How is New Hampshire for retirement?

If your dream is to retire in the northeast, you won’t go wrong with New Hampshire. Find out what to expect when you retire in New Hampshire.

3 min read

New Hampshire is one of the smallest and less populous states in the United States. Its low population and unique beauty makes it a top destination for retirees looking to explore the outdoors. If you are planning a retirement in New Hampshire, here is what to expect. 

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. Also, there are plenty of lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, and beaches where you can go swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, biking, and enjoying the sandy beaches.

Is New Hampshire a tax-friendly state for retirement?

New Hampshire does not have a personal income tax. You won’t pay state income taxes on social security, 401(k) distributions, and pensions. If you decide to find a job in retirement, you won't pay taxes on salaries and wages.

Additionally, there are no sales taxes in New Hampshire. With states like Tennessee and Washington charging a sales tax of 9.5% and 9.29% respectively, New Hampshire can help you get significant savings on products like clothing, groceries, furniture, and home electronics. However, there are sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol; you pay a tax of $1.78 per pack of cigarettes and 30 cents per gallon of beer.

Are property taxes high in New Hampshire?

If you are planning to buy a retirement home in New Hampshire, you should expect to pay some of the highest property tax rates in the United States.

Homeowners pay an average of $5,700 in property taxes each year. The state collects a statewide property tax, in addition to local taxes that cities and counties levy. New Hampshire levies an average effective property tax rate of 2.05%. This means that homeowners pay about $2,050 for every $100,000 of property value.

If you struggle to pay state property taxes, you can apply for a property tax rebate. This rebate is available to single individuals with less than $20,000 in earnings annually, or married persons or heads of household earning up to $40,000 annually. The amount of tax rebate you qualify to get depends on your home value and household income.

Pros of retiring in New Hampshire

When you retire in New Hampshire, you can expect to experience these pros and cons:

Low crime rate

New Hampshire has been ranked as one of the safest places to live in the US. USA Today ranked New Hampshire #3 for the lowest crime rate in the country, with its neighbor states, Maine and Vermont taking #1 and #2 respectively. Violent crime is rare in the state, and the state’s rate is 2.01 per 1000 people, which is below the national average of 4.49 per 1000 people.

Low cost of living

Similar to Florida, New Hampshire is one of the cheapest states for retirement. The state does not charge income taxes or sales taxes. This means you will have more money to spend, and you can buy groceries, clothing, food, and furniture without worrying about sales taxes. Also, residents enjoy affordable housing, with monthly rents averaging $1,111 and medium home values being $261,700.

Beautiful landscape

There is plenty of natural scenery in Hampshire, and there are mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers to explore. There is a small coastline along the ocean where you can go fishing and enjoy water sports. Also, you will find plenty of public parks for biking, picnics, and running. Whether you want to go camping, hiking, skiing, or enjoying mountain trails, you will find a fun outdoor activity to help you stay in shape.

Thriving economy and proximity to Boston

Every resident who wants to work is nearly guaranteed to find work. The state is home to some big US employers like UPS, Fidelity, BAE systems, Timberland, Dartmouth College, and the University of New Hampshire.

If you need big-city amenities and you can’t find them in New Hampshire, you can drive to Boston. Be it education, healthcare, work, or other amenities available only in big cities, Boston is within a reasonable driving distance.

Cons of retiring in New Hampshire

Chilly winters

If you dread chilly winters, you should be ready for the freezing and snowy winters in New Hampshire. Winter starts in November, and it can last through to February. During this time, the state experiences snowstorms and severely cold temperatures.

Few urban amenities

If you are interested in big-city urban amenities, there are few such amenities in New Hampshire. Outside Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth, there are few specialty stores, public transportation is not commonly available, and there is little nightlife to explore.

Best places to retire in New Hampshire


Exeter was founded in 1638, making it one of the oldest cities in the United States. If you love history, there is a lot of history to learn, and you can visit a church building established in 1798. The city is a short drive away from Manchester and Portsmouth, two of the most populous cities in the state. Seniors can find retirement communities for 55+ and access good healthcare in the city.


Rochester is located along New Hampshire's border with Maine. The city has one of the highest seniors population in the state, with at least 18% of the state being seniors. The state is great for the outdoors, and you can go swimming or fishing at the Grandview Campground. You can also visit the Rochester Museum of Fine Art to learn the state's history.


Concord is the state capital, and it is centrally located with easy access to forests, mountains, lakes, and rivers. You can go hiking, camping, fishing, bird-watching, or enjoy skiing in the winter. The city has many historic buildings like the New Hampshire State House which was built in the early 1800. Its downtown has good restaurants and shops, and there are cultural events annually that you can attend. 


Laconia sits between Lake Winnipesaukee and Lake Winnisquam, giving residents plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities like fishing, swimming, boating, and beautiful beaches. The Laconia Antique Center offers an opportunity for residents to explore rare antiques. If you love sports, you can cheer on the Winnipesaukee baseball team and the New Hampshire Fighting Spirit hockey team.