Homes in Delaware - 55+ Communities
Retiring to Delaware: Mild Winters, Resort Beaches, Friendly Taxes and Convenient Travel
If you're considering a move to make your retirement more affordable, Delaware should be at the top of your list! In fact, Kiplinger Magazine ranks the state as its first choice for retirees, and its ratings are based primarily on preserving and stretching your retirement income. Others recommend Delaware for its mild winters, pristine beaches, convenient travel, and easy access to the urban cultures and fine dining of Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
A friendly tax structure is one of the top issues that people tout when they consider Delaware for retirement. This goes far beyond the state's absence of a sales tax. For those who rely on Social Security for a big part of their retirement income, the state, like the federal government, has a hands-off policy. People over 60 receive a pension exclusion of up to $12,500, and early retirees under the age of 60 receive an exclusion of $2,500. Delaware's tax on earned income is among the lowest in the country, ranging from 2.2 percent to 6.67 percent for those making over $60,000. Residents over 60 get a tax credit of $110. If you are over 65, the state recognizes that you probably don’t have children in the schools, and after you've lived here three years, subsidizes half your school property tax up to $500.
Room to Breathe
Within Delaware, relocating to Kent County puts the state's best features within easy reach, all while offering modest housing prices and an average cost of living. Many retirees, especially those coming from New Jersey, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., say they especially appreciate the "room to breathe" that the region offers. Once they move, they find hassle-free shopping, dining, and entertainment without timing their travel to avoid bottle-necks or the general highway congestion found back home.
Kent County sits between New Castle County to the north and Sussex County to the south. It's also home to the state capital, as well as Dover Air Force Base. This base serves as the primary point of entry and exit for military operations around the world and receives deceased or wounded personnel from all branches of the military. Dover's Air Force Base and state capital operations help support a thriving regional economy and professional service sector. Greater Dover also offers numerous two- and four-year colleges and universities, including extensions of the University of Delaware. UD offers a Higher Education for Senior Citizens program through which residents ages 60 or older can enroll in a formal degree program tuition-free.
Bankrate, Inc. is a leading aggregator of financial rate information that annually ranks states as retirement destinations. In 2015, they rated Delaware 8th overall in the quality of its healthcare system. The number of doctors in the state is approximately 266 per 100,000 residents, well above the national median. Residents in central Kent County have access to Bayhealth Kent General, an acute care hospital in Dover, and Newark is home to Christiana Hospital, a 1.3 million square foot facility offering a level of care typically available only in the larger teaching hospitals. Of course, Greater Dover is also within 1-2 hours of the world-famous teaching hospitals in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.. The primary Veterans Administration Hospital is located in Wilmington, but a branch facility is available near Dover.
Many retirees enjoy traveling and being close enough to major airports for convenient access to family. Central Kent County is just over an hour's drive to Philadelphia International Airport and only 90 minutes from BWI. Relocating also makes it easy to reach attractions like resort beaches (Rehoboth Beach is only an hour away), the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s capital, Baltimore's Inner Harbor, and historical sites in Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The area abounds in senior housing, ranging from developments restricted to residents 55 or older, small towns where the population skews older, or simply areas of Greater Dover with an older population. Some retirees prefer the designated developments because they are specifically designed for their age group. Plus, they offer amenities that would otherwise be unaffordable such as pools, tennis courts, gyms, clubhouses, and dining facilities. They also make it easy to form new friendships with like-minded retirees. But if you'd prefer small town living and a more diverse mix of neighbors, Central Kent County offers a wide variety of both.