South Dakota is not the first place people consider when looking for a place to retire, but it is growing in popularity as more and more seniors learn the benefits of settling down in the Rushmore State. And indeed, there are good places to retire in South Dakota.
Over the last couple of years, various media outlets such as Forbes, US News, and Bankrate have listed South Dakota as one of the best places to retire. One of the things that make South Dakota so appealing is that it is a very tax-friendly state for retirees.
South Dakota does not have a state income tax, which allows retirees to spend their nest egg on the things that are important to them. And, South Dakota lacks an estate tax and inheritance tax. Like most states, it does have a sales tax, though it is definitely on the low side.
However, South Dakota’s property taxes are a bit higher than other states, at 1.32%, but housing costs are 27% less than the national average, offsetting the difference. And the cost of living in South Dakota is 11% lower, ranking 17 out of 50 by Bankrate for its affordability for retirees.
In addition to its economic benefits, South Dakota has a lot to offer those who enjoy history, arts and culture, and the outdoors (history buffs might also want to check out Virginia as a possible retirement spot). It might surprise people that South Dakota has a high number of arts and entertainment venues such as:
- Terry Redlin Museum
- National Music Museum
- Orpheum Theatre Center
- Historic Homestake Opera House
- University Art Galleries
And for those who love history, South Dakota has a rich and vibrant history spanning 5 million years. South Dakota has multiple archaeological sites, such as the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. But prehistoric attractions are not all; South Dakota’s history also includes the history of the American Indians in that area and, of course, the famous town of Deadwood.
South Dakota has all four seasons, and though the winters can get chilly here, it doesn’t stop residents from putting on their festivals year-round. Sturgis, the world-famous biker rally held since 1938, is just one of the many festivals and events happening all over the state.
And South Dakota has premium healthcare services throughout the state, making it easy for retirees to find a provider.
Where to Retire in South Dakota
- Sioux Falls
- Hot Springs
- Percent of Senior Population: 12.7%
- Overall Population: 183,793
Sioux Falls, located in the state’s southeast region, is the largest city in South Dakota. Not only does Sioux Falls offer all of the conveniences of urban life, but it is also less than a four-hour drive to the Twin Cities, perfect for a weekend away.
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state and is also quite picturesque, featuring Falls Park, which covers 123 acres and is the starting point for the Recreational Greenway. The Greenway traverses 29 miles and circles around the city, making it easy for retirees to stay active.
In addition to Falls Park and Greenway, Sioux Falls has several other outdoor activities like the SculptureWalk & Arc of Dreams Monument, The Outdoor Campus, and Great Bear Recreational Park. Plus, there is an abundance of golf courses to choose from too.
Sioux Falls is also home to several of the state’s most popular art and culture venues, such as the Museum of Visual Materials, South Dakota Symphony, and the Washington Pavilion.
And the growing culinary scene in Sioux Falls offers everything from fine dining to casual pubs, including a variety of ethnic fares.
And unlike many other large cities, Sioux Fall’s cost of living is still below the national average, making it easier for retirees to find a nice place to live. Plus, there is an abundance of medical centers and hospitals available, including premium hospitals like Sanford USD Medical Center, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, and Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital.
- Percent of Senior Population: 28,257
- Overall Population: 16.6%
Aberdeen is home to two colleges, Northern State University and Presentation College, both of which add to the energy of the city’s culture and economics. Though Aberdeen is a smaller city, it has seen a lot of growth over the last several years.
The primary reason for Aberdeen’s growth is the cost of housing, which was considerably lower than the national average. Though prices have risen to a median value of $172,272, according to Zillow, it is still well below the average housing cost across the country.
Aberdeen is an ideal place for retirees looking to settle down in a quieter town full of convenient amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, golf courses, and more.
Aberdeen has several local outdoor areas where residents can go walking, running, or enjoy one of the many nearby lakes. And if you are looking to spend some time on the water, both Richmond Lake and Wylie Lake are perfect for fishing, swimming, boating, and kayaking.
Plus, one of the many benefits of living in a college town is having convenient access to live performances, everything from sports to theater. Aberdeen has its own community theater too, which performs at the capital theater. And for retirees who enjoy the visual arts, there are few galleries in the area, such as the Presentation College Wein Gallery, NSU Art Gallery, and the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center Gallery.
Although Aberdeen is a smaller city, it still supports two hospitals Avera St. Luke’s Hospital and Sanford Aberdeen Medical Center.
- Percent of Senior Population: 19.8%
- Overall Population: 14,687
Yankton sits along the Missouri River, or Big Mo as locals refer to it, just north of the Nebraska border and 60 miles from Sioux Falls.
Yankton was founded in 1862 first made its name as a transportation hub for steamboats on the Missouri River and later railroads going cross country. And for a brief period, Yankton was the first capital in the Dakota region.
To learn more about Yankton’s strong role in the territory, residents, and tourists can check out the Dakota Territorial Museum/Mead Cultural Education Center, located on the north side of the city.
Active retirees will also enjoy exploring Yankton’s local parks, such as the Missouri National Recreational River, full of trails that run south into Nebraska. And the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, which is the second most popular park in the state. Moreover, the Fantle Memorial Park features an Olympic size pool.
Beer lovers will find plenty of craft brews, such as the Ben’s Brewing Company and Backspace Brewing company. And, the Boat House Recreational Center and Taproom is sure to bring hours of entertainment to any adult. The Boat House is the Chucky Cheese for adults offering games like golf simulation, axe throwing, and shuffleboard.
And, Yankton has 2.11 medical centers per 1,000 residents, including the Avera Sacred Heart Hospital.
- Percent of Senior Population: 11,756
- Overall Population: 20.6%
Outdoor enthusiasts will love Spearfish. The city is surrounded by natural beauty such as the nearby Badlands National Park and surrounding mountains Lookout Mountain, Spearfish Mountain, and Crows Peak. In addition to the mountains in the area, Spearfish is also home to Brady Park, Bridal Veil Falls, and Big Hill Trail.
During the summer months, residents enjoy biking, hiking, walking, and golfing. And in the winter months, residents can still stay active by cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing.
Downtown Spearfish features art galleries and restaurants. Plus, the town has plenty of craft breweries in the area like the Sawyer Brewing Company and Miller Creek Pub and Patio. Don’t worry if you are more into wine than beer; Creekside Bean and Vine have you covered.
Spearfish is home to Black Hills State University, which adds to the art and culture community. In addition to the local university, the Matthews Opera House, founded in 1906, hosts live performances.
Because of the city’s beauty housing here is slightly above average coming in around $262,000. But the flip side to that is that Spearfish has a low crime rate. Plus, Spearfish has a local hospital, Monument Health Spearfish Hospital.
Unfortunately, the drawback of living in Spearfish is that it is an isolated town, with the nearest international airport being the one in Denver, Colorado, more than 400 miles away.
- Percent of Senior Population: 26.4%
- Overall Population: 3,583
Located at the base of the Black Hills, Hot Springs is one of the prettiest cities in the state. With local greenery, lakes, and the local mountain region Hot Springs has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts.
The Wind Cave National Park has more than 30 miles worth of hiking trails. Angostura Recreation Area features the Reservoir View Bike Trail, ideal for hiking and biking, and Battle Mountain offers rugged terrain waiting to be explored.
If you are looking for a place to go swimming, boating, or fishing, Angostura Reservoir is where you will want to go. This reservoir has 36 miles of shoreline, making it the perfect place to spend a day at the beach. And anglers will be happy to know that they will find walleye, crappie, smallmouth bass, and northern pikes, to name just a few, in these waters.
Plus, being so near the Black Hills, residents can enjoy convenient access to the local attractions, which is great for when family and friends visit. Another spot to tour if you are new in town or showing guests around is the mammoth site, home to ice age fossils.
Hot Springs has a low unemployment rate of less than 1% and a low cost of living, with the average value of a house coming in at $170 thousand, making it a very affordable place to live.
And there are 5.46 hospitals per capita, including the Fall River Hospital and the Hot Springs VA Medical Center.