Making The Choice to Retire in Arizona

by Calyn Ehid
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Arizona has always been a popular retirement destination. With its beautiful landscapes, desirable climate, tax-friendliness, and multitude of golf courses, it’s a natural choice. If you’re unsure whether Arizona is right for you, consider that various cities in the state have a different flavor. Phoenix is the largest city and offers a typical urban experience: fine dining, shopping, and the arts. It manages to do this while also showcasing beautiful desert scenery. Tempe is a college town and can make for an exciting, youthful, hustle-and-bustle environment. Scottsdale is considered more high-end and is geared towards those who enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. Sedona has been a haven for the more spiritually-minded and offers breathtaking scenery, art, yoga classes and spas. Flagstaff is at a higher elevation so it has a cooler climate than Phoenix, and is great for outdoor enthusiasts. No matter the city or town you choose, the benefits of living in Arizona may just tempt you to choose it as your retirement destination, as countless others have.

Making The Choice to Retire in Arizona

Probably the biggest consideration that you will have when deciding to move is housing. Finding the right apartment in another state may seem daunting, but there are a plethora of senior apartments in Arizona. The state is also home to many other retirees, so you are sure to find community. Since it’s been such a popular destination for retirement, there are services and amenities geared towards those looking to enjoy their golden years. Read on for more information to help you decide whether retiring in Arizona is a viable choice for you.

Senior Apartments in Arizona

Housing options for retirees in Arizona are plentiful. When beginning to look at senior housing in Arizona, it’s best to think about where you would like to live first, since Arizona is a big state. While the many housing options include RV Parks, privately owned homes for rent, and assisted living facilities, apartments are a great choice for healthy, vibrant folks due to the amenities and built-in community they offer. You will find many choices ranging from studio apartments priced around $485, to resort style living, where a two-bedroom apartment and a complex full of amenities such as a pool, tennis courts and community center can cost around $1200 and up.

Some apartments are available for purchase starting out in the $60,000 range. There are various low income housing options, though some may have waitlists. Despite the array of options, a common thread is that most of the senior apartments in Arizona offer vibrant lifestyles and great amenities, whether in low-income housing communities or luxury complexes. Be sure to do research on the rules for pets in each place. You are sure to find something that fits your lifestyle and budget.

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Benefits of Living in Arizona

For those used to snowy winters, the dry heat of Arizona is a welcome change. Though the evenings in the desert can get cold, it is overall a milder winter than in many parts of the country. Arizona offers a lot of natural beauty. There are plenty of affordable things to do including checking out the Grand Canyon, Red Rock State Park, and other outdoor activities such as golfing, fishing, and white water rafting. Arizona’s income tax rates range from 2.59 to 4.54 percent, which is lower than the national average. They also don’t tax Social Security income.

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How to Find an Apartment

Arizona offers a lot of senior apartments. Looking online will help you narrow things down and make your apartment search more efficient. If you’re interested in low-income housing, check Once there, click on the city, click the “Advanced” tab and type “senior” in the keyword search. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a website where you can search for affordable senior apartments. So does the city of Phoenix’s website. If you’re interested in a large retirement community, a luxury complex, or somewhere you can be active, check sites such as and

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Average Cost of Living in Arizona

The cost of living in Arizona is below the national average in many categories. The median home price is $178,000. Average rent for a studio apartment is $725. A one bedroom averages around $809, but then the prices increase as you go for two bedrooms and more, with the two bedroom average at $1258, which is higher than the U.S. average. Electricity costs are $120. While Arizona is hot, it’s cheaper to cool a home than to heat a home. Gas prices in Arizona are lower than the national average, at $2.004 per gallon for the state, while Phoenix and Tucson’s gas is cheaper.

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Meet People Your Age

Arizona has an ever-growing senior population and a benefit of living there is the large retirement community. Aside from meeting people where you live, try venturing out to find people with similar interests and hobbies. Arizona has over 70 public golf courses, so you’re sure to find people on the green. Look into local walking or hiking groups to take advantage of local natural beauty. You can also check out local activities such as the annual Tucson Folk Festival. This is one of the oldest free folk festivals in the country, celebrating American music traditions such as bluegrass, country, jazz, and blues.

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Enjoy the Desert Heat

Don’t bother to pack up your snow shovel when you move. Huge perks of living in Arizona are not having snow in your driveway or paying to heat your home. The winters offer blue skies and cold temperatures but they rarely drop below freezing. The state boasts more than 250 days of sunshine a year. While the summers can be very hot, there’s little humidity. The winters in the central and southern parts of the state are mild. Arizona weather allows for enjoyment of its many outdoor activities and witnessing the beautiful natural surroundings, such as cacti and wildflowers, year-round.

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Peaceful & Relaxing Retirement

Arizona is great for those looking to relax in retirement. People living in large retirement communities in bigger cities can take advantage of amenities like the pool and sunbathe by the palm trees. Choosing to live in a smaller town is a good idea for a slower pace of life. Prescott Valley and Florence have less severe weather, low costs of living, and low crime. Sierra Vista rated well for weather and retiree amenities per capita, along with a decent cost of living. It also happens to be the hummingbird capital of the US, so you can take up birdwatching as a new hobby.