One of the most critical questions any soon-to-be retiree must ask is, “Where is the best place to retire?” Those living in more expensive parts of the country may want to utilize ‘location arbitrage,’ which is when you take advantage of a region’s lower cost of living with dollars earned in a more expensive area. Others living in colder states may prefer warmer climes to ease their physical burden.
Native Virginians may wonder whether to retire in-state or out-of-state. If you live outside of Virginia, then perhaps Virginia has popped up on your retirement radar in your search for a great state to spend your golden years. This article will go into the benefits and reasons you may want to choose beautiful Virginia Beach as your retirement destination. We think you may even find it the best place to retire!
Virginia Beach is about a 3.5-hour drive from Washington D.C. and 1.5 hours from Richmond – perfect for those NOVA and capital dwellers who want to stay near home (but not too close!). It is a part of the Hampton Roads Metropolitan area, where you can also find Norfolk, Newport News, and Chesapeake. Steeped in colonial, Revolutionary War, and Civil War history, the birthplace of 8 presidents, and located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay with beaches stretching out for as far as the eye can see, it’s easy to consider settling down right here on the Atlantic shores. In fact, we think it is the best place to retire.
CNBC chose Virginia as the second-best place to retire in America due to its affordability, quality of life, and caliber of healthcare. Of particular interest to retirees would be the Villages at West Neck, a 55+ community complete with a 10,000 sq. ft. community club and adjacent golf course. For those who want a waterfront experience, the Westminster-Canterbury active retirement community provides a more structured experience with care options. Retirees over the age of 60 can also attend universities at no charge. Considering continuous education and mental stimulation are vital to brain health in retirement, such an opportunity for free at a university level is quite beneficial!
Virginia is perhaps the best place to retire regarding taxes – or the lack thereof. For those wanting to leave behind a legacy, Virginia lacks both an estate tax and an inheritance tax. The state won’t touch your social security benefits either. If you are over 65, you can deduct up to 12,000 from your state tax obligation. Virginia’s property tax rate of .80% is well below the national average of 1.07%, so if you buy a property there, you will save the funds needed for an ever-lengthening retirement.
If you’re a veteran, you’re in even better luck. The governor has slashed taxes on military retirement pay, allowing an annual deduction of $10,000, with another $10,000 deduction added per year until reaching a cap of $40,000 in 2025. Veterans will save between $2,000 and $3,000 per year.
Arts & Entertainment
There’s never a dull moment in Virginia Beach and the surrounding area. You can catch a concert or hockey game at the Scope Arena or savor the classical sounds of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra or attend a Shakespearean work at the Chrysler Hall. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers glimpses of sharks, turtles, stingrays, and other marine wildlife for a more scientific day trip.
For history buffs, museums sprinkle the area. Going through the Hampton Roads Tunnel will lead you to the Virginia War Museum. Sure to satiate all the needs of military historians, you can find weapons, uniforms, and relics from the Revolutionary War to WW2. Aviators will rejoice when they visit the most extensive collection of private warplanes from WW1 and WW2 at the Military Aviation Museum – and the grandkids doubly so when they discover the metal dinosaurs of the Jerrassic Park just near the entrance to the Aviation Museum. Lastly, Maritimers can catch a glimpse of the harsh life at sea and the final resting place of the ironclad USS Monitor in The Mariners’ Museum and Park.
For the more artistically inclined, Norfolk’s Chrysler Museum of Art houses over 30,000 pieces from Asia, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas, spanning over 5,000 years! The best yet is the free admission, thanks to charitable contributions and fundraising campaigns. You can visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art for a more modern vibe. You’ll never tire of it since its exhibitions constantly rotate out, and you can easily find it in the heart of Virginia Beach.
The Guinness Book of World Records officially recognizes Virginia Beach as the longest pleasure beach in the world, which in our opinion, automatically makes it the best place to retire! With 25 miles of Atlantic beachfront and another 10 miles on the Chesapeake Bay, you can find endless boardwalks with camping sites, hotels, resorts, restaurants, and breweries. You can also get off the beaten track and explore the False Cape State Park or the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. Biking paths wind through the region to help keep your body fit as a fiddle over the years.
Tired of the beaches and paths? How about some pickleball? This sport is becoming more and more popular in Virginia, and Pickleball Virginia Beach has some of the largest pickleball facilities in the world! Having a sport as a hobby in retirement will not only improve your physical capabilities but also keep your mind sharper for longer.
Are you ready to retire in a beautiful state near a stunning beach? Reach out to us today to discover other unique benefits a Virginia Beach retirement can earn you.