Iowa Retirement Guide

If you have been searching for the perfect retirement community in the "American Heartland," then you have come to the right place. gives you detailed and honest reviews of the best places to retire in Iowa, by active adults for active adults. Peruse our listings to answer all your questions about a Midwestern favorite. Updated Dec. 2016.


Coined “the Food Capital of the World,” Iowa is in the heart of the Corn Belt; once a purely agricultural economy, beautiful  stretches of farmland stretch out under wide skies in some counties, while others are home to exciting, bustling cites. The state’s industries are diversified, including biotechnology and green energy production. It is also rated one of the safest states in which to live. A famous state for writers

and other intellectuals, Iowa has the third highest high school graduation rate in the nation. The population was 3.1 million in 2015 with a median age of 38.1.

Active adults looking for information on what retiring in Iowa is like will find information here. You can also refer to Iowa’s Wikipedia page for more helpful information.

Des Moines Skyline


Iowa, like most of the Midwest, has a humid continental climate. Depending on the season, there are extremes of cold and heat throughout the state. In spring, a period characterized by severe weather begins. Tornados are common, and Iowa has about 50 days of thunderstorms a year. Summers are incredibly hot, with daytime temperatures oftentimes in the nineties, while average winter days are well below freezing.


The Economy and Home Prices

In 2011-15 the Iowa household income was reported at $53,183, very close to the national median. Iowa ranks well on cost of living, it is the 11th least expensive state in which to live. In late 2016, the Zillow Home Value Index was $125,500, more than $70,000 less than the national index. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price in Des Moines was $193,100 in late 2016.

Tax Burden: At 9.2% of income  Iowa’s state and local tax burden is lower than the national average - the state ranks 31st.

Marginal Income Tax Rates.  The personal income tax system is divided into nine brackets; the top rate is 8.98% starts at an income rate of $69,930; it is the fourth highest for states charging individual income taxes.

Retirement Income Exemptions. A portion of retirement income may be exempt; it can be up to a $6,000 exemption for those filing singly and up to $12,000 for those filing jointly.  Retired military pay would be included in that exemption.

Social security exemption.  Social Security benefits are exempt from taxation.

Sales Tax:  There is a 6% general sales tax on all consumers.

Property Taxes: Iowa is the 15th highest state for per capital property tax collections at $1515.

Homestead Exemption. There is a property tax program for people over 65 with very low incomes.

Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes. The Iowa inheritance tax ranges from 1% to 15%. 

Link to Iowa Department of Revenue 

Certified Retirement Communities

Iowa does not have any certified retirement community programs.

Best Retirement Communities

Des Moines in Iowa is home to at least one active adult community, Deerfield.




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