Is Texas a Good State to Retire In? Pros and Cons

Retiring in Texas has become an increasingly popular trend, drawing attention for its unique blend of affordability, pleasant climate, and vibrant cultural scene. When choosing a retirement destination, factors such as healthcare quality, cost of living, climate, and cultural offerings are important. Texas offers compelling advantages in these areas, but it’s essential to weigh both the pros and cons before making a decision.

The Benefits of Retiring in Texas

No State Income Tax in Texas

One of the most significant financial benefits of retiring in Texas is the absence of a state income tax. This means that retirees can keep more of their retirement income, whether it comes from pensions, Social Security, or investment withdrawals. Without the burden of state income tax, retirees enjoy a higher disposable income, allowing for greater financial flexibility and the ability to stretch their retirement savings further. This extra income can be used for travel, hobbies, healthcare, and other activities that enhance the quality of life during retirement.

Affordable Cost of Living in Texas

When considering Texas as a retirement destination, it’s helpful to compare key financial aspects such as housing, and general living expenses to other popular retirement states like Florida, Arizona, and California.

Housing in Texas:

  • The median home price in Texas is approximately $348,0001, which is lower than the national average and significantly more affordable than in California, where the median home price is around $860,3002.
  • Compared to Florida and Arizona, where median home prices are around $402,0003 and $435,0003 respectively, Texas remains a more affordable option for housing.


General Living Expenses in Texas:

  • The cost of living in Texas is approximately 7% lower than the national average4.
  • Utilities, groceries, and transportation costs are all below national averages, making daily living expenses more manageable for retirees.
  • In contrast, California’s cost of living is about 50% higher than the national average, while Florida and Arizona are roughly on par with the national average4.


Overall, Texas offers a cost-effective environment for retirees, with lower housing and living expenses compared to other popular retirement destinations. These financial advantages contribute significantly to the state’s growing appeal among retirees.

Texas' Natural and Cultural Offerings

Milder Winters and Varied Geography in Texas

From coastal beaches to rolling hill country, and from piney woods to arid deserts, Texas offers an array of scenic environments to explore and enjoy. Climate variations across Texas add to its appeal, with regions experiencing anything from humid subtropical climates in the east to arid desert-like conditions in the west. Central Texas, including the Hill Country, enjoys moderate climates with warm summers and mild winters, while the Gulf Coast area benefits from a coastal climate, providing warm, breezy conditions almost year-round—a perfect setting for beachside living.

Texas’s rich cultural offerings add depth to retirement living, with cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas boasting vibrant music scenes, world-class museums, and diverse culinary experiences. Festivals, rodeos, and cultural events celebrate the state’s diverse heritage, reflecting a unique blend of Native American, Mexican, and Western influences, enhancing the retirement experience for those seeking an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

Rich Cultural Experiences in Texas

Texas’s cultural tapestry, historical richness, and culinary diversity make it an ideal setting for retirees seeking enrichment and enjoyment. Events like the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provide unique experiences blending local culture with entertainment. Moreover, Texas’s historical landmarks offer a captivating journey into the state’s past, with sites like the Alamo in San Antonio and the San Jacinto Monument near Houston serving as poignant reminders of Texas’s fight for independence.

In addition to its cultural and historical offerings, Texas’s culinary scene stands out as a highlight, showcasing a distinctive blend of flavors and culinary traditions. Renowned for its BBQ joints in cities like Austin, Lockhart, and Houston, Texas offers retirees a savory experience in smoked meats and traditional barbecue fare. Tex-Mex cuisine, with its fusion of Mexican and American flavors, tantalizes the taste buds with dishes like fajitas, enchiladas, and breakfast tacos, found in abundance across the state. Together, these cultural events, historical sites, and culinary delights create a vibrant and enriching environment for retirees, offering a wealth of experiences to enhance their retirement life in Texas.

Drawbacks of Retiring in Texas

Extreme Weather Conditions in Texas

While Texas offers many retirement benefits, it is also important to consider its susceptibility to extreme weather. The state experiences intense summer heat, with temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly in regions like Central and South Texas. This can pose health risks, especially for older adults, and may necessitate higher spending on air conditioning. Additionally, coastal areas of Texas are vulnerable to hurricanes, which can cause significant property damage and necessitate costly preparations and repairs. These weather-related challenges are important factors to weigh when considering Texas as a retirement destination.

Healthcare Accessibility in Texas

Healthcare services in Texas present a mixed picture, particularly affecting retirees in rural areas. While urban centers like Houston, Dallas, and Austin boast world-class medical facilities and a wide range of specialists, rural regions often face shortages of healthcare providers and facilities. This disparity can result in longer travel times for medical appointments, fewer healthcare options, and potentially delayed treatments for rural retirees. Additionally, access to specialized care and advanced medical treatments may be limited in these areas.

Texas' Urban vs Rural Retirement Options

Retiring in Texas offers diverse experiences depending on whether you choose a major city or a rural area, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Major Cities in Texas:

  • Austin: Known for its vibrant music scene, cultural festivals, and tech-driven economy, Austin provides ample entertainment and amenities. The city boasts top-tier healthcare facilities, such as St. David’s Medical Center, and a plethora of dining and recreational options. However, the cost of living in Austin has been rising rapidly, with housing prices and traffic congestion being notable drawbacks.
  • Houston: As one of the largest cities in Texas, Houston offers world-renowned medical care at institutions like the Texas Medical Center. The city is culturally diverse, with numerous museums, theaters, and restaurants. Housing remains relatively affordable compared to other large U.S. cities, but Houston’s susceptibility to hurricanes and flooding can be a concern for retirees.


Rural Areas in Texas:

  • Fredericksburg: This small town in the Hill Country is known for its charming German heritage, wineries, and scenic beauty. Retiring in Fredericksburg means enjoying a peaceful lifestyle with lower housing costs and a tight-knit community. However, access to specialized healthcare can be limited, requiring trips to nearby cities for certain medical needs.
  • Marfa: A unique rural destination, Marfa is famous for its arts scene and minimalist architecture. It offers a slower pace of life and affordable living. Yet, similar to other rural areas, healthcare services are more limited, and the remote location can make travel to larger cities for amenities and medical care necessary.

Cost Differences Between Urban and Rural Areas in Texas

The cost of living in Texas varies significantly between urban centers and rural locales, presenting retirees with distinct financial considerations to weigh.

Texas Urban Centers:

  • In cities like Austin, Houston, and Dallas, the cost of living tends to be higher compared to rural areas. Housing costs, in particular, can be a significant expense, with median home prices well above the state average.
  • Other expenses such as transportation, dining, and entertainment also tend to be higher in urban areas. For example, dining out at restaurants and attending cultural events may come with premium price tags in major cities.


Texas Rural Locales:

  • Rural areas in Texas generally offer a more affordable cost of living compared to urban centers. Housing costs, in particular, are often significantly lower, with median home prices well below those in major cities.
  • Other expenses such as groceries, utilities, and healthcare may also be more affordable in rural locales. However, access to certain amenities and services may be limited, necessitating occasional travel to nearby urban centers for shopping, entertainment, and medical appointments.

Final Considerations for Retiring in the Lone Star State

Retiring in Texas offers a range of advantages and considerations for potential retirees to weigh carefully. On the positive side, Texas boasts no state income tax, a lower cost of living compared to many other states, and a diverse range of cultural and recreational opportunities. However, retirees should also consider challenges such as extreme weather, particularly hurricanes and intense summer heat, as well as disparities in healthcare access between urban and rural areas. Ultimately, the decision to retire in Texas or find the best place to retire in Texas should be based on personal preferences and priorities. We encourage potential retirees to visit and explore different parts of the state, considering factors such as climate, cost of living, healthcare services, and social amenities before making a decision. By weighing these insights against their individual needs and desires, retirees can make an informed choice that aligns with their retirement goals and aspirations.

Leverage Expert Financial Services in Houston

As you consider your retirement options in Texas, it’s crucial to have a robust financial plan in place to ensure your retirement savings are maximized and aligned with your lifestyle goals. Insight Wealth Strategies offers comprehensive financial services in the Houston area, specializing in retirement planning, financial advisory, investment management, and wealth management. Our experienced advisors are dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of retirement finances, providing personalized strategies to help secure your financial future. Whether you are exploring urban retirement in bustling Houston or seeking a quieter, suburban lifestyle, our team is here to support you every step of the way. We invite you to request a consultation with our Houston-based financial advisors to discuss your retirement aspirations and how we can help you achieve them. Together, we can create a tailored plan that aligns with your vision for a fulfilling and financially secure retirement in Texas.

Reviewed by,

Chad Seegers, CRPC®

Chad Seegers, CRPC®

Chad began his career with Sagemark Consulting in 2005 and then became a Select member of Sagemark’s Private Wealth Services which operated as a national resource for financial planners focusing on Advanced Strategies in the High Net Worth marketplace. Chad then began his partnership with Insight Wealth Strategies in 2013 focused on retirement planning primarily with Oil and Gas employees and executives. His primary areas of expertise are retirement, estate, and investment strategies as he serves as Investment Strategist for the financial planning team.




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