Retirement in Wisconsin


Why should you Retire in Wisconsin?

Are you a resident of Wisconsin who is planning to retire soon? Are you not sure about what to do after retirement or how to spend your time when you do not have a regular job to attend to? Here we have compiled a comprehensive list of information and facts on retirement in Wisconsin; a list that will help you to decide on the places to live in after retirement and the best economic, medical, cultural or transportation facilities that you can avail as a retiree in Wisconsin. Being one of the American states with a very small population ratio, Wisconsin’s retired life is expectedly peaceful and calm. But nevertheless, the state also offers some unique retirement opportunities that you may not be aware of. Therefore read our retirement in Wisconsin account to know more about them.


Wisconsin – at a Glance

Population Climate State Income Tax State Sales Tax Median Home Price
5,556,506 (2006 est.) Warm summers and cold winters 6.75% 5% $125,000


Pros:Good options for various recreational opportunities and winter sports; fabulous summers; world class breweries; and great ethnic restaurants.

Cons:Cold snowy winters; and high traffic.

What will your Expenses be in Wisconsin?

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

The relatively low cost of housing and food in Wisconsin and its lake-front living, combine to make Wisconsin an attractive place for many retirees.

Retirement System in Wisconsin

The retired government employees in Wisconsin fall under the Wisconsin Retirement System program and enjoy the retirement benefits provided by this program. The Employee Trust Funds, a retirement program has been introduced by the government authorities with the aim to benefit the whole body of public employees in this US state. You can avail the benefits of this program by getting yourself registered with the Wisconsin Public Employers plan. The different plans offered by the Wisconsin retirement system are:
  • Retirement Benefits – If you have registered your name with the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), you will enjoy certain retirement benefits that are available to all members who have attained or are over the age of 55 years. This benefit comes through the contribution of the employer and the employee in an account that can be accessed post retirement. The payment to the retired individuals is made through a monthly annuity which is payable to you until your death.
  • Disability Benefits – If you are a member of the WRS program and are a victim of an accident that makes you totally and permanently disabled, you will automatically qualify for disability retirement benefits under the government of Wisconsin policies.
  • Separation Benefits – If you choose to retire before the age of 55 and also apply for acquiring retirement benefits, you will receive a particular amount of money which is known as separation benefit. This benefit is available to you even if you are not registered with the Wisconsin Retirement System program.

  • Death Benefits – If you are a member of the WRS program and you die before you have started receiving the benefits from this program, your family members are qualified to avail the benefits from this program. Similarly, if you are working in a position from where you are eligible to draw benefits from a WRS account, but are an “inactive” member, that is, you have not withdrawn any money from the account before your death, you must be eligible to receive this money upon accidental death. In this case your death retirement benefit will consist of employee and employer contributions.

  • Additional Contribution – You can also opt for investing in your WRS account by making regular monthly or annual contributions. This is known as additional contribution in your Wisconsin retirement System account.

  • Divorce and Wisconsin Retirement Benefit – A termination of your marriage leads to some essential changes in your retirement funds. A divorce certificate provides for 50% of money to be contributed to your ex spouse from your WRS account. In this case, the ‘Qualified Domestic Relations Order’ is followed and money is given to your former spouse in the form of annuities.

Retirement Communities in Wisconsin

There are several Wisconsin retirement communities that you may join after the end of your regular career. Many people get used to spending their day involved in work and thus find it difficult to stay at home for the entire day after retirement. The solution is to join a community of any kind to stay involved in things of your interest. Traditionally, communities provide you with the opportunity to stay engaged and invest your time in an activity of your interest or a hobby. Here is a list of the popular Wisconsin retirement communities that retired personnel may join:
  • Alexian Village of Milwaukee – The lovely natural surroundings, unique facilities and services by the authorities and distinctive lifestyle programs are some of the features that draw old men and women towards the Alexian Village.
  • Burr Oak Manor in Genoa City – The Burr Oak Manor is a very popular retirement community because it provides facilities like private and semi-private accommodations. On of the special features of this community is the fact that it provides advanced medical services even for critical diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and mental and physical disorders.
  • Capitol Lakes Retirement Community in Madison – Skilled nurses and medical help available throughout the day makes this community famous in Wisconsin. Apart from good medical facilities, Capitol Lakes also offers lavish apartments which come in various sizes. According to reviews, the surroundings of this retirement community are so beautiful and lavish that they immediately win the attention of visitors.
  • Cedar Landing in Elkhart Lake – The Cedar Community is well known in Wisconsin and all over the world for its retirement communities. The Cedar Landing provides you with a choice of 40 village homes to put up during your stay in the community. It stretches across more than 14 acres of land in the Elkhart Lake area of Wisconsin. These features make this place on of the most popular Wisconsin retirement homes.

Popular Wisconsin Retirement Towns

Though Wisconsin is a state which has a total population count of only a little above five million and is a relatively calm and quite place to live in, ideal to spend a life after retirement, there are some towns in Wisconsin which are considered a better choice than others for the old and retired. The best among these towns are Milwaukee and Madison. While Milwaukee has the advantage in the form of the Lake Michigan and is in a geographically favorable position, Madison has a lot to offer in the form of education opportunities for your children. You may also opt to reside in the smaller Wisconsin retirement towns and villages.
Keep in mind these basic points after retirement in Wisconsin.