9 Best Places to Retire

As the housing market keeps showing signs of a strong turn-around, it might finally be time for baby boomers and empty-nesters who want to downsize to feel confident again about selling their homes and relocating to some place sunny or near the water. Using data from Kiplinger’s list of top states to retire — based on special tax breaks for seniors — AOL Real Estate zeroed in on cities or neighborhoods that provide easy access to the amenities and lifestyle that might fit the active older adult.

Absent from our list is any city in California. In fact, California topped Kiplinger’s list as one of the least tax-friendly states for retirees — given that it has the highest tax rate in the U.S. And only two on the East Coast made our list — aside from, of course, Florida.

View the list below to see which states we found to be the most friendly to retirees — listed in alphabetical order. What would be your pick be for the 10th state? Tell us in the comments, along with the state where you chose or would most like to retire.

FLORIDA: A Relaxed State

There’s no inheritance tax or state tax in Florida and retirement income is not taxed. Some 65 and older long-time residents of certain Florida cities and counties can receive an extra homestead exemption up to $50,000 and/or an exemption equal to the assessed value of the property, as long as the real estate has a fair market value of less than $250,000, reports Kiplinger’s.

Walton Beach is a perfect place to retire. This luxury Gulfside condo with two bedrooms plus a bunk room comes furnished and is listed at $335,000. The Destin West community has a heated swimming pool, a “lazy river” pool, and large heated hot tub. There is also an elevator assisted sky bridge. The listing boasts that it is “seaside luxury with a toes in the sand location.”

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GEORGIA: Lodged With a View

Up to $35,000 of most types of retirement income, as well as social security income, are exempt from taxes in Georgia, unless you’re older than 65, in which case the 2013 exemption is $65,000 per taxpayer, reports Kiplinger’s.

This rustic lodge-style townhome in Peachtree City, priced at $169,900 boasts a “panaromic view of the lake and babbling creek.” The master bedroom has sliding door access to a private deck, where you can get one of the best views of the fireworks in Peachtree City.

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LOUISIANA: Celebrated Getaway

Social Security, military, civil-service, and state and local government pensions are exempt from Louisiana’s state income taxes. People 65 or older may exclude up to $6,000 of annual retirement income from their taxable income, reports Kiplinger’s. Homeowners who are 65 or older with an adjusted gross income of less than $65,891 in 2013 can benefit from freezing the assessed value of their homestead for as long as the applicant owns and resides in the home.

This three-bedroom townhome in Shreveport sits right on the lake. Built in 1987, it has floor-to-ceilings windows with amazing views. Jessica Simpson, Nicholas Cage, and Ed Harris are just some of the celebrities who reportedly have stayed in this lakefront home, listed at $369,000.

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MISSISSIPPI: Sporting Scene

Mississippi is home to some of the lowest property taxes in the nation, according to Kiplinger’s. Residential property is taxed at 10 percent of its assessed value, and seniors qualify for a homestead exemption on the first $75,000 of value. Also, prescription drugs, residential utilities, motor fuel, and health care services are tax-exempt. In addition, qualified retirement income is exempt from state income tax.

This two-bedroom, two-bath home listed at $135,000 sits on its own 4.9-acre retreat in the town of Picayune, which is one of 20 “Certified Retirement Cities.” To qualify, the town had to pass through a three-month screening process.

Picayune is surrounded by lakes, ponds, rivers and woodlands. New Orleans is just 40 miles away and saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is less than an hour’s drive.

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NEVADA: Office Space

Although there are no property tax breaks for seniors in Nevada, the good news is that there’s no state income tax, no inheritance tax and no estate tax.

With a master suite on the main level, a walk-in closet, and vaulted ceilings, this 1,278-square-foot townhome — priced at $125,000 — in Carson City also has a laundry area and office space inside the garage.

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SOUTH CAROLINA: Fairway Close

For homeowners 65 and older who were legal residents for at least a full 12 months of the tax year, South Carolina’s homestead exemption allows the first $50,000 of a property’s fair market value to be exempt from local property taxes, reports Kiplinger. Senior homeowners are also exempt from school taxes on their properties.

This 2002-built condo on Golfview Lane in Summerville is on the 10th Fairway of the Legend Golf Course. With a screened porch and crown molding, the listing says this unit has only been occupied about six months of the year since it was purchased by the last owners. It’s listed at $139,000.

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WYOMING: Set in the Great Outdoors

Wyoming, one of the least populous states, has no state income tax. Prescription medications are also not taxed, nor is retirement income and social security benefits, according to Kiplinger’s.

With fewer than 600,000 residents, Wyoming is perfect for the active adults over age 55 who love the outdoors. There’s skiing, hiking, river sports and, of course, Yellowstone. And when you feel the urge to be a part of a larger metro-area, Denver is only 100 miles away from Cheyenne.

This 2013-built twin home in Cheyenne has a main floor master bed room with walk-in shower and walk-in closet. There’s an upstairs loft and the dining area and open-concept kitchen is large enough for entertaining. It’s listed at $235,000.

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