Plenty of Americans finish long workdays and weeks dreaming about where they’ll retire and what kind of life they’ll have during their golden years. If you’re researching retirement location options, it’s important to bear in mind factors like proximity to family, but also the affordability and quality of life in the states you’re considering. If you feel drawn to the mid-Atlantic seaboard, there’s good news. A January 2023 study ranked Virginia as the single best American state to retire in based on multiple important senior living criteria.

Here are some of the factors that make the “Old Dominion” such a great place for retirees:

  • Tax friendly. The Commonwealth of Virginia does not tax social security benefits, and it even allows you to deduct federal social security taxes when you file at the state level. Qualifying seniors 65 and older can take additional deductions on income tax, and in certain cities and counties, you may be eligible for still more tax breaks on personal property or real estate taxes.
  • Mild climate and diverse landscapes. Virginia has 5 climate zones and a generally mild climate overall. Temperatures don’t typically dip below the mid- to upper 30s in the winter or rise above the upper 80s in the summer, so you won’t have to cope with extreme cold or heat. The state features stunning mountains, valleys, rivers, bays, and ocean beaches, so you’re never far from fresh and breathtaking scenery.
  • Healthy coastal lifestyle. The eastern border of the tenth US state offers a wealth of gorgeous beaches, including Cape Charles, Sandbridge, Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach, and many more. Plenty of these are pet-friendly, and it would be hard to find better views or a more pleasant (yet effective!) form of exercise than long waterside walks. You can also enjoy delicious and healthy local catches like oysters, blue crabs, rockfish, and more, as well as a relaxed pace of living.
  • Affordable living costs. The cost of living in Virginia falls roughly in the middle of other state rankings in the US. When you factor in the high quality of life and generous tax benefits offered by the state, the value of retiring here becomes clear in more than just dollar signs.
  • Gorgeous seasons. Spring in Virginia is a sight to behold, as the state enjoys warm, vibrant spring seasons perfect for shaking off winter doldrums. You’ll be able to explore over 250 gardens during Historic Garden Week in Virginia teeming with colorful flora and decked out homes each spring. It’s the oldest and largest garden week in the US. Spring is also a great time for hiking, biking, birding, and wildlife-watching in Virginia’s many beautiful state parks.
  • Lifelong learning. If you had trouble choosing just one or even two majors in college, or if you simply enjoy in-depth learning on a variety of subjects, Virginia may be just the place for you. The Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act allows state residents age 60 and older to take courses at public colleges and universities free of charge. This is a great way to stay socially active, keep your mind sharp, and stay young at heart as you relive your glory days at college.
  • Family-friendly getaway destinations. In addition to beaches, mountains, and state parks, Virginia offers plenty of other fun destinations for the whole family. Your children and grandchildren will be happy to spend time with you in theme parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, entertainment centers, resorts, and more. Many Virginia retirement communities are located within easy reach of multiple family-friendly attractions.

Enjoy Virginia Life at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury

Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury is a continuing care community (also known as a life plan community) providing the highest quality living experience for discerning senior adults. Situated on 165 beautiful acres outside the village of Irvington in Virginia’s Northern Neck, RWC residents choose to live here for the independent and worry-free lifestyle afforded in a tranquil setting.

At RWC, you’re only a ten-minute drive from the Chesapeake Bay or the Rappahannock River as well as a variety of creeks, estuaries, and other rivers. You’ll have access to all that our local freshwater and saltwater destinations have to offer, from outdoor recreation to dining on fresh local catches to boutique shopping.

Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Inc. is a Virginia nonprofit corporation affiliated with the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. All religions are welcome. Read about our residence options and living our lifestyle!

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