Retire in New Hampshire

by Burt Widener

When considering relocating for retirement, the obvious locations like Florida, Arizona or Nevada usually top the list of candidates. Those who want something a little different should ask, "Why not retire in New Hampshire?"

Woman retires in new hampshireAm I kidding? Not at all. When you look beyond the stereotypical view of New Hampshire's winter weather you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find. New Hampshire is the jewel of the Northeast, with abundant attractions that can make for a happy and enjoyable retirement lifestyle.

Here are some reasons to retire in New Hampshire...

The Climate in New Hampshire

The common view is that the weather in New Hampshire is a detriment to retiring there. I don't hold that view at all. I moved to New Hampshire from California and believe me, it is different. But that doesn't make it worse, only different.

In New Hampshire you get to experience four seasons, each with a unique character of its own. Sure it gets cold in the winter, but winter is also snow covered landscapes, warm fires, a white Christmas, and even ice fishing (for the hardy). Skiing, snowmobiling and sledding are available to those who like to stay active, while for others, the weather is a good excuse to sit inside by the fire and read a good book.

Spring really makes you understand why it's called spring, as you can see the plants and trees spring to life after their winter sleep. If you haven't enjoyed the first really warm days of April in New Hampshire you are missing one of the best experiences you can have. There is an old saying that goes, "If you can‚t do the winter, you don‚t deserve the summer." Anyone who lives in New Hampshire understands what that means.

Average summer temperatures are in the upper 70s, while almost weekly afternoon thunder storms limit occasional humid stretches to a few days.

Fall in New Hampshire is a glorious cascade of color, warm days and cool nights. If you haven't seen the fall foliage in New England, you have missed one of nature's most glorious displays of color. For me, the joys of having four seasons outweigh the occasional inconvenience of winter.

Retire For The Taxes
In New Hampshire

new hampshire townNew Hampshire ranks among the lowest per-capita tax burden states. There is no state income tax and no sales tax. The major sources of income for the state are what the natives refer to as "sin taxes." This includes a tax on rooms, restaurant meals, cigarettes and pari-mutual betting. The state also raises revenue through the state owned liquor stores, but alcohol is still relatively inexpensive compared to the surrounding states. The local communities are very dependent upon property taxes, but by selecting wisely you can avoid towns with high property tax rates.

Retire For The Geography
Of New Hamphsire

From central New Hampshire you are no more than an hour from the mountains to the North, East (Maine) and West (Vermont), while you can be at the seashore in about that same hour. There are too many lakes to list, ranging from small ponds to the crystal clear waters of the "big waters" of Lake Winnipesaukee (12 miles wide by 25 miles long).

At the same time you are less than two hours' drive from Boston and only four from New York City. Montreal and Quebec are a leisurely day drive away. The rugged Maine coast is a day trip, as are the rolling hills of Vermont.

Retirement Lifestyle
In New Hampshire

Regardless of what you want in a retirement lifestyle you can find it in New Hampshire. The nightlife in New Hampshire is plentiful and varied. There are numerous professional and amateur theatres that offer performances throughout the year. The New Hampshire Symphony is one of the best, and offers a series of concerts in season. The Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester offers a variety of choices of entertainment styles with appearances by "A list" performers like Elton John, Josh Groban, Neil Diamond, Aerosmith and more.

For the sports fan, New Hampshire is the home of the Fisher Cats (AA baseball), Monarchs (AHA hockey) Wolves (Arena2 football) and several other professional and semi professional franchises. If major league sports are your thing, less than two hours away are the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.

There are all the usual civic and religious organizations you would find in any urban or rural locations as well. The opportunities for volunteer service are varied and numerous throughout the state. Contrary to what you may have heard, New Hampshire folks are friendly and welcoming to new arrivals. After all, a significant number of us are transplants from other areas that have discovered and fell in love with New Hampshire.

There are numerous quality health care facilities in New Hampshire including the well known Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center located in the central part of the state.

Housing prices are reasonable and varied. New Hampshire offers a choice of city dwelling, suburban, small town or rural locations. There are numerous retirement communities almost everywhere in the state.

So before you make any final decisions on your retirement location, check out New Hampshire. The combination of four seasons, economical taxes, great geographical location and the abundant lifestyle choices should encourage you to say, "Maybe I will retire in New Hampshire."

©2011 Burt Widener writes extensively on issues concerning retirement. His website at offers a range of articles and other resources to aid retired persons find answers to common questions regarding retirement. The site is updated frequently to keep the content current. You can contact Burt at: webmaster
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