Staunton, Va.: The Perfect Place (for Me) to Retire

Why not head farther south? Virginia is retiree-friendly, it doesn’t tax Social Security, and it has no estate or inheritance tax.

The Blue Ridge mountains in the distance from a residential neighborhood in Staunton, Va.
Downtown Staunton, Va. The city closes off blocks of West Beverley Street weekends to allow for outdoor dining in the historic district.
(Image credit: Photograph by Bob Niedt)

Sometimes things get settled in an unsettling way. During the pandemic and lockdown, our household made a life-altering decision: We settled on a place to retire. And we moved there. Retirement, however, is still a ways away.

So here’s how this came to be: A year ago, I wrote about how my wife and I, then living in Northern Virginia and knowing we didn’t want to stay there in retirement, were homing in on two possible retirement locales: somewhere in the Carolinas or in Staunton (pronounced, I have to point out, STAN-ton), a small city in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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Bob Niedt

Bob was Senior Editor at for seven years and is now a contributor to the website. He has more than 40 years of experience in online, print and visual journalism. Bob has worked as an award-winning writer and editor in the Washington, D.C., market as well as at news organizations in New York, Michigan and California. Bob joined Kiplinger in 2016, bringing a wealth of expertise covering retail, entertainment, and money-saving trends and topics. He was one of the first journalists at a daily news organization to aggressively cover retail as a specialty and has been lauded in the retail industry for his expertise. Bob has also been an adjunct and associate professor of print, online and visual journalism at Syracuse University and Ithaca College. He has a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater from Hope College.