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Retirement is one of the most significant transitions we make as adults. Determining where to live in retirement is a fundamental part of that transition. It can shape our physical and financial health, social connections, and overall quality of life throughout our senior years. New Hampshire’s strong economy, low tax rate, quality health care access, hiking, scenery, and small towns make the state a top choice among those seeking to retire in New England.
The best retirement communities in New Hampshire are the ones that let you live your ideal retirement. Comparing the settings, housing style, activities, and amenities among the Granite State’s senior living options will help you find the community that best matches your unique vision of retirement.
In this article, we look at ways to find the best community setting for you in New Hampshire, those that provide the physical setting, resources, amenities, social connections, and level of care you need as you continue to age. To learn more about 10 of the best retirement communities in New Hampshire and how to choose the ones that can help you live your ideal retirement, continue reading below.
Note: This article focuses on active adult and independent living communities, assisted living communities, and continuing care communities. If you are looking for information on skilled nursing, memory care, or other retirement facilities, you may want to start here or here.
Why Is New Hampshire an Ideal Place for Retirement?
New Hampshire’s location, bordering Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Quebec; its natural environment spanning forest, mountains, lakes, and seacoast; low tax and crime rates; and high quality of medical care have landed the state on any number of “best” states for retirement lists for a number of years. Teasing out the best retirement communities within one of the best states to retire means figuring out the best of the best.
What Is a Retirement Community?
A quick word about the term retirement community; it is often used as a catch-all to define a wide range of housing options for individuals over age 55. This article focuses on Active Adult Communities, Assisted Living Communities, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities.
These communities denote a residential community centered on particular lifestyles and care needs, from fully independent, physically active seniors to those who need some assistance or ongoing care.
How To Look for the Best Community Setting in New Hampshire
If you were to ask 10 different people about the best retirement community in New Hampshire, you likely would get 10 different answers because what is best for one retiree may not fit the needs or lifestyle of another. Some seniors may want luxury to live year-round, and other retirees may want something more budget-friendly to have the resources for travel or hobbies.
Whether you seek non-stop social activities or more solitude, finding the best New Hampshire retirement community starts with defining the community setting that fits the way you want to live.
As Lori Martinek writes in Sixty and Me, when she began her search for a senior living community, she envisioned how she would design the perfect retirement community for her – the grounds, the housing structure and amenities, the balance between activities that forge social connections and privacy, and the general level of activity of the residents.
Similarly, your vision of the ideal retirement lifestyle will help you select the best community setting for you. Consider these questions to guide your search:
- What size of community do you want to live in?
- What balance of social interaction and privacy is best for you?
- Are you seeking to make new friends, marry or remarry?
- Do you want to live in a community of all retirees, or would you prefer a mix of ages?
- What physical activities and hobbies do you most enjoy?
- Do you expect to continue to work?
- What are your current health limitations or needs, and are there any you anticipate in coming years (for example, from a medical condition)?
- Do you expect to have family caregivers, or do you need to ensure those resources through third-parties?
With these answers in hand, it will be easier to sort through the various types of communities and narrow your search to those that provide the setting and services that will help you live your best retirement.
Active Adult Communities
Some retirement communities describe themselves as active adult communities, others use the terms active lifestyle communities or independent living communities, and some call themselves 55+ communities. In practical terms, these are all planned, usually age-restricted communities for adults who can live independently and seek an active and socially connected lifestyle in a community of predominantly, or exclusively, other seniors.
To join an age-restricted community, residents usually need to be 55 or older. For non-age restricted communities, there may be other limitations, though usually, they will have accessible housing, safe walking paths, and other features that make it easy for seniors to lead an active lifestyle.
Housing units in active adult communities can be single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, cluster homes, and multi-family units, or a combination of different housing types designed to be accessible to aging adults. Residents usually own their homes and typically pay association fees in exchange for property maintenance and the level of amenities offered.
The combination of services and amenities in active adult communities runs the gamut from budget-oriented to “luxury.” They may include golf courses, racquet sport courts, swimming pools, hiking and biking trails, spas, salons, fitness centers, and exercise classes.
These communities generally have one or more social hubs, such as clubhouses, game rooms, craft rooms, restaurants, and cafes, and provide programmed activities, lectures, outings, and events. Active adult communities may offer concierge services but generally do not provide assistance with daily living activities, have central dining facilities, or coordinate health care services.
Assisted Living Communities
Assisted living communities are generally state-licensed facilities designed to provide aging adults with the ability to live as independently as possible, typically in apartments. Some residences include cooking facilities in residents’ apartments, and most offer meal delivery or communal dining rooms.
In these communities, seniors receive assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, meals, medications, and housekeeping. Residents typically have access to on-site and on-call medical assistance; however, assisted living facilities generally do not offer services to individuals who need long-term care or those with significant mental or physical challenges.
Like active adult communities, assisted living communities generally have common areas for socializing and recreational activities, such as game nights, lectures, workshops, and exercise classes. Many assisted living facilities offer residents transportation assistance to go off-site for medical appointments, grocery shopping, faith services, and planned group outings, such as retail shopping centers, movies, and cultural events.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also called CCRCs or Life Care Communities, are designed to provide seniors with progressive care levels as their need for care changes. They combine the residential, social, and recreational amenities of active adult living for independent seniors and the support of assisted living and nursing care facilities for residents as those needs arise.
A number of CCRCs also have separate memory care facilities. Like stand-alone active adult communities, continuing care communities offer amenities and services ranging from budget to luxury.
Having access to care along the aging continuum can provide a sense of stability to seniors who do not want to uproot from their retirement community if their care needs change and to those who do not have family members to help care for them as they age. Continuing care communities also enable senior couples who age differently to receive different levels of care while continuing to live at home together or on the same property.
Generally, seniors must sign a contract to join a CCRC while they still can live independently, pay a membership or joining fee, and a monthly maintenance or service fee. There are different types of CCRC contracts and fee schedules that set out specific care levels; if a resident needs care above the level purchased in the contract they select, they will need to purchase the additional care.
Manchester, Nashua, and Londonderry
Southern New Hampshire is known for its affordability, quality of life, and accessibility to regional travel via major highways and the Manchester-Boston regional airport. The state’s two largest cities, Manchester and Nashua, offer retirement communities in urban settings. A number of the area’s smaller towns are prized by retirees seeking city access and more tranquil settings.
Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, was the highest-ranked city in New England by the U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 Best Place to Retire because of its open natural spaces, young population, fall foliage, nearby skiing, and beach access.
The state’s second-largest city, Nashua, is home to several senior communities, including a luxury retirement community for adults 62 and over. Nashua sits along the Merrimack River and is about a half hour’s drive from New Hampshire’s seacoast.
If you are looking for a smaller town in Southern New Hampshire, SmartAsset ranked Londonderry as one of the 10 best places to retire in New Hampshire. Home to Stonyfield Farms and apple orchards, Londonderry has a mix of families and retirees and is about an hour’s drive from Boston.
In the seacoast region, historically rich and located within easy access of Boston and Portland, Exeter is a consistent presence on the list of best retirement communities, as are Portsmouth for its charm and history, and Dover, a former colonial seaport, with a revitalized downtown, historical walks, parks, golf courses and access to shopping and medical centers.
Concord, New Hampshire’s historic state capital, was ranked the fifth-best place to retire by SmartAsset in 2018. Concord is within a short drive of the state’s natural landscapes. The city offers performance and music venues, shops, restaurants, art galleries, and a renovated downtown.
Retirees interested in intellectual pursuits, living near a premier medical center, cultural events, lectures, and access to hiking and skiing might opt for retirement communities in and around Hanover, New Hampshire, ranked among Kiplinger’s “12 Smart Places to Retire” and home to Dartmouth University.
For retirees interested in the smaller towns and more rural settings that dot the state, the New Hampshire Lakes Region is home to several senior retirement communities, particularly in Laconia and Wolfeboro, which boasts an all-inclusive cooperative retirement community of cottages and apartments.
Choosing the Best Community That Fits Your Lifestyle
Once you have determined your preferred type of community, you will want to look at your lifestyle and other priorities to narrow the options to the community settings, social bent, predominant activities, resident age, and overall feel that align with your ideal retirement. Some questions you might want to start with are:
- Do you like the size of the community and its physical setting?
- Do you like the layout of the floor plans?
- Does the community offer programming that matches your preferences?
- Are you pleased with the food and dining options?
- Are you allowed to paint your home or plant a garden?
You also may want to think about “deal breakers,” for example, if the community prohibits pets and you cannot envision your life without one, or if it prohibits smoking, or if the community is hard to reach, which may restrict visits from non-local family and friends.
New Hampshire’s active adult, assisted living, and continuing care retirement communities are located throughout the state’s small towns, coastal areas, college towns, and cities. Given the state’s setting, most offer year-round outdoor and indoor activity options. Selecting the best retirement communities means choosing the ones located in or near the people, sights, and activities that most matter to you.
Where You Live
If you envision frequent travel in retirement, you may want to live in a community near a major airport or one that permits RV parking. If you want to continue your education, you may want to be near a college or university. If your activities revolve around your faith, you may prefer communities near your place of worship or a faith-based community. Some other factors you might consider in finding the best New Hampshire retirement community are the accessibility of:
- Your doctors, preferred medical facilities, and hospitals
- Pharmacies, grocery stores, and retail shopping
- Your job (if you will continue to work), family, and friends
- Volunteer opportunities
- Affordable transit options and wait times
- Restaurants, cultural events and institutions, and sporting events
- Nature trails and outdoor sports (for example, hiking, biking, boating) and camping
- Sports requiring specific facilities (golf, swimming, racquet sports)
Explore the State
The best way to get to know New Hampshire’s communities, including those that consistently get ranked in national, regional, and local “best of” lists, is to research the various areas of the state and, ideally, visit them.
The best retirement communities in New Hampshire are also those that fit within your budget. Moving into a retirement community is a financial commitment, and no two communities are the same. A clear understanding of what your costs will be, including fees and what they cover, is important to ensure that you have the financial peace-of-mind to enjoy retirement.
If owning your retirement residence is important to you, understand the rules on buying, financing, and reselling properties within that community. If you are retiring in a continuing care retirement community, it is essential to understand its financial structure before joining.
You may anticipate family or friends staying with you as caregivers if you need extra assistance. If that is your care plan, be sure to check the community’s age restrictions; some allow multigenerational families, including children, to reside in the community, while others prohibit residents under the minimum residential age.
Visit and Ask Questions
Some active adult communities allow prospective residents to visit for a small fee, which can be an important part of finding the best community for you and refining your choices. Even if you cannot stay overnight, you can tour the facility and speak with residents and see activity schedules.
Lori Martinek knew that her perfect retirement community was one where she would be welcome as a single retiree, in an environment that was not primarily centered on couples. She also wanted to be within the primary age-range of the residents when she joined. She did her research, and you should, too.
Whatever your unique concerns and needs are, visiting the New Hampshire retirement communities that interest you most will give you a feel for their daily life, residents, staff, and facilities and a better sense of how you would feel living there.
This article was intended to give you a place to start exploring retirement options and asking the questions that will help you on the road to selecting the best retirement communities for you. Retirement is a milestone that you deserve to enjoy to its fullest. New Hampshire offers a range of communities serving this purpose throughout the state with care levels and lifestyle options to meet any number of interests and needs.
- AARP: How Continuing Care Retirement Communities Work
- Caring.com: Assisted Living in New Hampshire
- Consumer Affairs: 11 Types of Senior Living Options
- Kiplinger: Choosing and Active Adult Community
- Kiplinger: New Hampshire: #9 Best State to Retire
- Leisure Care: What Are Independent Living Communities?
- The Motley Fool: Should You Move to One of These 5 Most Retiree-Friendly States?
- New Hampshire Magazine: Where to Retire in New Hampshire
- Retire Fearless: What Type of Retirement Communities Are There?
- Retirement Communities: Where Life is Designed Around You
- Retirement Living: Active Adult Communities
- SeniorHomes.com: How Much Does it Cost to Join in a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
- Senior Living Resource: What does it cost?
- Silverstone Living: About Silverstone Living
- Sixty and Me: Is Living in a Retirement Community Right for You?
- Smart Asset: Best Places to Retire in New Hampshire
- U.S. News and World Report: Best Places to Retire in the U.S. in 2020-21
The personal-finance website says it compared all 50 states across 47 key metrics, including affordability, health care, and quality of life. New Hampshire tied with Arizona as the ninth best state to retire, while Massachusetts ranked 19th on the list.What are the top 10 retirement communities in the United states? ›
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
- Pensacola, Florida.
- Tampa, Florida.
- York, Pennsylvania.
- Naples, Florida.
- Daytona Beach, Florida.
- Ann Arbor, Michigan.
MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) -- New England may not typically be thought of as a prime retirement destination. But according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report, some of the best places to retire can be found in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.Is retiring to New Hampshire a good idea? ›
New Hampshire is consistently rated as a best place to retire year after year, and for good reason. Financial stability, safety, along with health & wellbeing are all factors one must consider when deciding where to retire.Which state is better for retirees Vermont or NH? ›
New Hampshire is the most tax friendly of the three, mainly because it only taxes interest and dividends, and has no state sales tax. On the other hand, property taxes are higher there. New Hampshire does not tax wages, although it does tax interest and dividend income.What is the best state to retire in 2022? ›
The top two states to retire in according to our formula are — drumroll please — Alaska and New Hampshire! Special mentions go to Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, which were all in the top 20 on both lists.Do seniors pay property taxes in New Hampshire? ›
65-74 years of age are allowed $156,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value. 75-79 years of age are allowed $210,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value. 80+ years of age are allowed $280,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value.What is the number 1 retirement state? ›
According to Bankrate's study, Florida is the best state for retirement in 2022, followed by Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Missouri. Alaska, on the other hand, held last place in our ranking. The state was dragged down by back-of-the-pack scores in affordability and weather.Where can I retire on $2000 a month in the United States? ›
The Best Cities To Retire on $2,000 a Month
- Baytown, Texas.
- Parma Heights, Ohio. ...
- Des Moines, Iowa. ...
- Florissant, Missouri. ...
- Longview, Texas. ...
- San Angelo, Texas. ...
- North Royalton, Ohio. ...
Panama. Not for the first time, Panama tops the list of the world's best places to retire. Located away from Central America's hurricane belt, its warm tropical climate is tempered by breezes from the Pacific Ocean on one coast and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
The cost of living in Manchester, NH is -10.9% lower than in Burlington, VT. You would have to earn a salary of $53,449 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in Manchester, NH typically pay 4.2% more than employeers in Burlington, VT.Where is the best place to retire in the Northeast? ›
- Manchester, New Hampshire. SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe. ...
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. checubus/Adobe. ...
- Portland, Maine. Allen.G/Adobe. ...
- Providence, Rhode Island. ...
- Toms River, New Jersey. ...
- Burlington, Vermont. ...
- Lake Placid, New York. ...
- Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
This Is What It Costs To Retire in New Hampshire.
|How much you need to comfortably retire||$1,481,336|
|Life expectancy at age 65 (yrs.)||86.5|
|Cost of living||19.3% more than avg.|
Social Security Benefits: New Hampshire doesn't tax your Social Security benefits, either. Income Tax Range: For 2022, there's a flat 5% tax on interest and dividends only. The rate will be 4% for 2023, 3% for 2024, 2% for 2025, 1% for 2026, and 0% after 2026.Is it cheaper to live in Massachusetts or NH? ›
Massachusetts is 15.4% more expensive than New Hampshire.
New Hampshire vs. New Hampshire vs.
New hampshire retirement guide | New hampshire Best Places to ...
Best Places To Retire In New Hampshire : Cost Of Living ...
Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire : Based on Real ...
This Is What It Costs To Retire in New Hampshire.
|How much you need to comfortably retire||$1,481,336|
|Life expectancy at age 65 (yrs.)||86.5|
|Cost of living||19.3% more than avg.|
New Hampshire ranks among the best states for retirement due to its low taxes, low cost of living, low crime rate, and plenty of outdoor activities. The state does not have personal income taxes, meaning you won't pay income taxes on 401(k) distributions, pensions, and other retirement incomes.Why is New Hampshire the best place to retire? ›
New Hampshire has no personal income tax, which means Social Security retirement benefits are tax-free at the state level. Income from pensions and retirement accounts also go untaxed in New Hampshire. On top of that, there is no sales tax, estate tax, or inheritance tax here.What is a good monthly retirement income? ›
A good retirement income is about 80% of your pre-retirement income before leaving the workforce. For example, if your pre-retirement income is $5,000 you should aim to have a $4,000 retirement income.Where can I retire on $2500 a month? ›
McAllen, Texas. McAllen made the No. 1 spot as the best city to retire on a monthly budget of $2,500 or less by offering the most budget-friendly expenditures compared to the rest of the U.S. and the top livability score among these 11 cities. Rent averages $1,042, $885 less than the U.S. mean.Where can I retire on $3000 a month? ›
- Boise, Idaho. ...
- Virginia Beach, Virginia. ...
- Reno, Nevada. ...
- Las Vegas, Nevada. ...
- Mesa, Arizona. ...
- Phoenix, Arizona. ...
- Jacksonville, Florida. ...
- Forth Worth, Texas.
New Hampshire is the most tax friendly of the three, mainly because it only taxes interest and dividends, and has no state sales tax. On the other hand, property taxes are higher there. New Hampshire does not tax wages, although it does tax interest and dividend income.Do seniors pay property taxes in New Hampshire? ›
65-74 years of age are allowed $156,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value. 75-79 years of age are allowed $210,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value. 80+ years of age are allowed $280,000 assessed value deducted from total assessed value.Does NH tax retirement income? ›
That means no tax on your pension income if you retire to the Granite State. 401(k)s and IRAs: With no income tax, your 401(k) and IRA distributions are tax-free, too.
Atkinson, New Hampshire
Atkinson is the No. 1 safest place in New Hampshire. It is a town in Rockingham County with a population of 7,196 people.
- There are no income and sales taxes in New Hampshire.
- Crime rates in New Hampshire are lower than the national average.
- Unemployment rates in New Hampshire are lower than the U.S. average.
- New Hampshire median home cost is $274,300.
Hebron has the lowest property tax rate in New Hampshire with a property tax rate of 6.52. Moultonborough has the second lowest property tax rate in New Hampshire with a property tax rate of 6.98 and Bridgewater has the 3rd lowest property tax rate in New Hampshire with a property tax rate of 8.27.What is the richest town in NH? ›
Social Security Benefits: New Hampshire doesn't tax your Social Security benefits, either. Income Tax Range: For 2022, there's a flat 5% tax on interest and dividends only. The rate will be 4% for 2023, 3% for 2024, 2% for 2025, 1% for 2026, and 0% after 2026.