retirement

Billings, Mont.: A Great Small City for Retiring in Good Health

This town offers retirees city living that's not too far from the great outdoors.

Population: 110,263

Cost of living: N/A (national median: 100)

Median home price: $208,200 (national median: $185,000)

Healthy highlight: Swords Park Trail, with spectacular views of the city and Yellowstone Valley

Billings attracts retirees who enjoy the great outdoors but like their urban amenities, too. You can spend the morning hiking or mountain biking on nearby Phipps Park Trail or Swords Park Trail and be back in town by noon for a burger and a beer at Montana Brewing Company. During baseball season, you can spend the evening at Dehler Park rooting for the Billings Mustangs, a farm team for the Cincinnati Reds. Billings is in the midst of a decade-long project to connect a series of trails in and around the city. People often use the trails to bike to work, says Ed Ulledalen, a financial adviser for Raymond James and former deputy mayor.

12 Great Places to Retire for Your Good Health

 

Although outsiders often associate Montana with fierce winters, locals say it doesn't get nearly as cold in Billings as it does in other parts of the state. Because the city lies in a valley, temperatures are usually moderate, says Michael Mace, 65, a retired business executive. "I can remember one Christmas break when I went fly fishing one day, snow skiing the next day and played golf the following day," he says.

Isolation is a potential downside to Billings. Flying in and out of Billings Logan International Airport is expensive, and Denver, the closest major metro­politan area, is more than seven hours away by car. You won't have to travel to find good health care, though. St. Vincent Healthcare provides specialty services in heart and vas­cular disease, oncology, orthopedics, and neurology, among others. The Billings Clinic, which has a 304-bed hospital and offers more than 50 specialties, is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

Many single-family homes in the Central-Terry and North Park neighborhoods, which are close to downtown Billings, are available for less than $200,000.

Montana has no sales tax, and residents don't have to worry about estate taxes, either. However, the state taxes most forms of retirement income at rates of up to 6.9%.

Most Popular

How Big of a Threat Does Inflation Pose to Your Retirement?
retirement

How Big of a Threat Does Inflation Pose to Your Retirement?

You might be surprised how much inflation can nibble away at your retirement nest egg over time if you aren’t prepared.
October 3, 2021
13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
social security

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

You may have dreamed of a tax-free retirement, but if you live in these 13 states, your Social Security benefits are subject to a state tax. That's on…
October 4, 2021
4 Big Retirement Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)
retirement

4 Big Retirement Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)

It’s too bad, but financial advisers see these four mistakes all the time. Don’t fall into the same traps.
October 6, 2021

Recommended

12 States That Won't Tax Your Retirement Income
Tax Breaks

12 States That Won't Tax Your Retirement Income

Retirees can save a lot of money in these states that completely exempt the most common types of retirement income – 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions – from…
October 19, 2021
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…
October 19, 2021
Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees
Tax Breaks

Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

We rated every state, plus Washington, D.C., on how retirees are taxed. We considered taxes on Social Security and other retirement income, tax exempt…
October 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.
October 14, 2021