New Mexico Best Places to Retire - A Guide
Overall (Updated August, 2016)
New Mexico, population slightly over 2 million in 2015, has the altitude, scenery, and beautiful towns that have attracted many baby boomers to the many best places to retire in New Mexico - Land of Enchantment. Santa Fe is the capital and Albuquerque is the largest city. New Mexico's cost of living can vary a great deal - Santa Fe tends to be much more expensive than other parts of the state. It has a rich Spanish and native American culture that adds charm and interest to the state. The Wikipedia entry for New Mexico has more interesting facts.
New Mexico Climate
The New Mexico climate is that of the steppe, characterized by aridity and an altitude above 3000 feet. Summers are hot and dry, there is plenty of sunshine. There is a lot of snow in the mountains.
Economy and Home Prices in New Mexico
New Mexico's median 2014 household income at $44,968 was well below the U.S. average. Tourism is important to the economy. According to Zillow, the statewide median home value in 2016 at $163,200 was below the national median of $187,000. The median home in the Santa Fe area was valued in 2016 at about $308,000 and the cost of living index there is 110 (national index is 100). In Albuquerque the median home went for $170,900 in 2016 .
New Mexico Taxes
Tax Burden: Total tax burden in New Mexico is the 41st highest of all the states at a rate of 9.5%.
Marginal Income Tax Rates: The average New Mexico income tax is 3.63% and the highest marginal rate is 4.9% (on a couple with $24,000+ income).
Retirement Income Exemptions: There is a reduction in taxes for people 65 or over with incomes less than $51,000 (couples).
Social security exemption: NM is one of the few states that taxes social security payments.
Sales Tax: State sales tax is called the Gross Receipts Tax : it is 5.13%, though higher in many municipalities, so the statewide average after surcharges is 7.35%.
Property Taxes: The effective property tax rate is about .55% of value, which ranks it a tax-friendly 42nd of all states. A very beneficial law is that assessed value cannot increase by more than 3% in a year unless the property is sold or remodeled. People over 65 with incomes less than $18,000 can get a small rebate on some of their property taxes.
Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes: This is complicated - although estate or inheritance taxes are not likely to be significant.
Link to New Mexico Taxation & Revenue
Certified Retirement Communities
New Mexico does not have a certified retirement community program.
Best retirement communities in New Mexico
New Mexico has some of the top retirement towns in the U.S.; it also has many planned retirement communities. One of the best places to retire in New Mexico is the artists' commmunity of Santa Fe. Located high in the mountains, it boasts a thriving environment for the arts and outdoor activities, along with being one of the oldest cities in the Americas. Las Cruces is another charming but much less expensive option in southern New Mexico. Albuquerque has a great year round climate and attractive setting. This livable town is host to the University of New Mexico. The ski resort of Taos is another interesting retirement town in the mountains. In 2009 Topretirements published an extensive review of New Mexico retirement destinations, including pros and cons.
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