Iowa Retirement Planning

Iowa is a popular choice for retirement among individuals for many reasons. Retirement communities and a low median home price make it an ideal place for those interested in an affordable town ideal for retirees. The decision to retire in the various cities throughout the state is influenced by factors like low cost of living. The availability of arts and entertainment available in the college retirement towns also draws in retirees who possess a love for theatre and arts festivals. The retiring sportsman or athletic individual will find that Iowa is full of recreation parks, golf and ski resorts, and other outdoor activities. A combination of a low cost of living benefits, arts and entertainment opportunities, and sports and recreation activities, are behind why so many consider the state in their Iowa retirement planning.

Overview of Retirement Planning

Iowa retirement planning considerations include savings, investment and planning strategies. Different factors that affect one’s overall financial situation should be weighed carefully in retirement planning. One must make it a point to save regularly. Building up a nest egg requires years or planning, hard work and commitment. The savings aspect or Iowa retirement planning must take into account the average life expectancy and the rate at which the nest egg is contributed to on a regular monthly basis. A steady income stream and a rainy day fund are components of the savings strategy. The rate of contribution to the IRA or 401K plan is also something that has to be considered. Depending on the person’s desired retirement age, contributions may have to be increased to maximize potential tax benefits available. Whether or not the person will continue to work into their retirement on either a part-time or full-time basis is another important thing individuals should consider in Iowa retirement planning. The amount of equity in a home, although often used as a last resort, is also a part of the overall financial picture for an individual.

Iowa Retirement Planning Considerations for Couples

Retiring couples should come together and explore the desired lifestyle to be had during the retirement phase of life. Spending habits and savings objectives should be considered. The level of desired travel the couple will enjoy and whether or not the couple will relocate are also potential topics of discussion. Financial resources available to the couple should also be evaluated during Iowa retirement planning. Health care costs to include long-term care are also something couples should plan for in retirement as well. This is especially the case for those retiring before the age of 65, since Medicare isn’t available until that age. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, savings should be in the amount of at least $158,000 with a Medigap plan in place for couples. Long-term care costs are another aspect of Iowa retirement planning for couples. One major investment study calculates that approximately $250,000 for the average 65-year-old couple retiring is needed.

Calculating and Estimating Retirement Savings

In addition to financial planners, there are a number of online resources that can be used to plan for retirement costs. Some calculators break apart the various aspects of one’s financial picture by breaking down the individual components. These resources help provide a better of understanding of all of the things that impacts the overall retirement planning process for individuals.

The current age and the desired retirement age are considered. The life expectancy is used in the formula. Current income, rate of savings, the average return on investments and the annual income for retirement are the preliminary forms of information used to calculate Iowa retirement costs. The annual amount anticipated from social benefits plans and the annual amount in savings used toward living expenses are also a part of the equation. Health costs are another component of the equation, and health care costs are projected to double by 2040. Aside from online calculators, there is a ballpark range recommended in some studies. It is estimated that between 74 to 83 percent of the current income level in retirement is needed to maintain the same standard of living.

Why Retire in Iowa?

Lower taxes are one reason why people choose to live in Iowa during their golden years. State Iowa tax deductions can help reduce tax liabilities for some retirees. Taxes on social security benefits will soon be a thing of the past. Railroad retirement benefits are exempt in the state of Iowa as well. There are deductions available for disability income. Retirement benefits such as annuities can also be deducted from IRA or self-employed plans. In certain scenarios, up to 100% in capital gains can be exempted in Iowa for tax purposes. Tax benefits available to Iowa retirees allow individuals to enjoy a relatively low cost of living.

Wonderful Retirement Communities

The state of Iowa is home to a lot of great retirement communities. Retirement communities can be found throughout the state of Iowa. Cities such as Cedar Falls, Altoona, Bettendorf, Dubuque, Des Moines, Council Bluff and Iowa City are home to affordable retirement communities.

Some of the communities have townhomes and high-rise apartments for individuals in need of a secure, low-maintenance living arrangement. There are also subdivisions comprised of standalone homes in traditional gated communities dedicated to retiring couples, which feature smaller yards that require less upkeep.

Affordable housing options

The housing options available to individuals planning to retire are numerous. Individuals can select the living arrangement that best meets their individual housing needs. The affordable housing options in Iowa for retired individuals are a major reason why retirees relocate to the state.

In Iowa City, the average home price is $192,491. In Cedar Rapids, the price for the average home is $156,000. The state as a whole offers a high rate of homeownership, availability of housing, a low crime rate and recreational events for retirees in the various cities.


In Iowa City, there are 30 golf courses in close proximity. There are historic sites in the area such as the Mormon Handcart site and the Devonian Fossil Gorge. There are also 12 hospitals within 30 miles of the area as well. The university located nearby is active in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In the charming downtown area, there are little shops and restaurants. Retirement communities like Oaknoll, Legacy, Melrose, and Chatham Oaks are located in Iowa City. The city was once ranked by the Milken Institute as one of the best places to retire. Forbes, Men’s Journal and the Wall Street Journal have recognized this city as a great place for retirees.

Bettendorf is another location for retirees. The median home price for this area is $147,500. There are quite a few recreational activities available to those living in the area. There are 14 golf courses, 46 gym facilities, 15 public pools, five local movie theatres, and 10 museums in the area. There are nine hospital facilities and 42 clinics in Bettendorf. Retirement communities for the area include: Fountain, Luther Heights, Luther Knoll and Palmer Hills. This city was recognized by US News as one of the best places to retire.

Cedar Rapids is another popular retirement city in Iowa. There are 31 golf courses, four movie theatres, over 600 libraries, and several museums in the area. The median home price for this area is $111,226. It is home to attractions like the National Czech & Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids Museum of Art and the Indian Creek Nature Center. Cottage Grove Place, Keystone, Meadowview, and Garnett Place are all retirement communities in the area. CNN and Newsweek have recognized this city as one of the best places to live.

Ames is another noteworthy retirement location in Iowa. The median home price for individuals living in this area is $149,750. With over 30 parks and 50 miles of natural trails, outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this city. Attractions in this area include: the Farm House, Ciccotti Art Glass, Museum, and the Iowa Arboretum. Green Hills, Windsor Oaks, Home Instead and Northcrest are some of the retirement communities in Ames. The area was recognized by CNN as one of the best retirement areas in Iowa.


For those who enjoy skiing, there are a few ski resorts in the area. Mt. Crescent, Seven Oaks and Sundown Mountain are ski resorts located in Iowa. Sportsman will enjoy the Loess Hills and the Iowa Great Lakers region with all of the beautiful scenery it has to offer. In the Sioux City area alone, there are over 1000 acres of parks. There are even casinos, resorts and other attractions in the Council Bluff region. Des Moines offers retirees a rich cultural experience with its museums and other local attractions. In Des Moines, there is the Iowa Historical Museum, Botanical Garden Sculpture Park and the Downtown Farmers’ Market, making it an ideal place for active retirees who enjoy the arts. Festivals like the World Food Festival and the Des Moines Arts Festival are other regional events retirees can enjoy. Golfers will be able to choose from over 400 courses through the state of Iowa. Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Sioux City are the areas with the highest concentration of public and private golf courses available. Fishermen will be able to enjoy the great outdoors in the state of Iowa. There are over 150 different species of fish available for the sportsman. For the hunter, wild turkey, deer, buffalo and rabbit can be enjoyed during hunting season.

There are arts and entertainment centers for those interested in accessibility to cultural events. And for those with a love of the outdoors, there are areas ideal for recreational activities like hunting, fishing, skiing, biking, hiking, and golfing.

There are quite a few locations to consider for those in their Iowa retirement planning option for those planning the next phase of their life. There are active communities, for the independent retiree. There are a variety of safe housing options designed to meet the diverse needs of the retiring population. The median housing price in the major cities are low, and the tax benefits at the state level are favorable for the retiree. Attractions such as museums, national parks, festivals, and historic sites make the city attractive to sportsman and cultural enthusiasts alike.

In addition to finding the right fit for a retirement location, the proper financial planning resources should be identified to help develop the best strategy. If in the processes of planning for retirement, the individual should definitely map out the long-term retirement plan. A savings strategy, the desired lifestyle, level of employment, health care costs, long-term care, and an investment plan are all important things to consider. Financial planners Tyler Dern, Eric J. Ricke, David Ginther or Roger Bell may be of assistance in Iowa retirement planning needs. When working with Iowa retirement planners in the state, make sure that the professional has the proper background and experience to meet the person’s specific needs.

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