Retirement in Iowa


Iowa – at a Glance

Iowa is the only state in the US whose east and west borders are almost completely formed by water – the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Also known as the ” Hawkeye State”, Iowa mostly consists of gently rolling plains with a series of low coniferous hills (a part of the “Driftless Zone”) to the northeast. The Grotto of the Redemption at West Bend, Iowa has the largest concentration of minerals and petrification fossils in the world. So if you are looking to stay in a place full of natural wonders after your retirement, you will love to be in Iowa.

Unlike other states of the US which are characterized by master-planned communities, high-rise condos near the waterfronts or lavish country-club golf resorts, the retirees in Iowa are offered homes with conventional family values, reflecting sensibilities and attitudes of small-town living. These days, small-town living is becoming more and more popular among the baby boomers who wish to spend a slower paced life after retirement in the US.


Population Climate State Income Tax State Sales Tax Median Home Price
2,966,334 Humid Continental Climate 8.98 % 5 % $ 156,406

Pros:  As a retiree, a low cost of living is something you can look forward to in Iowa, that too, without having to compromise on your lifestyle in a big way.

Cons: The climate of Iowa is something you need to adjust to. The place is characterized by frequently changing weather conditions throughout the year. The state taxes are also above the national average

For extrovert people, Iowa has facilities for camping, hiking, biking and RV travel. For those of you whose lives revolve around golf, there are nearly 300 courses across the state. The sunny Great Lakes Region will offer you recreation round the year. You can visit Sioux landmarks and have fun at festivals. In the northeast, you can visit historic river towns, and play hard on a riverboat casino. The northeast is also the place to be at fall, with a colorful fall harvest to enjoy every year.

If you are looking to spend a quiet time amongst plants and trees, you can visit the Iowa Arboretum, which has many different species of shrubs, flowers and trees. Other things you can do as a retiree in Iowa include visiting museums like the Airpower Museum, The National Farm Toy Museum and the Old Capitol Museum.

Iowa also has something to offer music lovers. You can listen to performances by symphony orchestras in almost every part of the state, including the University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra. Besides, there is also the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa, which holds regular performances. Those seniors who enjoy movies will be interested to know that Iowa is the birthplace of the famous movie star John Wayne. You can also take a look at the Field of Dreams movie site.

Cost of Living in Iowa:

The above table shows the percentage fluctuations in expenditures incurred in Iowa, as compared to the nation’s average, which is taken as 100%.

If you enjoy your wine, you will find it fascinating to visit the many vineyards in the region, including the Eagles Landing Winery, the Park Farm Winery and the Whispering Hills Vineyards.

In the year 2005, the Iowa City was rated among the five most sought after cities to retire in the US by the Money Magazine. The city was also mentioned as an ideal mid-sized town crowded with bookstores and old, leafy farmlands. This city, along with the towns of Cedar Falls, Waterloo, and Des Moines are the best places to search for retirement homes in Iowa.