Retirement in South Dakota



The State of South Dakota is named after the Sioux American Indian Tribe of Dakota. Mount Rushmore, with the sculpted faces of four charismatic US Presidents, has become the most famous symbol of South Dakota. The Mississippi River divides the state down the middle, with rolling prairies to the east and the Black Hills and Badlands to the west. On either side of the Mississippi lie the Great Lakes. Sioux Falls, the largest city in the state, is one of the best places to retire in the State.

You will enjoy your future years if you choose to stay in South Dakota. If you like to travel, then you can spend a lot of time exploring the state. In the Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes region, you can go on a tour of the Four Mile Old West Town, where you will be able to see how the early settlers in Black Hills lived.

You can also visit Bear Country USA, which has the largest private collection of North American Black Bear besides other wildlife. The Custer State Park is another place where you can observe wildlife up close, especially herds of roving bison.

South Dakota – at a Glance

Population(2006 survey) Climate State Income Tax State Sales Tax Median Home Price
781,919 (2006 est.) Continental Climate N/A 5.92% N/A


Pros:Great place for fishing.

Cons:Very hot summers and very cold winters. Summers also bring frequent thunderstorms. Ice storms and blizzards occur during the winter season.

Outdoor activities in South Dakota include hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. There are a network of “Scenic Byways” which will take you through some of the most spectacular regions in the world. You can go for long drives on the Native American Scenic Byway or the Wildlife Loop State Scenic Highway.

There are many events round the year in South Dakota, including the Horse Volksmarch. This event, in June each year, is an organized hike to the site of the world’s largest sculpture in progress. Other events include the Brookings Car Festival and the Burke Stampede Rodeo.

If you are interested in history and archeology, you will find a lot of museums in South Dakota, like the Smith-Zimmermann Heritage Museum, the Adams House Museumand the Journey Museum.

The State also has a passion for woodcarving, evident at the National Museum of Woodcarving. And if you are still young-at-heart, you can have a lot of fun at Storybook Land and Land of Oz and at the world’s only Corn Palace, made from South Dakota corn and grasses.

The best places for retirees to stay in South Dakota include: Watertown, Aberdeen, Rapid City, Brookings, and Sioux Falls.

What will be your expenses in South Dakota?

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

For example, if you are staying in Alaska or California, you will find that your cost of housing in South Dakota is comparatively much lower. Also, other costs like groceries, utilities, transportation, and health care are also lesser in South Dakota.