5 Reasons for Snowbirds to Retire in Phoenix
If you’re nearing retirement thinking you’ve just about dug your car out of the snow for the last time, counting the minutes of daylight in a day like you count your blessings, it just might be time to consider a change of scene. You’ve paid your dues, put in the hours and weathered enough winters, so don’t you think you’ve earned your spot in the sun?
When planning your retirement, it might be worth considering joining the many Arizona snowbirds flocking to retirement communities in Phoenix. Whether you’re an outdoors enthusiast, a foodie, or a sports fan or looking to live out a Wild Western fantasy, check out these 5 reasons for snowbirds to retire in Phoenix and trade in your shovel and tire chains for a golf club and hiking boots.
Common consensus would have you believing that you have to pay exorbitantly to buy into a city with perfect weather year-round. There’s an exception to every rule, however. Housing, utilities, groceries, transportation —you name it and Phoenix probably has it cheaper. The Phoenix cost of living is lower than the rest of the country in just about every category, making it a smart financial decision for your retirement. You can stake out a spot in a thriving active adult community with all the amenities for under $250,000.
In addition to the kickbacks on necessary expenses, your discretionary budget will benefit as well as you bike, hike and wander your way along the lake-front paths that are free and accessible all year.
Have we mentioned the weather? Well, maybe, but it bears repeating. January, the region’s coldest month, averages overnight lows in the low-to-mid 40’s. Brrrrr. Temperatures will creep above 100 in the hottest parts of the summer, but the lack of humidity makes the heat much easier to beat than other places with a lower average temperature but more moisture.
You can reliably expect about 300 sunny days a year and around 8 inches of precipitation a year, keeping you out of the rain and in the golf course. Don’t worry, if you do start to get a little homesick, it did snow...twice...in the 1930s.
If you’re worried that retiring here would be like retiring away to a remote desert outpost, you’ll put your fears to rest when you experience the rich, dynamic city that Phoenix is. In addition to holding down the number 5 in the ranks of US cities by population, it is the largest state capital in the country.
Phoenix is so much more than a number, though. Between the steakhouses, Southwest-influenced fine dining, Spring sports events, museums and resort attractions, there’s plenty of fun to be had no matter where your interests lie.
Like many cities on the Western Frontier, Phoenix’s early food scene was established by steakhouses set up along the cattle trails. As such, the area has a long tradition as a home to some of the best beef you can buy. If you’re looking to get a taste of that history first-hand, The Stockyards, “Arizona’s Original Steakhouse,” pays homage to the culinary culture of the Southwest with its locally-sourced, indigenous ingredients and authentic Western vibes. Want to take in some of the sights with your sizzle? Part of the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, J&G’s Steakhouse serves up panoramic views of the surrounding mountains alongside its award-winning steak and seafood.
Craving something a little more casual, but no less authentic? Ta Carbon’s Hazz, a hatch green chile beef taco that’s equal parts spicy and savory will set you straight. Comedor Guadalajara’s distinctly Sonoran dishes have stood the test of time, satisfying guests with perfectly executed classics since 1968.
Thinking of moving to the desert but feeling a little wistful about leaving your hometown ball team behind? 15 MLB teams call Phoenix their Spring Training home. The Cactus League, a thrilling series of exhibition games marks the end of Spring Training and an opportunity to see out-of-state rivals compete without the hassle of the rain, sleet, snow, or travel.
Phoenix can be a great place for financially savvy retirees to get the most for their hard-earned money as Arizona doesn’t tax social security benefits and property taxes are fairly low. Seniors can qualify for additional tax breaks as well. The Senior Property Valuation Protection Program, for example, freezes the home values of seniors, protecting them from property tax hikes due to sudden home value increases. After all, why should you be punished for a smart home-buy?
There’s nothing like a sunset in the dessert, and the mountain paths provide plenty of opportunity to experience this nightly phenomenon. The Phoenix Mountain Preserve’s two highest peaks, Camelback and Piestewa, are surrounded by acres of gorgeous parkland just 20 minutes from the heart of Downtown. If you’re in the mood for something a little more low-key, the Desert Botanical Garden gives you the best flora the region has to offer and plays host to live music events, wine tastings, and seasonal art and nature exhibits.
With all of the sun, fun and financial incentives, it’s no wonder more and more snowbirds are flying south to call Phoenix home. Put on your sunglasses, scope out some of the best places to retire in the Phoenix area and see if the Wild West is right for your retirement.
Contributed to The 55+ Society
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