Is Oklahoma Really the Best Place to Retire?

The state’s new motto: Retirees get more bang for their buck. See why the golden years are great in the Sooner State.

From Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2013

we should all retire to oklahomaYour Money Goes Further: The median home price is under $100,000, the cost of living is 14 percent below the national average, and Social Security income isn’t taxed. And we’re just getting started: There’s no state estate tax, and property taxes are low.

Earn a Little Something: With an unemployment rate that hovers around 6 percent—significantly below the national
average—restless retirees can keep working.

Expand Your Culture: Residents are never far away from cultural events and trendy restaurants with over 50 colleges and
universities throughout the state.

Bask in Nature’s Eye Candy: Like lakes? The state boasts about 200 man-made ones. Mountains? It has those, too—like the scenic Ouachita and Wichita ranges. Oklahoma is actually one of only four states to have more than ten distinct geographical regions within its borders (it has 11).

Ahhh, Sunshine: Hike and bike year-round thanks to mild winters and 234 days of sunshine annually, well above the U.S. average.

You Can Bring the Kids! The city of Tulsa is creating a modern model for a cross-generational community in partnership with the Legacy Project, a Toronto-based grassroots organization. In the works: zoning for special housing options that allow seniors to live independently but near their families, and day-care sites that are shared by adults and children to keep retirees feeling young. Plus, assisted-living costs are below average.

Sources: Smart Money, the Wall Street Journal,,

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  • Your Comments

    • Joe

      I have lived in Tulsa for 31 years, and really can’t recommend it for retirement. The climate is harsh, and education standards are low. The cost of living is low due to generally low wages–a product of the poorly educated populace.

      • Glynn

        I guess that is why with North Dakota it is named one of the best places to work and retire to, huh? 6% unemployment and they don’t tax social security retirement. yeah, that’s awful. If it is so bad, why the heck are you still there. Boggles the mind.

    • Sydney Good

      How about tornadoes? The cost of house insurance is probably pretty high there. The summers are extremely hot! I have been to Oklahoma several times. It is a good old boys state too. My truck was rear ended by a drunk driver who was speeding in a construction zone with no driver’s license, no insurance and three outstanding warrants. The police tried blaming me since I was a woman from Michigan. It absolutely is not a place I would ever retire to!

    • FaceliftMask

      If you like Everything brown, Oklahoma is the place to be. Brown lawns, cars, roads, you name it! I’ll stick with sunny Florida and pay the weather premium!

      • JohnBoy

        You can have that god-awful humidity and heat.

      • Glynn

        That is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Ever been to the Arbuckle mountains? How about southeast Oklahoma. Oklahoma is a beautiful state. But the best part is, the people are genuine. Right now, it is booming in industry and economy. They don’t tax Social Security retirement. And the list of positives goes on. I agree, you have have the overcrowded, overpriced humid Florida.

    • Matt Larsen

      I used to live in southeast Kansas and made several trips into Oklahoma. It’s a highly underrated state worth looking into (as is Kansas).