Retiring in Arizona Pros and Cons
Retiring in Arizona – Pros and Cons
Although Arizona has built up a reputation as an incredible place to retire, it doesn’t come without its downsides. Like any other state, there are pros and cons to living in Arizona. If you’re trying to figure out, “Is Arizona a good place to retire?” take a look at the Arizona pros and cons list below to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Pros of Retiring in Arizona
When most people think about the pros of living in Arizona the first thing that comes to their mind is sunshine! With over 80% of the year boasting sunny days, it’s easy to see why this tends to be the driving factor. However, there are a lot of other benefits to retiring in Arizona including world class golf, award winning restaurants, a flourishing fine arts scene and more.
Golf and Outdoor Activities
Many people retire in Arizona for golf alone! With so many incredible courses throughout the state, it’s easy to get out on the green any time of the year. After all, rainy days rarely ruin a golf game in Arizona. There’s also lower humidity, so you’re not sweating it out on the golf course.
The temperate weather makes it easy to get outside regularly. Take a stroll around one of the many picturesque parks like the Desert Botanical Garden or the Japanese Friendship Garden and enjoy all the natural spaces the Grand Canyon state has to offer.
Health Care System
The health care system and availability of general and specialty doctors is another major bonus of retiring in Arizona. Many of these doctors have offices near one of the many retirement communities in AZ, so you never have to travel far to get the care you need.
Many people know Arizona as home to some of the best Mexican food in the country. While this is certainly true, that’s not all the local food scene has to offer. There are several James Beard Award nominated chefs throughout the entire state, featuring all different types of cuisine.
Arizona also features a flourishing fine arts scene. You can visit one of the many museums throughout the state or catch a performance by the Phoenix Symphony. You can also attend one of the many performances throughout the year by Ballet Arizona and the Arizona Opera, or enjoy a play at Phoenix Theatre.
Don’t forget to attend the Scottsdale Art Walk that happens every Thursday night. The opportunities for soaking up the rich culture of the arts scene in Arizona are almost endless!
If you prefer sports over the ballet, don’t worry. Arizona is home to many major league sports teams like the Cardinals football team, Diamondbacks baseball team, Phoenix Suns basketball team, and Coyotes hockey team.
Spring training season for baseball also brings in many teams from across the country including the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers.
Arizona is also home to a multitude of faith communities. There are a variety of religions and denominations represented throughout the state, giving you plenty of opportunities to find a community that you connect with.
Cost of Living
The cost of living is definitely a huge issue to consider when looking at the pros and cons of living in Arizona. It’s generally more affordable than other popular retirement states like Florida or California. With moderate housing prices, lower transportation costs, and affordable food prices, the overall cost of retirement living, especially in one of the 55 plus communities in Arizona, is very reasonable.
Taxes are another benefit Arizona offers. Property taxes in Arizona are typically lower than the national average, which is hugely beneficial for buying a retirement home. Arizona also does not tax Social Security retirement benefits and, since 2006, Arizona has had no inheritance tax. These tax benefits can add up to some serious savings over time.
Arizona is also enjoying a growing economy. This is beneficial for home values, and makes buying a retirement home a great financial investment. For those who still want to work, the strong economy also provides plenty of job opportunities. Maybe you can convince your kids that moving to Phoenix is right for them too!
Cons of Retiring in Arizona
Of course, like any state, there are some cons to retiring in Arizona. All that sunshine in the winter months makes for a very hot summer, and the dry desert climate isn’t for everyone. You also have to consider the summer storms and the desert critters that also call the space home.
Hot summer months
Many people love the warm weather in Arizona, but when it hits triple digits it can be downright miserable. June, July and August are the hottest months in the desert and can be tough for some people to handle. It’s hard to get outside for a round of golf when it’s 110° and touching the flag pole burns your hand!
If you’re a fan of ocean views or large oaks, you might be disappointed by Arizona’s cacti and palo verde trees. The desert landscape is very different from what you see in other parts of the United States. If you enjoy gardening, you might have to adjust what you plant so that it survives in the desert soil. Arizona is very dry and requires you (and your plants) to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
Haboobs and Monsoons
If you’ve never experienced these summer storms, they can be a bit scary! A haboob is a giant dust storm that looks almost like a wall of dust sweeping over an area. Although they don’t last long, they can make quite an impact and you’ll want to be inside when they hit.
The summer monsoon storms begin in June and last through August or September. These are short, brief storms with thunder, lightning, and occasional flash flooding. The locals are used to these weather outbursts and even tend to enjoy them as a quick relief from the summer heat, but they can sure catch a visitor or newcomer off guard.
Be prepared for pests
Unfortunately, there are some pests that love the dry desert. Cockroaches, termites, and scorpions are common critters found in Arizona. Most homeowners hire a pest control service to come spray their houses regularly to keep these unwanted visitors out.
The best way to get around in Arizona is by car. Although there is some public transportation, it’s not always readily accessible or convenient. You may need a car to get to the doctor or to visit the downtown Phoenix area for an entertainment event. Many of the retirement communities in Arizona are set up to have convenient stops like the grocery store or pharmacy as close as possible, but it still might require you to hop in a car or jump on a bike to get there.
Where to Retire in Arizona
Now that you’ve reviewed the pros and cons of moving to Arizona, you have a better idea of what it will be like to retire in the valley of the sun. You may be wondering at this point, “Where’s the best place to live in Arizona? Is Phoenix a good place to retire?”
There are so many different active adult communities throughout different parts of the state that it can be tricky to settle on the perfect one for you. We’ve created a short quiz to help you determine your ideal location.
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