Retiring in Vermont
This article will take you through the main things you need to consider if you are retiring in Vermont.
Vermont, located in the northeastern region of the United States, is a popular retirement destination for many Americans seeking a peaceful and scenic environment with access to outdoor activities, cultural events, and a moderate climate. With its beautiful landscapes, charming small towns, and bustling cities, Vermont offers a unique retirement experience that attracts many retirees every year.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020, Vermont had a population of approximately 623,000 people, with over 20% 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 Vermont?
Like many states, Vermont 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 Vermont:
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 Vermont?
Scenic environment: Vermont is known for its natural beauty, with its picturesque small towns, rolling hills, and lush forests. Retirees can enjoy living in a peaceful environment that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and scenic drives.
Moderate climate: Vermont has a four-season climate, with warm summers and cold winters. This makes it an attractive destination for retirees who enjoy experiencing all four seasons.
Outdoor activities: Vermont is home to numerous state parks, forests, and lakes, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing.
Cultural scene: Vermont has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The state hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Vermont Maple Festival, the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, and the Vermont Brewers Festival.
What puts people off retiring to Vermont?
Cost of living: Vermont's 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.
Winter weather: Vermont experiences cold winters, with heavy snowfall in some areas. This could be a concern for retirees who prefer warmer climates.
Limited job opportunities: Vermont's job market is relatively small, which could be a concern for retirees who are still working or looking for part-time work in retirement.
Best places to retire in Vermont
If Vermont is your chosen retirement state, here are some of the best places to retire in:
Burlington: Located on the shores of Lake Champlain, Burlington is a vibrant and picturesque city that offers a wide range of cultural attractions, shopping and dining options, and outdoor recreational opportunities. The city is home to the University of Vermont, which provides ample opportunities for lifelong learning and volunteer work.
Middlebury: Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, Middlebury is a charming and historic town that is known for its scenic beauty, cultural attractions, and strong sense of community. The town is home to Middlebury College, which offers a wide range of cultural events, classes, and programs for retirees.
Stowe: A popular tourist destination, Stowe is a picturesque town that is surrounded by some of Vermont's most stunning natural scenery, including Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont. The town is known for its world-class skiing, hiking, and mountain biking, as well as its vibrant arts and culture scene.
Woodstock: Located in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains, Woodstock is a charming and historic town that is known for its picturesque covered bridges, quaint shops and galleries, and breathtaking scenery. The town is home to several cultural attractions, including the Billings Farm and Museum and the Woodstock Historical Society.
Manchester: Located in southern Vermont, Manchester is a quaint and charming town that is known for its picturesque village center, beautiful scenery, and excellent shopping and dining options. The town is home to several cultural attractions, including the Southern Vermont Arts Center and the Hildene estate, the former summer home of Abraham Lincoln's son.
In conclusion, Vermont offers a range of retirement options, from historic towns to peaceful natural scenery. Retirees can enjoy a moderate 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 Vermont, 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.