Retirees are flocking to South Dakota. The state is known for being tax-friendly and has a diversified economy. The state sales tax remains lower than most states at 4 percent. Combine this with local sales tax rates; the average South Dakota sales tax after local surtaxes are under 6 percent. Median home prices in South Dakota are $235,500, making this appealing to retirees. Affordable housing, combined with a low local tax rate, makes South Dakota attractive from a monetary standpoint. The outdoor amenities are the icing on the cake, making this a friendly state for all retirees. Here are nine cities in South Dakota that retirees love.
1. Sioux Falls
With a population of 171,00 and growing, Sioux Falls offers housing that retirees have grown to appreciate. Apartments, condos, twin homes, and houses are all priced right for your budget. Family life, healthcare, and four seasons make this South Dakota city one of the most livable places in the nation for retirees. The unlimited educational opportunities through Lifelong Learning programs help keep retirees in tune with what is going on in our world today. Sculpture walks, the Museum of Virtual Materials, award-winning Falls Park, and 80 parks make up Sioux Falls. With so many outdoor activities, this makes this town attractive to all retirees. If you wish to remain active and enjoy retirement, Sioux Falls will become your home of choice in southeastern South Dakota.
Pro Tip: The Sioux Falls Airport offers daily flights to Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Dallas, making it convenient to travel from home.
When you hear the town of Sturgis, you often think of Harley Davidson Motorcycles. The annual motorcycle rally is held in August of each year. Thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts swarm upon this charming town in the Black Hills of South Dakota. If you visit, there’s a good chance that you will fall in love with this town. Retirees enjoy the small-town charm, with a little feel of suburbia. The upscale coffee shops and bars are places to relax and gather with your friends. Fewer than 7,000 people reside in Sturgis, this town is attractive to retirees that want a smaller community with four seasons. You can expect to pay nearly $162,000 for a home in Sturgis, with an average monthly rental price of $530.
Pro Tip: Plan your vacation for the first week of August, to avoid the crowds in Sturgis.
3. Rapid City
Rapid City sits on the eastern side of the well-known Black Hills in western South Dakota. Nearly 75,000 people call Rapid City home, making it attractive to retirees that want the feel of a big city, within small-town America. The proximity to the Black Hills makes this an attractive place to call home. The Black Hills offers activities all year long, with an opportunity to experience the four seasons. A sense of community is strong in Rapid City with retirees, as card games, pickleball, and pool are popular among the residents. Another bonus is that your grandkids will want to come to visit you, as the Black Hills offers a playground for kids of all ages.
Pro Tip: Mount Rushmore is one hour from Rapid City.
Mitchell is known best for being home to the Corn Palace, the only one in the world. Each year this palace is redecorated in a different theme featuring the 12 different colors of corn. Concerts, trade shows, special exhibits, and other events are held in this venue. With a population near 15,500, this is the 6th-largest city in South Dakota. Mitchell is affordable for retirees, with home values hovering around $147,000. Outdoor enthusiasts appreciate fishing, swimming, hiking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Small town charm is what you will experience if you retire in Mitchell, South Dakota. As you travel I-90, the exit to Mitchell is at Exit 332.
Pro Tip: You and your dog can exercise at the Mitchell Dog Park, featuring 2.3 acres for large dogs, and 0.85 acres for smaller dogs.
Vermillion is home to the University of South Dakota and the community pride runs high. Retirees enjoy this community in southeastern South Dakota since there is much to explore. The National Music Museum houses more than 15,000 non-western instruments and is an incredible place. Retirees may realize that their college days are long gone, but their love for college life still remains high. In Vermillion, residents of all ages feel young and have embraced an affordable lifestyle in this college town. Volunteer opportunities are abundant and help provide meaning to the life of retirees. Vermillion has more than 90 acres of parks for people to enjoy. From relaxing at a picnic table to hosting a family reunion, these parks offer a fantastic place to gather up your family. Frisbee golf, pickleball courts, and a lot of open green space make these parks extra inviting.
Pro Tip: Grab a sandwich from Mister Smith’s Bakery. In 2002, Oprah Magazine said this bakery is the home of “the best bread in the world.”
Art is strong in Aberdeen, through music, shows, concerts, recitals, theatrical shows, and Storybook Land. With close to 17 percent of the population being 65 and over, Aberdeen welcomes retirees. Housing is affordable, with an average home priced at $161,800. With a population hovering around 26,000, retirees can find large city amenities with quieter surroundings. Northern State University and Presentation College are in town, adding to opportunities for volunteerism and education. With two hospitals to serve the community, medical care is also easy to come by. Several parks offer hiking, birding, camping, and biking opportunities. You and your dog can exercise at three off-leash dog parks that are located throughout Aberdeen.
Pro Tip: Storybook Land is for people of all ages.
Watertown is located off of I-29 at Exit 177 in South Dakota. Art and business are strong in this charming community that welcomes retirees. The Terry Redlin Art Center features more than 150 paintings of this artist’s work. Sushi, steak, burgers, pizza, and Mexican restaurants offer a nice variety of food choices for the food critic. The median value of a home in Watertown is $170,500. This small town of fewer than 25,000 offers direct flights to Chicago and Denver. This progressive town in South Dakota recently renovated the Goss Opera House in Downtown Watertown. Can you imagine hosting your family, for a family gathering, in a room in this historic opera house? You can call Watertown home and be anywhere in the world within a few hours. Retirees love the four seasons, ease of travel, and wide-open spaces.
Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota and the 8th largest town in the state. If you want to be in the middle of South Dakota, Pierre is where you want to call home. Retirees can easily find themselves traveling any direction and be in another state in a few hours. Outdoor lovers enjoy the Missouri River and Lake Oahe, one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. Fishing, hiking, camping, biking, and paddle boarding are popular summer activities. Winter brings cross-country skiing and snowmobiling into the spotlight. History buffs enjoy the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center and research opportunities in the State Archives research room.
Pro Tip: Book a dinner cruise aboard the last authentic paddle wheeler on the Missouri River.
Brookings sits near Watertown, giving these two towns an extra dose of fun when it comes to living here as a retiree. The State Agricultural Heritage Museum is in Brookings, showcasing tractors and farm equipment that seem to go on for miles. This agriculture museum has an incredible volunteer program, including training and an opportunity to volunteer as often or as little as you like. Homes are valued at near $181,000, and close to 9.5 percent of the population is over 65 years of age. With three hospitals, Brookings offers high-quality medical care and choices when it comes to your care. Dakota Nature Park is popular for fishing, kayaking, and biking. With plenty of nature trails to explore, birding and hiking will be available all year long. Once the snow flies, grab your snowshoes and head for the trails.
These nine towns offer incredible opportunities for retirees and something a little different. The location, proximity to other states, logistics, and historical sites are unique to each area. If you have ever stopped at the Corn Palace while traveling along I-90, it may have never crossed your mind that you may want to live there someday. Oftentimes, the places that we visit while traveling, become our home at some point in our lives.
The people we meet when we travel often have an impact on where we live throughout our lives. South Dakota offers the opportunity to enjoy winter, spring, summer, and fall. Let’s face it, the fall foliage can be stunning in the Midwest. There’s a nice balance with a change of activities in South Dakota. Retirees can enjoy the season and know that there are new opportunities around the corner, as the seasons change. There’s something to be said about the change of seasons, as you never have time to be bored.
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