real estate

Hanover, N.H.: A Smart Place to Retire

Retirees can get a taste of college life again in this town, home to Dartmouth College, through leadership positions and fitness classes.

Population: 11,500

Cost of living: Not available

Median home price: $265,000

College perk: Active retirees can work out at the campus gymnasium through Dartmouth’s Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program.

Hanover buzzes with a diverse mix of art, culture, and outdoor sporting and recreational activities year-round. Located along the Connecticut River bordering Vermont, this 50-square-mile town in the Upper Valley is home to Dartmouth College. Founded in 1769, it’s the smallest of the eight Ivy League colleges, but it’s big on including all residents, especially active retirees, in its community.

Whether retirees are Dartmouth alums or transplants yearning to spend their retirement years in a bucolic college town, they have numerous opportunities to participate on campus committees, town boards and commissions, often alongside students and college staff. “Getting retirees at the committee level with Dartmouth students on various topics is something you see all the time,” says Julia Griffin, town manager.

“The campus is extremely porous, with no fences or gates to differentiate between what’s on or off campus,” says Griffin. It’s typical to see retirees mingling with students at the coffee bar in Dartmouth’s Baker-Berry Library or on the Dartmouth Green, the vast quad located at the heart of the campus.

Hanover residents young and old participate in the college’s events and activities, from concerts and performing arts events at the Hopkins Center for the Arts—known as The Hop—to sporting events, especially ice hockey. You can work out at the campus gymnasium through the school’s Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program. For $80 to $140 a term, residents 65 and older can take classes, such as Dartfit cardio and general strength training.

Retirees also benefit from the region’s full-service health system. The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which includes a cancer center, a children’s hospital and the Geisel School of Medicine teaching hospital, is a Level 1 trauma center serving nearly 2 million people throughout New England and is New Hampshire’s sole academic health system. With 24 clinics with ambulatory services across the state and in Vermont, patients receive comprehensive care and access to physical therapy facilities.

Winters are chilly and long. In January, for ex­ample, the average high is 28 degrees, with an average snowfall of 17 inches. And Hanover is scrambling to keep up with demand for retiree housing. The cost of a 900-square-foot condo a few blocks from the Dartmouth Green is $360,000; a two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,146-square-foot single-level home 10 minutes from campus goes for about $390,000. The area has several 55-and-over residential communities, including the 39-acre Quail Hollow Senior Living Community in neighboring West Lebanon.

New Hampshire residents pay no taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions or distributions from their retirement plans. And there’s no sales tax.

For population figures, we used the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Cost-of-living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research (100 represents the national median). Median home prices were provided by Redfin, Zillow and local associations of Realtors.

Most Popular

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
11 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

11 Best Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy

Your bills come monthly. Why not your dividend checks? These are some of 2021's best monthly dividend stocks and funds for easier income planning.
June 16, 2021
You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge
Medicare

You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge

If you meet one of the seven qualifying life events, you have a good chance of getting a higher premium for Medicare Part B and Part D reduced.
June 16, 2021

Recommended

14 States That Won't Tax Your Pension
Tax Breaks

14 States That Won't Tax Your Pension

Some states have pension exclusions with limitations based on age and/or income. But these states don't tax pension income at all, no matter how old y…
June 19, 2021
What Fee-Only Financial Advice Really Means – and Why It Matters
Financial Planning

What Fee-Only Financial Advice Really Means – and Why It Matters

You’ve probably heard the term “fee-only financial adviser," but maybe you don’t quite grasp how that works or why it’s far better than the alternativ…
June 19, 2021
10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees
retirement

10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

When it comes to state and local taxes, retirees in these states are likely to pay more than retirees in other states.
June 17, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
June 16, 2021