Learn about retirement in West Virginia, from taxes and income to lifestyle choices

If you’re considering retiring in West Virginia, you’re not alone! West Virginia has one of the highest retirement populations in the country. Census data from 2022 states that 21% of the population of West Virginia is over the age of 65. In this article, we’ll dig into a few pros and cons of retiring in West Virginia to guide your research about places to live out your golden years. 

Key Takeaways:

  • West Virginia is a tax-friendly state for retirees.

  • There are 84 senior living communities in West Virginia, which can help you meet other retirees.

  • West Virginia experiences all four seasons, including a cold and snowy winter. Luckily, there are opportunities to spend time outside year-round.

  • Housing and the cost of living are significantly less expensive than the national average.

  • While West Virginia is ranked low on overall health of older adults and access to healthcare, you still have options for Medicare coverage.

Pros and cons of retiring in West Virginia

Before you move and retire to a different state, you’ll want to be sure that it’s the right fit for your budget and personality. Start your research on whether or not West Virginia is a good place to retire by thinking about:

  • how tax-friendly the state is

  • what the retirement community is like

  • how affordable the housing is

  • what the climate is like

  • what your healthcare options are

We’ll dig into each of these factors below.

Retirement taxes in West Virginia

West Virginia is a tax-friendly state for retirees. Here are a few key points to keep in mind about its income taxes:

  • Social Security income is partially taxed.

  • Withdrawals from retirement accounts, (401(k)s and IRAs), are partially taxed. 

  • Wages are taxed at normal rates. Your marginal state tax rate is 3.54%.

  • Public and private pensions are partially taxed.

West Virginia is considered tax-friendly for retirees because although social security and other types of income are partially taxed, seniors can claim deductions to offset the taxes listed above. In addition, West Virginia has very low property taxes and sales taxes. 

Retirement communities in West Virginia

As of 2023, there are 84 senior living communities in West Virginia. Retirees settle throughout the state, but the most popular areas include: 

  • Morgantown

  • Wheeling 

  • Lewisburg 

  • Shepherdstown

  • Parkersburg

The senior living communities in West Virginia range from caregiving facilities to senior communities with amenities and social opportunities. One of the main draws of West Virginia is its mountainous, natural beauty and plethora of historic sites. If you enjoy spending time outdoors and visiting museums, West Virginia might be the place for you. 

Climate and outdoor recreation in West Virginia

Climate is an important factor when deciding where to retire. In West Virginia, you'll experience every season, including cold and snowy winters and mild, humid summers. Because West Virginia has mountainous terrain, some places may be more icy and difficult to walk through during the winter. These conditions may be less favorable for people with mobility issues

West Virginia is known for its natural beauty, which includes forests, lakes, and the Appalachian Mountains. If you enjoy spending time outside, West Virginia is a great place for hiking, fishing, and boating. In the winter, you can visit the various museums, galleries, and performing art venues that are available throughout the state. 

Housing and cost of living in West Virginia

One of the most enticing aspects of retiring in West Virginia is low housing costs and low cost of living. The cost of living in West Virginia is 20.6% lower than the U.S. average. According to Zillow, the average home value is $152,373, which is significantly lower than the national average of $342,941. 

In addition to low home values, West Virginia has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country at .55%. The state also offers a Homestead Exemption, which offers property tax relief for residents over 65. 

Quality of healthcare in West Virginia

According to the Healthy Aging Index, West Virginia ranks 49th in overall health for older adults. Due to the rural population and economic factors, West Virginia also ranks low on healthcare access. If you do choose to retire in West Virginia, there are doctors and medical facilities available to you. 

Medicare in West Virginia

Considering your health insurance options is a big part of retirement. There are about 445,000 adults who use Medicare in West Virginia, which is 19% of the state’s population. If you plan to retire in West Virginia, understanding your choices for Medicare is important to staying healthy. Be sure to research providers, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities in different cities so you can make the most out of your Medicare plan. You can talk to a licensed Chapter Medicare Advisor if you have any questions about how Medicare can cover your services in West Virginia. Call us at 855-900-2427 or schedule a time to talk.

Retiring in West Virginia

From the friendly tax rates and the beautiful scenery, West Virginia might seem like an enticing place to settle down! Still, understanding the whole picture is important when deciding if you should retire there. Find out if West Virginia is the right place for you to retire by spending some time in the state (if you can) and feel out the different cities.

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