Top Five Reasons to Retire to West Virginia
West Virginia is a growing star in the world of retirement. While seniors have been flocking to Arizona and Florida for decades, many are branching out and exploring other states. West Virginia has risen to the top of the list of new retirement states because it is ruggedly beautiful, affordable, and has mild winters. If you love being outdoors and enjoy wildlife and nature, this is the state for you.
The Appalachian Mountains cover the entire state and provide opportunities for endless activity. The area is famous for whitewater rafting and caving, but you need not be that adventurous to enjoy West Virginia.
An easy hike in the mountains or quiet bird watching are other activities that you can find here. Add the friendly locals to the list and you have your perfect retirement state.
If you enjoy having four distinct seasons, but prefer winter to be a little shorter and a little milder, West Virginia is right up your alley. Here, you can watch the seasons change from winter to spring to summer to fall. You can participate in seasonal activities and try different outdoor activities at any time of year. But, if you are moving down from a northern state, you will find that the winter is a relief compared to what you are used to. It can get very cold, but not nearly as cold as in New England or the Midwest. There are occasional strong winter storms, but overall the snow fall is minimal.
If you choose to move to West Virginia from a more metropolitan area, your wallet and bank accounts will thank you. The cost of living is much lower than the national average as are housing prices. You can really stretch your retirement savings here. Additionally, the tax breaks will help you save even more. Property taxes in West Virginia are among the lowest in the U.S. Seniors over 65 will also receive a $20,000 homestead exemption and a $22,000 exemption for military benefits.
Adventurous and active seniors love West Virginia. The terrain and geography of the state and its natural beauty are huge draws for many people, vacationers and retirees alike. West Virginia is entirely within the Appalachian Mountains and is a part of the region that is referred to as Appalachia. The average elevation here is nothing compared to the Rocky Mountains or the Sierra Nevada, but it is the highest of any state east of the Mississippi. The geology of the state is largely karstic, which means that in addition to mountains, there are plenty of caves. If you are truly adventurous, spelunking, or exploring caves, is a sport that you could take up here.
Other less risky activities that are abundant in West Virginia include hiking, fishing, mountain biking, hunting, skiing, and whitewater rafting. Even if you are not terribly active, this is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. You can take an easy stroll or find a nice place to sit and watch the wildlife, which is abundant here.
Proximity to Big Cities
Depending upon where within West Virginia you settle down, you can feel as if you are in the middle of nowhere. For many seniors, this is a big draw. The rugged natural beauty of the state is a big plus. And although the state feels very remote, you can actually access major metropolitan areas pretty easily. From various points in West Virginia, you will not be far from Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Lexington, Kentucky, Columbus, Ohio, and Charlottesville, Virginia.
People who are new to Appalachia are often surprised at the warmness and accepting nature of the locals. The people of Appalachia get a bad rap in popular culture, but they are very welcoming, tolerant of diversity, and neighborly. You will enjoy getting to know the people here and living the relaxed mountain lifestyle.