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Retiring in Austin: Reasons to Consider the Lone Star Capital

Austin is in a league of its own when it comes to Texas metropolises. A moderate-liberal city in the heart of one of the nation’s most conservative states, the city’s residents have even offered up the idea to secede on more than one occasion. The city’s mantra, “Keep Austin Weird,” is further proof of its unique character. But Austin isn’t just a destination for politically minded youths or eccentrics; the city has something for everyone, from delectable cuisine to world-class performing arts, miles of golf courses, and a booming tech industry. We’ve compiled this list of pros and cons to help you decide whether retiring in Austin is for you.

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Outdoor Activities

The Lonestar State isn’t known for its greenery. Much of the state is dry and dusty. However, coastal areas, including Austin and the Gulf Coast, are different. Austin has several lakes and rivers, and more than 250 parks. It’s a perfect place for active seniors to swim, hike, kayak, bike, walk, and spend a day outdoors with the grandkids. There’s also the Austin Golf Trail, which includes a broad selection of courses designed by famous golf architects. Like much of the Southwest, watering holes in Austin are gathering spots where people flock for a refreshing escape during sweltering summer days. You can also venture about three-and-a-half hours outside the city to Galveston or Padre for a day at the beach on the Gulf Coast shores.

Hot, Long Summers

It’s no secret that many seniors go south to escape the harsh, cold winters in the northern and Midwestern states. Like Arizona, Texas is a hotspot in more ways than one. Many over-55ers retire in Austin attracted by its warm climate. Not only is the weather warm, but summer lasts from about April to November. This is ideal for people with arthritis or sensitivity to cold. However, during the middle of summer, temperatures often climb to the triple digits. Most buildings and homes in the area are equipped with AC, offering some respite. But if you can’t stand the heat, it’s probably not the place for you. Winters are relatively mild compared to northern regions, and there’s typically little to no snow. However, during hurricane season, Austin can be inundated with heavy rainfall of 10 inches or more per day in severe conditions.

Entertainment & Socialization

Austin is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” an arts and culture mecca home to popular arts and cultural events such as the annual South by Southwest Conference & Festivals. There are also renowned symphonies, operas, theaters, and other performing and visual arts venues and companies that rank above the national average. Creative types should have no trouble finding something to do or see at any time of the year.

For the most part, Texas subscribes to the philosophy of Southern Hospitality. People tend to be warm and friendly compared with some places, like Seattle, where you’re more likely to get a cold shoulder. Austin is also a great spot for single seniors, with plenty of groups and meet-up opportunities.

Traffic & Transportation

Austin has some of the worst traffic in the nation, comparable to that of Los Angeles or New York City. Unless you live in the downtown area, where buses are easily accessible, you’ll need a car to get around. Austin proper isn’t very walkable outside the downtown area and a 10- to 15-mile commute can easily take an hour or more during rush hour.

austin city limits

Economy

Austin is rather expensive, with an average rental price of $1,232 as of January 2017 and an average home price of $262, 182. Surrounding suburbs such as Round Rock, Georgetown, and San Marcos are more affordable than Austin proper. Each of these communities has retirement communities, although San Marco’s Kissing Tree community is one of the most sought-after in the area.

Despite its high cost of living, Austin has a reasonable tax climate for seniors. Retirees pay no personal or corporate income tax and also enjoy low state and local tax rates. Plus, Texas doesn’t tax retirement income, meaning retirees can stretch their dollars a bit further. The Austin economy is expected to boom, thanks to thriving tech and software industries. This means more opportunities for semi-retired seniors looking for work.

Are You Ready to Retire in Austin?

Austin isn’t for everyone, but a diverse group of residents are proud to call it home. After55.com has you covered with information about communities in the Austin area Also in Texas, you might consider San Antonio, the Houston area, or the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metro area.

Retiring in Austin

Have you lived in the Greater Austin area? Share your thoughts, opinions, and experiences with us about retiring in Austin in the comments section. If you’re planning a move, tell us why!

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  • Rafael Henriquez

    About :

    Rafael (Raf) is the Targeted Content Writer & Strategist for ForRent.com, CorporateHousing.com, After55.com, and ForRentUniversity.com. He helps create, edit, and plan content that connects current and potential renters with apartment and property managers and owners. When Raf isn’t busy writing, he spends a great deal of his time performing sketch and improv comedy, hanging out at the beach, and looking at memes on the Internet.

    Comments

    1. JoAnn Alexander says:

      I will be retiring sometime this year and it’s going to be in Austin, Texas. My main reason for moving there from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area is because I have a daughter and son living there and I want to be closer to them during my retirement years. I am originally from San Antonio but moved away over 40 years to DFW. I will miss my old stomping grounds, living in DFW is less expensive than Austin, so hopefully being close to my other half of the family will compensate for that loss. Trying to stay positive and looking for a new chapter in my life with family and hopefully meeting new friends.

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