I’m looking for a cannabis-friendly red-leaning state with no state income taxes — where should I retire on $60,000 a year?

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Dear Marketwatch,

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I want to retire in a state-income-tax state (or less) near water and a state or national park. I want red politics but (hopefully) legal pot (medical or recreational), and weather that isn’t too cold. If necessary I will settle on the pot for Texas.

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I don’t want to live in New Hampshire, Florida or Washington, or too close to California.

We’ll have a budget of about $5,000 a month and we’re selling a house for $300,000-ish. I would also love the college atmosphere and the place with affordable food. One of the things that gets overlooked in these “where to retire” conversations is how much fresh food costs. I am a vegetarian so fresh fruits and vegetables are very important to me.

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any idea?


dear sydney,

Only eight states don’t impose an income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee (sorry, forgot it was on the list on Jan. 1!) Washington and Wyoming. You don’t want Florida or Washington, and Alaska, South Dakota and Wyoming are likely to be “very cold.”

This leaves Nevada, a purple state where marijuana is legal, and Texas and Tennessee, red states where only medical CBD is allowed. Within Nevada, Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City can all be too close to California for your comfort.

About red states that have state income tax but where marijuana is legal, Only 15 states and the District of Columbia According to the pro-marijuana group Normal, legalized marijuana in early 2021 (though the changes in two of those have yet to take effect), and they tend to be blue. Of course laws can change.

A possible match for you is Arizona, although it looks hazy. Illinois is red outside the Chicago area, and southern Illinois will be hot. The Carbondale area suggested here may be an option.

Colorado is purple, popular national parks are—but don’t come cheap. Pot is also legal in Montana—but this red state has long, cold winters and may be less tax-friendly than even Colorado.

If you can just accept medical marijuana, then Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi are among your possibilities. (Mississippi voted to allow medical marijuana in 2020, though the law has yet to go into effect.) Utah makes the medical marijuana list and has national parks but is unfortunately not tax-friendly.

But before I make any suggestions, let’s talk more about taxes. Please check further if any state has an income tax. For example, don’t overtax Social Security payments. Some offer tax breaks to retired military; Others on pension payment. Your sources of income in retirement look very different from when you are working. a free state tax calculator like this one Can help you compare your situation across states.

Given how important this is to you, please talk to a tax professional about your findings.

And regardless, state and local governments must find money to pay for services (think property tax and sales tax)—or give it up, directly or indirectly, to pay for them, e.g. That through the HOA fee.

The Most Tax-Friendly U.S. State for Retirees Isn’t the One You’d Anticipate—and Neither Is the Least Tax-Friendly

There’s more to choosing a place to retire than lower taxes – avoid these 5 costly mistakes

so where could you go? Your budget gives you several options, as the Businesshala “Where Should I Retire” tool shows. Here are three possibilities that won’t leave you cash-poor.

The sun rises through the trees in DeSoto National Forest.


Hattiesburg, Mississippi

You’ll love Mississippi’s tax-friendliness toward retirees: Not only are Social Security benefits exempt from state tax but so are payments from your 401(k), your IRA, or pension.

Mississippi also passed a ballot to legalize medical marijuana in 2020, though it still needs to be implemented.

The two big college cities are Oxford (University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss) and Starkville (Mississippi State University), but I’m going with Hattiesburg, home of the University of Southern Mississippi. It’s a large city—about 46,000 people, and 75,000 in Forest County—so you’ll likely have more choices in produce prices (plus two farmers’ markets, one downtown and one for Forest County). It’s the south, so humid summers are a given. But you’re also less than 90 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and beaches.

If you visit Hattiesburg, there are two ways you can take advantage of on-campus academics. People over 50 can take the courses offered through Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on campus. State residents 62 and above can take Up to six credit hours of college courses each semester for free, space permitting.

Beyond the university, you can reach the 44-mile . can walk, run or ride a bike longleaf trace (a railroad trail that extends from downtown to the north) and explore Desoto National Forest, Follow 1964 Summer Freedom Trail, Hattiesburg was the largest center in Mississippi for this campaign to register African-American voters.

here is what will your money buy you In Hattiesburg, using listings from Realtor.com (which, like Businesshala, is owned by News Corp.)

Springfield, Missouri

This city of 167,000 is in the southwest corner of this conservative state, in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. You will get some snow in winter.

You will find no shortage of external options. many state parks, hiking trails and water options are nearby. Frisco Highline TrailMILF of a highlight Ozark Greenways, is a 35-mile trail that runs north of Bolivar.

National Park Service trail of Tears Springfield comes through, and it moves Wilson Creek National Battlefield, the site of the second major battle in the Civil War, just outside Springfield.

There is also the university side of the city. While Missouri State University won’t have the big-time sports you’ll find at the University of Missouri in Columbia, suggested here, it has more than 24,000 students on its Springfield campus. (You may not even like Colombia’s political leanings.) You may. If you are 62 or older, take a free class audit each semester More space is available.

And like Hattiesburg, you’ll have a few farmers markets in addition to the usual supermarkets.

When you want to get away, Branson and his concerts are less than an hour away. Suggested here: Bentonville, Ark. I have two hours.

These Lists on Realtor.com Will Give You A feeling for the local housing market,

The Garden of the Gods rock formation rises suddenly at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.


Colorado Springs, Colorado

Let’s go full-on pot and don’t overlook Colorado, one of the first states to legalize recreational use. True, your Social Security check is taxed — but the state provides Massive deductible for any pension and annuity income included on your federal tax return – $20,000 for those ages 55 to 64, and $24,000 for those 65 and older. social security eligible,

Colorado Springs, on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, is the biggest (465,000 people) and snowiest in my suggestions. And while it does get colder at night in the winter, the day’s highest temperatures will average in the 40s. Summer highs average in the mid 80s.

You may know it as the home of the Air Force Academy, but the military presence in the city extends to five military installations, including Fort Carson and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, as well as several defense companies.

University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (10,000 students, plus.) “Listening” program for people 55 and older) and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee are also here.

The outdoor adventures begin in the city, with the entrance to the stunning rock formations that form the Garden of the Gods. Pikes Peak, one of Colorado’s 14ers (mountains over 14,000 feet), is to the west. are within city limits More than 100 miles of off-street trails, cyclists will appreciate that this is a Silver-Level Bicycle-Friendly Community, But the plethora of water choices pose a major challenge; Do other facilities compensate for this?

When you want to travel, you can choose between Colorado Springs Airport or Denver Airport in less than 90 minutes

The size of Colorado Springs means you’ll have plenty of shopping options. While the cost of living here is above the national average, thanks to housing costs, according to Bestplaces.netThere are no groceries.

According to Realtor.com, the average list price for a home in December 2020 was $350,000. But you will find many such options so that you do not have to mortgage after selling your current home. here is what’s on sale now,

If you’re looking for a more conservative Colorado location but with a lower overall cost of living, consider Grand Junction, as suggested here.

Reader, where should Sydney retire? Give your suggestions in…


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