Retirees looking to settle down in an area rich in culture, history with world-renowned food will find Louisiana very appealing. And for retirees who enjoy the outdoors, Louisiana’s year-round warm weather is perfect for those looking to stay active. Plus, there are many good places to retire in Louisiana.
Whether you want to live in a large city like Baton Rouge, have waterfront property in Lake Charles, or a quiet town like St. Francisville, Louisiana has it all.
Over the last few years, Louisiana has made huge efforts to make their state more appealing to retirees, and why not? It has a lot to offer. As mentioned earlier, it has warm weather year-round, but it is also a tax-friendly state for retirees, much like Mississippi and Georgia.
Retirees can stretch their savings getting a lot more for their hard-earned money in Louisiana. First, Louisiana does not tax social security benefits or public pension retirement funds. However, private retirement income such as IRAs and 401Ks are subject to income tax.
The good news is that there is a $6,000 exemption on all retirement income. And though sales tax tends to be high in the Bayou state, at the state level there is no tax on groceries or prescriptions.
Additionally, Louisiana’s property tax is the third-lowest in the United States, coming in around 0.52%. For retirees who own their home, there is tax relief on the first $75,000. And retirees 65+ years old are eligible for an assessment freeze, which prevents the increase of the home’s assessed value.
But, the culture of Louisana can be an even more important reason to move to the state. This type of vibrant culture in Louisiana can not be found anywhere else in the world. Louisiana is comprised of several diverse groups of people, such as the French, African, Spanish, and Native Americans, which has greatly influenced the state’s rich history.
Not only does the diversity add to the state’s history and culture, but it also has a great influence on Louisiana cuisine. Classic foods such as po’ boys, gumbo, creole, cajun, and beignets can be found in different regions of the Bayou state. Plus, seafood lovers will be in heaven here in Louisiana with oysters, crawfish, and crab.
Where to Retire in Louisiana
- Baton Rouge
- Lake Charles
- St Francisville
- Percent of Senior Population: 13.5%
- Overall Population: 220,236
Though Baton Rouge is far from the state’s largest city, it is still a busy city, especially being home to Louisiana State University (LSU). LSU is perfect for taking in a college game. Sports fans can head over to the Tiger Stadium for football or see a basketball game at Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Sports enthusiasts will love this city.
Though LSU is by far the largest of schools in Baton Rouge, there are also several other smaller colleges that call this city home.
Baton Rouge is more than just a college town. There are several city parks for those looking to spend time outdoors, plus the Louisiana State University Rural Life Museum, LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens, BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo, and BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, all great attractions to help spend time outdoors.
Arts and culture are also a big part of Baton Rouge. The LSU Museum of Art is a wonderful place to visit to see classic and contemporary exhibits. Or you can stop in and take in a show at The Baton Rouge Little Theater or the Baton Rouge River Center. Plus, there are several art galleries in the area, such as:
- Contemporary Art Gallery
- Baton Rouge Gallery
- Ann Connelly Fine Art
- KAWD Art Gallery
Plus, Baton Rouge hosts many festivals throughout the year, like the Blue Festival, Ebb and Flow Festival, and several food and beverage festivals. Still, the biggest festival of the year is Mardi Gras.
Baton Rouge is also home to several hospitals, including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge General, and Ochsner Medical Center.
Unfortunately, the drawback of living in Baton Rouge is the crime rate, which is twice as high as the national average.
- Percent of Senior Population: 15.2%
- Overall Population: 187,112
Shreveport, located in Louisiana’s northwest region along the Texas border, is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. The moderate warm climate is perfect for busy retirees to be able to stay active all year-round.
Plus, the Shreveport area boasts more than 55 different festivals and events, keeping locals busy. One of the largest festivals celebrated in Shreveport is the Red River Revel Arts Festival, which is one of the biggest outdoor art festivals found in the south.
In addition to finding art at festivals, Shreveport also is home to many other art and cultural centers like:
- Louisiana State Exhibit Museum
- Meadows Museum Of Art
- R.W. Norton Art Gallery
- Shreveport Little Theater
- The Strand Theatre
In addition to the arts and climate, Shreveport is also centrally located, making it easy to visit Dallas, Little Rock, and Jackson, Mississippi. And if you are looking to go further than a day’s drive, you can easily take a flight out from the Shreveport Regional Airport.
Shreveport also has a low cost of living, allowing seniors to spend more money doing the things they love.
Best of all, Shreveport has a very friendly and welcoming community making it easy for retirees to call Shreveport home.
If all of that is not enough to convince you that Shreveport is a great place to retire, it also has premium health care facilities, including Willis-Knighton Medical Center.
- Percent of Senior Population: 15.5%
- Overall Population: 78,396
Lake Charles is perfect for retirees looking to settle down near the water. In addition to the city’s namesake lake, residents also enjoy Prien Lake, multiple rivers, and it’s just an hour’s drive south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Lake Charles is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts with its abundance of options such as the many parks, bountiful fishing, and several biking and walking trails. Plus, golfers can take advantage of the six golf courses in the area. The golf courses in the Lake Charles area are known for being picturesque and lush, making golfing all the more enjoyable.
Plus, the art and culture community in Lake Charles is active and vibrant with a variety of festivals, concerts, and live performance theaters. Lake Charles is also home to The Lake Charles Symphony, Lake Charles Civic Ballet, and the Lake Area Ballet Theatre.
And foodies will love sampling the many cuisines offered here, much of which has a Cajun-French influence.
For the times you are feeling lucky there are various local casinos, including:
- L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
- Golden Nugget Lake Charles Casino
- Isle of Capri Casino
- Kings Palace Casino
In addition to casinos and cajun food, Lake Charles is home to Lake Charles Memorial Hospital and several other medical centers.
- Percent of Senior Population: 10.2%
- Overall Population: 21,854
If you are looking for a smaller city full of activities and events, but without the hustle and bustle of an urban area, Ruston is the place for you. It is a smaller city allowing for a quiet retirement yet is large enough to support a Ruston Regional Sports Complex and various arts and cultural events.
There is a ten-mile trail open to bicyclists and non-cyclists at Lincoln Parish Park, ideal for those who love the outdoors, especially mountain biking. In addition to the multi-use trail, the park also offers camping, hiking, and swimming.
In addition to the Lincoln Parish Park, active retirees can enjoy the Ruston’s Rock Island Greenway, which is perfect for bicycling, jogging, and walking. The Greenway runs along a former railroad. The Greenway’s final plan is that it will span six miles across through the city of Ruston, giving residents a convenient way to travel the city.
Ruston is also home to several museums and entertainment venues such as:
- Louisiana Military Museum
- Dixie Center for the Arts
- The Lincoln Parish Museum
- The Revelry
And the downtown historic district offers a variety of restaurants, shops, boutiques, and galleries. Plus is home to the farmer’s market.
Though Ruston is on the smaller side, it still has multiple medical centers, such as the Northern Louisiana Medical Center, Lincoln Community Health Center, and the Green Clinic.
- Percent of Senior Population: 18.8%
- Overall Population: 1,592
St. Francisville is one of Louisiana’s most charming small towns, full of antebellum-style homes framed with the classic oaks draped in Spanish moss.
This beautiful small town is quiet yet, a popular tourist destination. Tourists and residents are attracted by the city’s historic plantations, festivals, and historic districts. Some of the more famous plantations in St. Francisville are:
- The Myrtles Plantation
- Rosedown Plantation State Historic Site
- Butler Greenwood Plantation
The Mainstreet area has been restored over recent years, revitalizing the town and bringing in antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
When you want to visit a bigger city, Baton Rouge, filled with all of the conveniences of a large city, is less than 30 miles south, just about a half hour’s drive away. In addition to the common urban conveniences, Baton Rouge also is home to the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport for when you need a vacation.
And don’t worry, though St. Francisville is a small town of fewer than 2,000 residents, it is still well within an easy ten-mile drive to two hospitals.