By Barbara Thompson
Senior Care Advocate
Thinking about where you’d like to settle for your golden years? Choosing a new city for your retirement is an exciting time. You can base your decision on the things that make you happy rather than focusing on being close to work or considering where to raise a family. If Madison, Wisconsin isn’t already on your shortlist, it certainly needs to be added.
U.S. News lists the city among the top 40 best places to retire in America, and it’s easy to see why. Madison, Wisconsin has that casual, down to earth feel that is characteristic of the Midwest while still boasting modernity and excitement. There’s something for everyone in Madison.
Ready to learn more? Below you’ll find just some of the reasons why Madison is a not-to-be-missed retirement hotspot:
There’s Plenty to Do in Madison
With retirement comes an abundance of free time you can spend doing the things that make you happy, so it’s important to choose a city that has plenty of activities and entertainment to enjoy. If there’s one thing Madison definitely does not run short on, it is having lots of things to do. Madison is something of a foodie’s paradise. The city is home to locally produced cheese and local beer from a growing legion of microbreweries and gastropubs, such as The Great Dane and Ale Asylum. There’s also a rich art scene, tons of outdoor space to stay active, and water activities during the summer. The summer months on Madison’s lakes are great for boat lovers, sailors, and canoers.
Madison is Tax-Friendly for Retirees
Retiring is a very exciting time, but it can be stressful in terms of finances. Before picking a new city it is wise to consider your budget and what you can afford in terms of housing, lifestyle, and health. Luckily, in Madison, retirees enjoy a tax-friendly environment. Income from Social Security benefits are not taxed, and neither is income from a public pension. Additionally, if you’re interested in buying a home, you could qualify for a property tax deferral through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. All of these factors directly translate to you keeping more of your money in your pocket to spend on the things you enjoy.
Retirees Have Many Different Living Options in Madison
Choosing a city is one thing — deciding the best living option for you in your chosen city can sometimes be a bit more complicated. You’ll have to think about your present needs and preferences as well as those of your future. It can be daunting, but luckily Madison is home to a variety of living options for you to explore.
You can, of course, buy a new home in Madison. This is a great option for younger retirees who remain fully independent — you will just want to make sure any home you choose is one in which you can safely age in place. Your real estate agent can help you target homes with the right amenities, including wide hallways, bathrooms with safety features to prevent falls, no-step entryways, and single-story floor plans.
If you want to remain independent, but would like to avoid having to manage your entire property, a retirement community could be the best choice for you. Management in these “55-plus” communities takes care of everything from snow removal to lawn care to roofing issues. They also typically offer amenities to keep retirement fun and healthy — including pools, fitness centers and organized community events like happy hour.
If you worry that your health issues may worsen or that you will have trouble getting around on your own, an assisted living facility could be the best option. There are several highly-ranked assisted living facilities in the Madison area — each staffed with specialized professionals that can help you with activities of daily living.
Barbara Thompson, Guest Blogger