Massachusetts Best Places to Retire - A Guide
Have you thought you might retire in Massachusetts? This website has useful data and opinions about the best places to retire in Massachusetts, including exciting active adult retirement communities in the Bay State. This New England state had almost 6.8 million people in 2015, with a median age of 39.3. It includes one of America's oldest cities, Boston, charming sea coast villages on Cape Cod, and rural towns in the western part of the state leading up to the Berkshire Mountains. Its diversity guarantees a Massachusetts community where you can be happy in retirement. The Wikipedia entry for Massachusetts has more facts. Revised Nov. 2016.
Boston's Charles River
The Massachusetts climate is called humid-continental. There are 4 seasons. Summers are hot and winters are cold with frequent snowstorms, some of them heavy nor'easters. Western Massachusetts has a more severe climate, Cape Cod more moderate.
Economy & Home Prices
Massachusetts has one of the highest median household incomes ($67,846) in the United States. Median home prices can range dramatically - apartments in wealthy Boston routinely cost a million dollars or more, while the 3rd quarter of 2016 median home in the Metro sold for $435,300 (source: NAR). In Worcester, however, the median home price at $249,600 is still higher than the national median of $240,900. Cost of living in the Boston Metro is very high; statewide it is is the 4th highest of all the states. The median sales price of a Massachusetts home in late 2011 was $354,000 according to Zillow.
Tax Burden: At 10.3% Massachusetts, often referred to as "Taxachusetts", has the 12th highest tax burden of all states (Tax Foundation).
Marginal Income Tax Rates. The state has a flat income tax rate is 5.1% on all income.
Retirement Income Exemptions. Federal, military, state, and local pensions are exempt. Out of state pensions are not taxed if the state paying it does not tax Mass. pensions.
Social security exemption. Social security income is not taxed.
Sales Tax: Sales tax is 6.25%.
Property Taxes: The Bay State is 9th highest in the nation for property taxes as a percent of income. Taxes were 1.04% on assessed value. There is a $1000 tax credit for people 65+ who qualify on an income basis. Per capita property taxes paid were $2069 in 2012.
Homestead Exemption. There is no official homestead exemption, but there is a Homestead Act which permits a homeowner to shield his or her permanent residence up to $500,000 in equity of that house from creditors.
Estate and/or Inheritance Taxes. There is no inheritance tax. A limited estate tax exists on properties valued at $1,000,000 or more.
Link to Massachusetts Department of Revenue.
Certified Retirement Communities
Massachusetts does not have a certified retirement community program.
Best retirement communities in Massachusetts
Topretirements has profiled a number of towns that make great retirement communities; many of these have active adult communities. MA is a great state for active adults and people over 50, particularly if you live there already. Boston is considered by many to be the historical and cultural capital of the nation. Many baby boomers choose an urban retirement lifestyle in an exciting city like Boston, opt for a quiet life on the Cape, or even in a small college town in the west like Northampton. Check out our profiles on the lovely Cape Cod towns of Provincetown, Chatham, or Falmouth to find vital information to help you assess pros and cons of living there.
Other "best" retirement communities include the Berkshire college town of Williamstown, or the lake town of Worcester.
Chatham MA Lighthouse
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