthcare providers, particularly in rural areas. This could be a concern for retirees who require specialized medical care or services. 

Where are the best places to retire in Oklahoma?

If Oklahoma is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in: 

  1. Tulsa - Tulsa offers a low cost of living, beautiful parks, excellent healthcare facilities, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities. 

  2. Oklahoma City - Oklahoma City has a low cost of living, friendly community, and a thriving economy. The city also offers a wide range of cultural attractions, including museums, galleries, and theaters. 

  3. Edmond - Edmond is a small suburban town located just north of Oklahoma City. The town offers a low cost of living, excellent healthcare facilities, and a variety of recreational opportunities, including golf courses and parks. 

  4. Broken Arrow - Broken Arrow is a small town located in northeastern Oklahoma. The town has a low cost of living, friendly community, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including fishing and boating. 

  5. Stillwater - Stillwater is a college town located in north-central Oklahoma. The town offers a low cost of living, excellent healthcare facilities, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities. 

  6. Ardmore - Ardmore is a small town located in southern Oklahoma. The town offers a low cost of living, friendly community, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping. 

  7. Bartlesville - Bartlesville is a small town located in northeastern Oklahoma. The town has a low cost of living, excellent healthcare facilities, and a variety of cultural and recreational activities, including museums, galleries, and theaters. 

  8. Yukon - Yukon is a small town located just west of Oklahoma City. The town offers a low cost of living, friendly community, and a variety of outdoor recreational activities, including fishing and hiking. 

Is Oklahoma tax-friendly for retirees?

For retirees aged 65 and older, Oklahoma offers an income tax exemption of up to $10,000. Income from Social Security is also not taxed, meaning retirees hold on to more of their income than they would in other states.  

Oklahoma has a lower cost of living than many other states in the US, with lower housing, healthcare and transportation costs. This is a huge advantage for retirees, especially those on a fixed income looking to make their money go further.  

For more information about tax in Oklahoma, click here.

What age can you retire in Oklahoma?

Like many states, Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma: 

  • 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. 

The bottom line

Oklahoma offers a wealth of benefits for potential retirees and has a lower cost of living than many other states, but limited healthcare options are a key consideration.

It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Oklahoma, 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. 

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Content writer

Kate Morgan

Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.

Want to retire in Oklahoma?

A financial advisor can help you plan and realize your dream retirement.