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Why Lincoln, Neb., Is a Great Place to Retire

Located in the heart of the Midwest, Nebraska's capitol is a bustling city on the up-and-up.

Population: 280,364

Nearby large city: Omaha

What $300,000 will buy: 4-bedroom, 3-bath custom-built home with a 3-car garage in the Trendwood area

Much like Omaha to the north, Lincoln’s economy has seen rapid growth in recent years, driven by commercial development, several local hospitals and universities, and a growing number of entrepreneurs and start-up companies. The city boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.

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Last year, the median sales price for a single-family home in Lincoln was $207,500, 7% higher than a year earlier; the median property tax for Lancaster County is $2,838. But with plenty of homes on the market, buyers typically have the upper hand. Retirees who prefer to be close to the city’s core may enjoy the apartments and condos in the Haymarket district. Those looking for a little more space often gravitate to the Country Club and Bishop Park neighborhoods south of downtown, or Eastridge, which has many single-story homes.

The Cornhusker State offers little in the way of tax breaks to retirees. Most retirement income, including pensions and retirement-account withdrawals, is taxed at ordinary income tax rates, which run as high as 6.84% for married couples filing jointly who earn more than $59,180 a year. Nebraska has an inheritance tax with rates ranging from 1% to 18%; assets inherited by spouses and charities are exempt. The total rate for state and local sales tax is 7.25%.

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