When the time comes to start winding down, when you have lived your life and feel that it’s time to put your feet up, you need to think about retirement. The first question on your mind will probably be – where?
Naturally, you’d like to look at the kind of place where your day-to-day life will be simple and easy to manage. You’re not as young as you used to be and comfort and convenience are important.
If this is the way you are thinking, perhaps St. George in Utah will be the kind of place you are looking for. As a retired person, there’s no getting away from the fact that finances will be one of your major concerns. So let’s take a look at a few hard facts.
Generally speaking, the cost of living in St. George is low, with property taxes amounting to less than 1% of the assessed value of the property. For those who are buying their second home, taxes are a little higher. St. George has attracted a number of people from California, who find that they can acquire two homes in St. George for the cost of the home they left behind.
Although there is an estate tax, the state of Utah is governed by federal laws. Consequently, assets up to $ 1 million in value are exempted from this tax. Income tax is charged at 7% with sales taxes a shade over 6%.
St. George is a picturesque spot in the southwestern part of Utah, within 120 miles of Las Vegas. Close to the Snow Canyon and a couple of hours away from Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park, St. George also offers facilities for a variety of sports for people of all ages.
So if you are interested in sporting activities, you have plenty to choose from. About 17% of the town’s total population of approximately 50,000 is over the age of 65 years. The average price of a 3-bedroom house is about $ 200,000.
With golf courses, trails for walking, a swimming pool and tennis courts, St. George appears to have thought of everything for every kind of preference. Take the swimming pool for example – there are swimming lessons for people with arthritis and various other handicaps. Other activities include cycling and softball, apart from the Huntsman Senior Games. This is an annual feature held in October that draws about 5,000 athletes to St. George.
However, St. George is by no means a hotspot for athletes alone. So if you are more inclined towards cultural pursuits, you’ll find plenty to interest you in that direction as well. Such as the Tuacahn Theatre where concerts and plays are performed in a natural arena formed from red rock.
Because Las Vegas is so close to St. George, it is easy for Tuacahn to attract prominent performers, who contribute richly to the cultural life of the community. The other factor is the presence of the Latter day Saints community.
There’s also an annual Shakespearean festival at the Southern Utah University not far away. In addition, there’s a community theatre at which volunteers give musical performances. For people who enjoy quieter pursuits, the Dixie State College inside the town arranges trips and classes for senior citizens.
Since St. George is a small place, there is a single hospital, but another was due to open in 2005. Around the same time, the airport was expected to be able to accommodate jets. In the normal course, the residents of St. George make use of Las Vegas airport for their travel requirements.
The Mormon way of life encourages the development of cultural activities within families. As a result, there are a great many people who take an active interest in singing, playing musical instruments and dramatics.
However, there are disadvantages in this apparent paradise. Situated at the northern edge of the Mojave Desert, temperatures vary between 103° and 29°F. The climate, which is dry and sunny, draws snowbirds during the winter months. However, it can go to the other extreme in summer when it is quite a hothouse. Apart from this, there is a shortage of water and residents find it necessary to use water carefully.
Last but not least and particularly important to senior citizens is the fact that children are usually polite and treat older people with deference. All in all, St. George offers a happy blend of conditions that make for a comfortable retirement.