Retiring in Utah
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Utah.
Utah, located in the western region of the United States, is an emerging retirement destination for many Americans seeking a diverse and dynamic environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a scenic landscape. With its stunning national parks, mountains, and growing urban areas, Utah offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Utah had a population of approximately 3.3 million people, with over 10% of the population being over the age of 65, making it a top state with a growing retirement population.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Virginia had a population of approximately 8.5 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 Utah?
Like many states, Utah 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 Utah:
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 Utah?
Scenic landscape: Utah is known for its stunning natural beauty, from its national parks like Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches, to its mountain ranges and lakes. Retirees can enjoy living in a scenic environment that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.
Outdoor activities: Utah is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, fishing, and camping.
Growing urban areas: Utah's urban areas, such as Salt Lake City and Provo, are growing and offer retirees access to cultural experiences, including museums, performing arts venues, and sporting events.
Low tax burden: Utah has a relatively low tax burden compared to other states, making it an attractive destination for retirees looking to stretch their retirement savings.
What puts people off retiring to Utah?
Harsh weather conditions: Utah's climate can vary greatly depending on the region, but winters can be harsh, with cold temperatures and heavy snowfall. This could be a concern for retirees who prefer a milder climate.
Cultural differences: Utah has a distinct culture and is known for its predominant religion, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This could be a concern for retirees who are not familiar with or do not share the same beliefs.
Limited healthcare options: Some areas of Utah have limited healthcare options, which could be a concern for retirees who require specialized medical care.
Best places to retire in Utah
If Utah is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
St. George: Located in the southwestern part of the state, St. George is known for its sunny weather, golf courses, and proximity to several national parks, including Zion National Park. The city also offers a vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and museums.
Park City: Located in the mountains east of Salt Lake City, Park City is a popular ski destination in the winter and a thriving resort town in the summer. Retirees can enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, golfing, and mountain biking, as well as a variety of cultural events, including the Sundance Film Festival.
Salt Lake City: Utah's capital city offers a diverse range of cultural activities, including museums, galleries, and theaters. The city is also home to several universities and has a thriving downtown area with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.
Cedar City: Located in southern Utah, Cedar City is a smaller city with a low cost of living and access to outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, and fishing. The city is also home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, a popular cultural event.
Moab: Located in eastern Utah, Moab is known for its stunning red rock formations and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, particularly hikers and mountain bikers. The city also offers a variety of cultural activities, including art galleries and music festivals.
Ogden: Located north of Salt Lake City, Ogden is a smaller city with a growing downtown area and access to outdoor recreation, including skiing and hiking. The city is also home to several museums and historic sites.
In conclusion, Utah offers a scenic environment for potential retirees, with a thriving cultural scene. However, consideration should also be given to the state’s predominant religion and its influence on residents. It's important to seek expert financial advice to weigh up all of the costs associated with retiring in Utah, 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.