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10 Reasons Missouri is the Best Place to Retire


Alissa Sauer

What makes Missouri one of the best places to retire? Known as the “Show Me” state, Missouri is well-known for its Midwestern hospitality and rich culture. Located in the heart of America, Missouri is where southern hospitality, midwestern charm, and the promise of adventure in the west come together. Reknowned for its beauty, rich history, and die-hard sports fans, Missouri is also an often overlooked retirement destination that offers an affordable senior living experience with an abundance of opportunity. 

10 Reasons For Retirement In Missouri

1. Low Cost of Living

St. Louis has been listed by U.S. News and World Report as one of the “Best Places to Retire Under $400,000” and as one of the top “10 Most Affordable Places to Rent an Apartment in Retirement”. The cost of living in Missouri is 16.3% below the national average, and Springfield, Missouri has been named by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top “10 places to buy a Retirement Home for Under $100,000”.

2. World-Class Health CareHealthcare in Missouri

For retirees, being close to medical care is crucial to a healthy life. Retiring in Missouri means being surrounded by world-class health care with two nationally ranking hospitals on both sides of the state. Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis is ranked 14th in the nation for geriatric health care while St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City is nationally ranked in two adult specialities. Both are high-performing in adult procedures and care.

3. Unique Benefits for Military Veterans

Missouri has two military bases, including one Air Force Base and one Army Fort. Whiteman Air Force Base has an office dedicated to helping retirees claim earned benefits and Fort Leonard Wood offers base housing to retirees. Federal and state assistance for veterans is available throughout the state at VA centers, hospitals, and the USO of Missouri. Additionally, Missouri offers continuing education opportunities to veterans, on top of existing GI Bill benefits and Military pensions are also no longer taxed in Missouri.

4. Tax Benefits

Missouri is ranked the 18th best state in the U.S. for being taxpayer-friendly. Ranked as being moderately tax-friendly to retirees, Missouri partially taxes Social Security income, fully taxes withdrawals from retirement accounts, and public pensions are partially taxed while private pensions are fully taxed. Social Security retirement income is typically fully exempt, if seniors earn less than $85,000 annually filing single and $100,000 per year if filing jointly.

5. Country Living with Big City Amenities

St. Louis and Kansas City are on each side of the state, giving residents easy access to big city living while much of the state boasts rural scenery and small towns. Kansas City is the state’s most populous city with fun activities visiting grandchildren will love, like the Kansas City Zoo and Science City at Union Station. In fact, Kansas City was ranked by National Geographic as one the Best Trips of 2019. Meanwhile, St. Louis is a mecca for sports fans, boasting  the 8th most professional sports championships among U.S. cities. With sports, world-class food in the Soulard district, and live entertainment throughout the city, St. Louis is a hidden gem retirees will love exploring.

The Lake of the Ozarks6. More Coastline Than California

Most people are surprised to learn that Missouri has more coastline than California. Because of its abundance of lakes,  outdoor recreation in Missouri is on a whole new level. In fact, the Lake of the Ozarks alone brings 1,150 miles of coastline to the Show Me State, 200 miles more than California. The Lake of the Ozarks is in a State Park and it is the largest State Park in Missouri. Home to Party Cove, a gathering spot noted by the New York Times as the “oldest established permanent floating bacchanal in the country”. Fourth of July weekend brings up to 3,000 boats to Party Cove annually.

7. The Napa Valley of the MidwestWine in Missouri

Prior to prohibition, Missouri was the second leading producer of wine in the U.S. Home to the first American Viticultural Area (AVA) in the United States, Augusta, Missouri is noted for its soil, climate, wines, and long history as one of the country’s oldest grape and wine districts, even pre-dating Napa Valley. The state is now experiencing a revival with vineyards across the state producing world-class wine. Missouri is also home to Anheuser-Busch and an abundance of craft beer breweries. Aside from producing delicious wines and delectable craft beers, the wine and beer industry has a significant economic impact on the state, bringing $1 billion in annual wages and over 28,000 jobs.

8. A Sports Haven

Missouri is proud to call the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals their home teams, each with a strong history of World Series championships. Both teams have a loyal fan base resulting in a state-wide rivalry known as the ‘Show-Me Series’ or the ‘I-70 Series’ because the two cities are connected by Interstate 70. The teams face off every baseball season, first playing against each other in the 1985 World Series with the Royals winning 4-3. For football fanatics, Missouri hosts the Kansas City Chiefs.

9. Parks, parks, and more parks.

Missouri is called the ‘Show Me State’ for its numerous parks and stunning natural landscapes – and the locals are proud of it. Visitation at Missouri state parks is typically higher than the national average as Missourians took advantage of their camping, fishing, hiking, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Additionally, the state has hundreds of miles of caves for the adventurer to explore. In fact, there are so many caves in Missouri that in addition to the “Show Me State”, Missouri is also called “The Cave State”. Boasting over 6,400 caves, the state gives regular tours of four of the most accessible and most interesting caves. Some companies offer guided tours, leading groups through more of the larger caves in the state.

St. Louis Style Barbecued Ribs10. Award-Winning BBQ

Missouri has the 4th most barbecue restaurants per capita of any state. While Kansas City is the center of the state’s barbecue craze, residents can find delicious barbecue across Missouri. In addition to a fierce baseball rivalry, Missourians also find themselves in a fierce barbecue rivalry, with two distinct styles: Kansas City Barbecue, a thicker and tomato based sauce versus St. Louis barbecue, typically thinner with a vinegar base.

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The Cost of Senior Living in Missouri

When evaluating the cost of senior living, it’s best to start with your current expenses because so much of senior living is all-inclusive. Think through how much is spent monthly on food, utilities, healthcare, house maintenance, and homeownership costs. Once you have a good understanding of how much it costs to live on your own, you will have a more realistic picture of senior living costs.You will also want to think through what is included at the community you are considering. Many of our communities include a wide range of amenities including:

  • Regular housekeeping and linen services
  • True restaurant dining, with made to order meals
  • Engaging activities and social events
  • Home maintenance and yard work
  • Gym memberships and fitness classes through PrimeFi
  • Language lessons
  • Travel opportunities
  • Assisted living and memory care services, if needed

Exactly how much your monthly rate is will depend on the care being received, amenities being used, and apartment chosen.

The cost of senior living in Missouri is fairly consistent across the state, coming in at $2,881 per month for assisted living care.

Your Dream Retirement on Your Budget

From traveling the world to exploring your own backyard, Leisure Care living is fun and easy. We offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care services at our senior living communities in Missouri. We will work closely with you and your family to create a lifestyle that meets care and budget needs while making the most of every day of retirement. Five-star fun. Five-star service. That’s our promise.

It’s your time to build your future. Contact us today to get started.

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