The variety of housing options we have access to generally increases enormously as time goes on and we enter the later years of our lives.
This has been made possible in large part by a lifetime of sacrificial effort, prudent money management, and the geographic flexibility that comes with retirement.
But when the number of possibilities increases, it gets harder to make a wise choice.
The choice of where to live out your golden years is a complex one that calls for both financial and personal preparation.
It involves both a detailed analysis of what is on the market and how you picture spending your greatest years.
In this article, we compare Delaware vs Pennsylvania for retirement.
Factors to Consider when Choosing Where to Retire
Here, we’ll outline a few crucial elements that, in our opinion, you should take into account while deciding where to retire.
Assessment of the Community’s Livability
The quality and length of our lives are increasingly influenced by where we live as we get older. Therefore, if you have never given livability indicators much thought, this is the time to start.
The term “livability” has been used in numerous contexts since it was originally made popular by the Clinton-Gore livability agenda in 1998, with minor to significant variations in scope and definition.
Throughout the past two decades, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has developed its own definition and method for measuring livability. The AARP now offers a tool that rates localities and neighborhoods all over the nation using information validated by research.
A livable neighborhood, in the words of AARP, “is one that offers supportive community features and services, enough mobility alternatives, and affordable and appropriate housing, which combined allow personal freedom and the engagement of residents in civic and social life.”
In addition to personal preferences, while evaluating your retirement location possibilities, your list of criteria should also include things like accessibility to safe, secure, and inexpensive transportation, educational and career opportunities, accessible health care, walkability, and so on.
Some neighborhoods, like the retirement communities in North Carolina, were designed from the ground up with the retiree and senior population in mind.
These communities include future-proof features made specifically for the need of independent aging individuals, such as wider sidewalks, one-floor homes, low maintenance requirements, no-step entrances, etc., in addition to the general livability qualities stated above.
Be definite about what matters to you the most.
List your must-haves and nice-to-haves and prioritize them based on their significance to you before we move on to the more technical parts.
You and your spouse may need to have a lot of in-depth conversations to determine these traits. Consider as many factors as you can, such as the climate, landscape, leisure activities you’ll want to partake in, isolation from friends and family, etc.
Even while your job may not require you to live in a particular city or region, proximity is still crucial. Your retirement site needs to be close to both the things you enjoy and need now and will likely require in the near future. There is nothing wrong if you already have a few locations in mind from previous holiday spots.
Retirement residents must like their homes. Because these locations are typically designed for visitors and may be deficient in key common services, you will just require an unbiased evaluation of their infrastructure.
Cost of Living Analysis
The affordability of your preferred community is perhaps the first and most important consideration you should take into account.
By taking into account necessary expenses like housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, taxes, and healthcare, you should determine the relative cost of living.
Naturally, costs of daily life differ widely from state to state. As a result, where you decide to retire will have a significant impact on your standard of living, depending on your salary and available funds.
If you anticipate continuing to work after retirement or doing so part-time, check that the location you chose has a low unemployment rate and a relatively stable economy.
A sudden change in circumstances, such the death of a spouse or an unanticipated health issue, could always have an impact on your money. Therefore, having some form of backup can provide you with more piece of mind.
Delaware vs Pennsylvania for Retirement
While we consider Delaware vs Pennsylvania for retirement, I will be listing some of the pros and cons of living in each of these places, leaving you to decide the best fit for you.
The Pros of living in Delaware
Outstanding Tax Benefits
One of the four states without a sales tax is Delaware. It implies that the price on price tags is precisely what you should be paying, which is something to smile about. But the story doesn’t end there.
One of the lowest real estate taxes in the nation is found in the Diamond State. Additionally, Social Security benefits are excluded. Pensioners who are 60 years or older can happily avoid paying state taxes on $12,500 of their retirement income and pensions.
Last but not least, Delaware levies neither inheritance nor personal property taxes, however, this could change.
Attractions in the State
At least four centuries of history and tradition can be found in the First State. Numerous historical sites, beautiful gardens, elegant estate mansions, and breathtaking 17th Century Dutch architecture may be found there.
Many breathtaking tourist attractions may be found in Delaware, including Henlopen State Park, Delaware Seashore State Park, The Brandywine River Museum, and the renowned Winterthur Museum.
If you have an interest in art, you should definitely visit The Delaware Art Museum. Conversely, jazz enthusiasts understand exactly why The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival is the biggest on the entire East Coast.
Fantastic Retirement Locations
Small Wonder has some of the top healthcare facilities in the US (we’ll explain later), in addition to the significant financial advantages of living there, including tax exemptions on IRAs and 401(K) plans.
Delaware is a small ideal sanctuary for empty nesters and retirees thanks to its excellent healthcare system and enjoyable seaside activities that encourage an active lifestyle.
Additionally, Blue Chicken State University’s Higher Education for Senior Citizens program is available to seniors with plenty of leisure time.
Attractive Suburban Communities
There are several attractive neighborhood suburbs in Delaware, including little settlements like Selbyville and Dublin Hill.
In addition, there are sizable cities like Wilmington and Dover. As a result, there is a wide range of options for cozy living spaces.
Proximity To A Major City
Those who like to live close to East Coast cities find the Diamond State to be particularly alluring. Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia are very close together. Newark and New York City are also accessible for day trips.
Residents in Delaware can enjoy a wide range of artistic and cultural activities outside of the state by taking a quick drive or boarding a train.
The Cons of living in Delaware
You’ll have to Put Up with Massive Crowds
Just under a million people live in Delaware, the smallest US state, which is home to the smallest population.
Unfortunately, the crowds and traffic are really intense. As a result, you may frequently have to deal with enormous crowds.
Brutal Traffic with Careless Drivers
Road statistics in the Blue Hen State aren’t very great. Roadblocks are a difficult problem that locals face virtually daily.
In terms of careless driving, Delaware is ranked ninth-worst.
Several Grievous Crimes
The First State might use some upgrading, even though crime isn’t particularly prevalent there. When it comes to violent crimes, especially sex crimes, Wilmington used to be at the top of the list.
Poorly Rated Public Schools
Although Delaware is home to many top-rated private schools, there is growing worry that some K–12 public school resources won’t be able to meet the demands of the growing population.
Insufficient Public Transportation
In Delaware, it appears as if everyone drives themselves. As you may imagine, this results in extremely congested traffic.
Getting on overseas planes can be a real nuisance. To get a flight to another region of the nation or the rest of the world, you must leave the state.
The Pros of living in Pennsylvania
Small Sales Tax
While some commodities in Pennsylvania are subject to a sales tax, not all goods are. Living in the state can aid significantly in saving money on some purchases because of the state’s low sales tax.
Learn which products are subject to sales tax and which are not before relocating to Pennsylvania. The additional taxes that local governments may impose may, however, cancel out this tax reduction on some goods and services.
Anyone who enjoys outdoor activities appreciates that there is always something to do. There are many expansive views and landscapes in Pennsylvania that are ideal for hiking, boating, and other traditional sports.
This is the perfect place for families to spend quality time together while taking part in a variety of interesting and informative activities.
Winter visitors to Pennsylvania include those who like to ski, go hiking, or ride a snowmobile. Significant snowfall in Pennsylvania makes it the perfect place for various outdoor activities all winter long.
The beauty and favorable winter weather will appeal to everyone who appreciates a beautiful winter scene or a typical Christmas season.
Everyone can find something to enjoy in Pennsylvania’s stunning scenery. If you appreciate the outdoors, whether it’s mountains, forests, or even pure rivers and streams, Pennsylvania has it all.
There are many opportunities to venture outside and take advantage of all it has to offer.
Delectable Traditional Cuisine
Visitors and locals alike can enjoy the great meals that Pennsylvania has to offer. Since Pennsylvania is a well-established state with a lengthy history, there are many delectable foods and recipes that capture the essence of traditional America.
In virtually every region of the state, savor a variety of comfort foods and regional cuisine. However, Pennsylvania also boasts a booming restaurant scene that features dishes from the majority of the world’s civilizations.
The Cons of living in Delaware
Additional local taxes
Despite the fact that not all things are subject to sales tax, there are still additional municipal taxes that people may not have been aware of prior to relocating to the state.
To assist fund initiatives for cities and towns and to help maintain or upgrade the infrastructure, some municipal taxes are necessary. Learn more about what is and is not taxed in terms of food and services as well as your location by being familiar with the essential taxes in the place you wish to relocate to.
Difficult Traffic Conditions
Living in Pennsylvania could be difficult if you aren’t accustomed to driving or managing congested traffic. In this part of the nation, particularly in the bigger cities, there are frequently long traffic delays.
In addition to having a large number of drivers, the roads’ design and traffic patterns make driving complex and possibly dangerous.
This may be annoying to people who are not used to the state having toll highways. Almost all of the state’s main thoroughfares and bridges have toll highways.
Road maintenance and other associated city and state initiatives are funded by these toll taxes. While there may be alternative routes, in general, the toll highways are the quickest and most dependable ways to travel around the state.
Ambiguous traffic signs
Traffic signs in Pennsylvania are notorious for being unclear, which makes getting from one place to another challenging and time-consuming. Using a trustworthy navigation tool is preferable than paying attention to the posted signage if you want to reach where you need to go with the least amount of confusion and difficulty.
However, bear in mind that, even with a navigation tool, it may take some time to learn how to use on and off-ramps, as well as highways and most locations around the state, until one grows accustomed to the area.
Winter weather is brutal
Pennsylvania has experienced harsh winter weather before. Due to its geographic location, it frequently experiences ice storms and significant snowfall.
People who are not used to driving in a lot of snow or enduring extremely cold winters may find it difficult to live in the state. Make sure to familiarize yourself with Pennsylvania’s winter weather conditions and the necessary gear before relocating there. You should also take care to safeguard your home and yourself during these challenging winter months.