Wyoming, with its big open skies, rivers, lakes, and mountains, is a dream retirement spot for those who love the tranquility and the peace of the outdoors. Retirees tired of the big city ready for a slower pace and a quieter lifestyle where they can enjoy nature will surely love Wyoming, especially as there are plenty of attractive places to retire in Wyoming.
Wyoming has the fewest number of people of all the states in the US, allowing residents the opportunity to spread out instead of being cramped in busy cities. This can be much more appealing than packed states like Florida and Pennsylvania.
Some of the most popular natural sights in Wyoming include:
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful
- Devil’s Tower National Monument
- Jackson Hole
For those looking for outdoor activities, Wyoming has it all, including hiking, camping, skiing, rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, and mountain climbing.
Plus, many retirees will enjoy the warm drier summers. Though the winters bring snow, they also bring winter activities like cross country and downhill skiing and snowshoeing.
Not only does Wyoming have magnificent scenery, but it is also full of history. Historically, Wyoming is best known for its role in the wild west and western military posts. Additionally, Wyoming was the first state to allow women the right to vote, giving Wyoming the name the “Equality State.” Some of the more famous historical sights in Wyoming include:
- Independence Rock
- Oregon Trail
- South Pass City
- Register Cliff
- Pioneer Museum
And numerous military camps and forts.
Wyoming not only has spectacular attractions but also is one of the most tax-friendly states. Wyoming has the third-lowest tax burden in the country. Plus, there is no state income, estate, or inheritance tax, making it the ideal state for those looking to hold onto their hard-earned money. This means that all pensions, social security, and retirement accounts are tax-free in Wyoming.
The one area that Wyoming taxes are on the higher side is their property tax. And even though they have a lower sales tax, 4%, Wyoming has a higher cost of living than the national median.
However, the flip side is that Wyoming has an extremely low crime rate. And even the city with the highest crime rate, Cheyenne, is still the 11th safest city in the US.
Where to Retire in Wyoming
- Green River
Percent of Senior Population: 64,235
Overall Population: 15.6%
Cheyenne is not only the state’s capital but is also the largest city in Wyoming. Cheyenne is steeped in western history since the city was a primary stop for the railroads. Today the railroad is still a part of the local economy along with construction, Dish satellite uplink facility, and FE Warren Air Base.
The temperatures reach extremes in Cheyenne, getting into the 90s in the summer and below -40F wind chills in the winter. The cold weather in the winter may be a drawback for some retirees. However, those who enjoy the dry heat may opt to spend their winters just south in Arizona or another warm-weather winter state.
Cheyenne is not for everyone, though it has the highest population in Wyoming, it is far from the traditional urban area. Instead of the symphony, they have a rodeo, though it is the largest outdoor one in the world. And instead of fine dining, they host an array of fast food places and chain restaurants. Still, instead of a high crime rate, they are one of the safest cities in the US, so I guess that’s the trade-off.
However, those looking to retire to Cheyenne are not doing it for art and culture or the standard amenities associated with large cities. Instead, the people who move to the Cheyenne area do so for the beauty of the area. These are the ones who cherish spending time outdoors enjoying things like:
- Curt Gowdy State Park
- Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
- Arthur Rock Trail
- Mount McConnel Loop
- Horsetooth Falls Trail
Plus, Cheyenne is home to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, the top hospital in Wyoming.
Percent of Senior Population: 32,711
Overall Population: 8.9%
Laramie, located in the Southeastern region of Wyoming, is a college town, home to the University of Wyoming. Being a college town brings vibrancy to Laramie not found in all Wyoming cities.
Laramie has an abundance of outdoor opportunities retirees will love, such as visiting one or all of the 14 local parks:
- Medicine Bow National Forest
- Vedauwoo, which offers a climbing area, picnic area, and campground
- Happy Jack Trailhead
For outdoor activities, residents are never wanting; there is everything from mountain biking to fly fishing. You can take a trail ride in the hills or guided boat tour to check out the local fishing. Plus, Laramie offers a few different golf courses.
Laramie also has several historical attractions such as the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site, which was operational from 1872 to 1903. There is also the Laramie Plains Museum, formerly known as the Ivinson Mansion, which was built in 1892. It is another stop history buffs love to tour. And the University of Wyoming Geological Museum featuring numerous geological finds including dinosaur skeletons.
In addition to the beautiful outdoor and historical options, being a college town has a few more perks. The University is home to the Fine Arts Concert Hall, which puts on concerts and recitals during the school year, and is open to the public. And though Laramie is best known for being a college town, it also has a below-average crime rate.
Though Laramie is on the small side, the city does offer a full-service hospital, Ivinson Memorial Hospital.
Percent of Senior Population: 17,940
Overall Population: 18.5%
Sheridan is on the north side of Wyoming just east of the Big Horn Mountains near the Montana border. It is the perfect city for retirees who enjoy the stories and history of the wild west. The architecture and 30 historic sights give this town it’s old west feel and why the True West recognized Sheridan in their magazine as one of the top old west towns.
But Sheridan is so much more than a historical town, Sheridan’s proximity to the Big Horn Mountains provides residents the perfect outlet to getting out hiking, fishing, biking, and camping. In addition to enjoying nature, Sheridan is also a golfer’s haven with four championship golf courses.
And those new to the Sheridan are will enjoy exploring the many various sites. Such as the Whitney Commons Park, which is conveniently located near the senior center and features an amphitheater, walking and biking paths, and the Dorothy King reflective flower garden.
The Hub on Smith is the local senior center which is found near the middle of town. The Hub offers an array of activities, including health and fitness classes, hosts a variety of games including BINGO, and offers recreational opportunities like tennis and hiking. Additionally, the senior center has a range of helpful services to aid local seniors like meal services, transportation, and general support.
Percent of Senior Population: 11,759
Overall Population: 12.2%
Green River, named for the river that runs through town, is a picturesque city and is the ideal retirement spot for the more adventurous retiree. Much like the rest of the state Green River has much to offer in the way of outdoor activities.
Those who love to fish will find “world-class fishing” opportunities on the river with a chance to catch a variety of fish like brown trout, cutthroat, rainbow trout, and lake trout. You can take the afternoon and find the perfect fishing hole on your own or take advantage of the many fishing guides available in the area.
And all visitors and residents enjoy spending time in the historic downtown area of Green River. The town is revitalized but still has an old west feel. Green River’s downtown district offers shopping and restaurants, including an excellent brewery where you can enjoy local craft brews.
Green River also hosts Golden Hour Senior Center, where those 55+ can enjoy daily social hour, games, exercise and fitness classes, luncheons, and crafts. Golden Hour is open to all seniors in Sweetwater County. It is the goal of the center to help seniors stay social and active, as well as be a resource for local seniors and their families.
Green River only has a few medical centers, but in nearby Rock Springs, there are several medical facilities, including a full-service hospital.
Percent of Senior Population: 9,788
Overall Population: 20%
The Rodeo Capital of the world is also known as Cody, Wyoming. This small city is the quintessential old west town. And, though it has the lowest population on this list, it boasts the highest population of seniors. In addition to its high rate of seniors, Cody is home to many cowboys and ranchers, adding to the old west feel.
But besides the rodeo, the city is also very close to Yellowstone, making it a very appealing place to retire for those who love being out in nature. Residents of Cody can purchase an annual pass to Yellowstone and enjoy unlimited access to the park, including exploring the park on their snowmobiles in the winter.
The primary driver for the Cody economy is tourism. However, that has not impacted the city’s crime rate, which remains well below the national average. Cody also has a few fascinating museums, which are an excellent opportunity for active seniors to get connected with the community through volunteer work.
Retirees who enjoy the history of the Old West will love checking out:
- Buffalo Bill Center of the West
- Old Trail Town
- Cody Dug Up Gun Museum
Cody also has 3.9 medical centers per 1,000 residents, which is impressive on its own but more so when you consider it is a town of less than 10,000.