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Top 5 Reasons to Retire in Arizona

Older couple in Sedona wondering if they should retire in Arizona.

If you’re wondering where to settle down for retirement, why not retire in Arizona? This southwestern state provides an array of opportunities and activities to keep retirees busy and fulfilled. From stunning landscapes and hiking trails to vibrant small towns and culture-filled cities, Arizona has it all for modern day retirees.

1. Affordable Property and Cost of Living.

One of the biggest draws to retire in Arizona is the affordable property prices. The housing prices vary from location to location. For example, a lot of retirees move to the western part of Maricopa County (like the City of Surprise where the cost of living is 4% less than the national average as of 2023).  The median house value in Arizona is around $423,437 (as of January 2023). That’s significantly lower than what you would pay for similar housing in many other parts of the U.S.

2. A Great Tax Environment for Retirees.

Arizona does not tax social security benefits or any type of retirement income. In addition, the state has some of the lowest real estate taxes in the country and no inheritance or estate taxes. This makes it much easier for retirees to make their money go further and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

3. Varied Scenery and Weather Conditions.

Arizona has many landscapes to enjoy. From the red rocks of Sedona, to snow-covered forests in Flagstaff, or the arid deserts of Tucson – there’s something different around every corner. The climate is also incredibly diverse, with humid summers and mild winters, as well as an abundance of sunshine all year round. All in all, Arizona provides retirees endless opportunities for exploring and enjoying nature during their golden years.

4. Easy Access to World-Class Medical Care Facilities.

Arizona is home to some of the finest medical facilities in the country, with many providing specialized services that are unavailable elsewhere. Several hospitals in the state have maintained consistent 5-star ratings throughout the years, while others offer a variety of innovative treatments for conditions like cancer and Parkinson’s.

With easy access to these world-class facilities, retirees in Arizona can rest assured that their healthcare needs will be taken care of for years to come.

5. A Wide Variety of Fun Activities.

Arizona is an ideal choice for retirees because of its plethora of fun and exciting activities. From its world-famous golf courses to its vast array of art galleries, museums, historical sites, and other attractions, there’s something for everyone in Arizona. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the desert trails or take part in water sports like kayaking or fishing. Shopping enthusiasts can browse through upscale malls and outdoor markets to find unique wares from across the world. There’s truly something for everyone here!

If You Want to Retire in Arizona, Here Are Some Other Things You Should Know:

Retiring to Arizona is a popular choice for many looking for the perfect place to spend their golden years. Here are some other things to think about.

Establishing Your Domicile

Domicile refers to your legal home. This is relevant because estate planning and tax laws differ if you are domiciled in a community property state like Arizona.  You have only one domicile even if you have more than one home. Your domicile is a permanent legal home that you intend to use for an indefinite or unlimited period, and to which, when absent, you intend to return. The question of your domicile is mainly a matter of your intention as indicated by your actions. You must be able to show that you intend a given place or state to be your permanent home.
The amount of time spent in one place does not always explain the difference between home and domicile. A temporary home or residence may continue for months or years while a domicile may be established the first moment you occupy the property. Your intent is the determining factor in proving your domicile.

How to establish residency in Arizona

According to Arizona law, a resident is someone who:

  1. Is in Arizona for “other than a temporary or transitory purpose.”
  2. Is ‘domiciled’ in Arizona, but staying outside the state for “temporary or transitory purpose.”
  3. Spends more than nine months of the year in Arizona.

A domicile where a person has their permanent or principal home that they plan to return to. Where you hang your hat makes a difference in where your estate will be probated, where you will be taxed, and where you might file a divorce petition. So, if you consider your permanent home to be in Arizona, your domicile is in Arizona.

In more specific terms, individuals must have evidence that shows they are living in Arizona for more than half of their total year. To confirm this, applicants may need to provide documentation such as a driver’s license from Arizona and utility bills from the state.

Before You Retire in Arizona, Consider Arizona’s Climate

Arizona’s climate should definitely be taken into consideration when deciding to retire there. The state is hot and arid with temperatures reaching up to 120°F in some parts of the desert. Summers can be extremely hot while winters tend to be mild with warm days and cool nights. Rainfall is usually limited to brief monsoon storms between July and September. If you are planning on retiring in Arizona, make sure you are comfortable with the hot weather!

Explore Your Housing Options

When planning to retire in Arizona, one of your primary considerations should be what type of housing you have access to. Arizona residents have a wide variety of options when it comes to housing, from mobile home parks and apartment complexes to gated subdivisions and golf communities. Figure out what type of living situation works best for you and your budget, then start exploring the available communities throughout the state.

Become Familiar With Healthcare Requirements and Financing

When planning to retire in Arizona, you should familiarize yourself with the health care options and financing available to you. Many retirees are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65, which can provide coverage for preventive care and prescription medication costs. There are also a variety of supplemental plans to choose from that will help cover the cost of copays or non-covered services. Additionally, there are long-term care plans designed specifically for seniors who need extended care after retirement.

Still Have Questions About Whether to Retire in Arizona?

Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss how to retire in Arizona. Call us at 602-443-4888 to set up an appointment. We offer services to clients throughout Arizona.


Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.