11 Underrated Reasons You Should Retire in Arizona (Did You Know About #9?)

RETIREMENT - RETIREMENT PLANNING
There’s always the promise of sun in The Grand Canyon State.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
tourist with camera

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Retirees always seem to be chasing the sun, beautiful landscapes, and the promise of lower taxes — and who could blame them? That’s why so many end up looking at Arizona as a destination for a stress-free retirement.

But is “The Grand Canyon State” an ideal place to retire? If you’re looking at the incredible landscape, jaw-dropping views, and the lack of an estate tax, then yes. Here’s what you need to know before you decide to plant your golden-year roots in Arizona.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Lots of retirees

Salsabila Ariadina/Adobe athletic retirees doing yoga

It’s nice moving to a place where you’ll have a built-in community. Arizona is the sixth most popular state for retirees, and that means you’ll likely find lots of new friends who are in a similar life stage to you.

Sunshine year-round

Monkey Business/Adobe couple on road trip

Arizona gets only eight inches of rain annually, which means most of your days will be spent basking in the sunshine. While the summer sun can be oppressive, you won’t complain about temperatures from late fall through spring, when you can expect highs to hit between 66 and 85.

Tax-friendly policies for retirees

Юлия Завалишина/Adobe managing bank finances calculating taxes

Taxes are a big consideration for those living on a fixed income, and Arizona has its retirees in mind. First, Arizona’s income tax is only 2.5%, which is the lowest in the country. Second, your Social Security benefits won’t be taxed in Arizona and there are exemptions on retirement income.

Earn a $250 travel bonus with this incredible card

There's a credit card that's making waves with its amazing bonus and benefits. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has no annual fee and you can earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

You can earn additional points just by using this card for your everyday purchases — unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. The 25,000 bonus points can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel or dining purchases.

If you want to travel and dine out more, the Travel Rewards card can help you get where you want to go.

The best part? There's no annual fee.

Click here to apply now.

Good health care

Studio Romantic/Adobe caring doctor teaches female patient

Arizona has the Mayo Clinic and Banner Medical System, both of which are nationally ranked health care systems. There are also top-ranked hospitals across the major cities in the state. Wherever you go, there is bound to be excellent health care within a short drive.

Outdoor recreation

Kay Abrahams/peopleimages.com/Adobe senior couple running in park

Staying active is a top priority for many in their golden years, and Arizona is brimming with activities for adventurous retirees. Whether you’re hiking desert trails, mountain biking, bird watching, or even camping, you’ll never run out of terrain to explore.

Great golf

moodboard/Adobe couple on a golf course

Want to work on your golf game now that you have free weekdays ahead of you? Arizona, particularly Scottsdale, is home to fantastic golf courses. You can work on your swing while looking out at incredible desert views. Plus, many of the courses are affordable to play, which is a bonus for those on a fixed income.

A range of retirement communities

Monkey Business/Adobe retired couple sitting on bench

If you want options when it comes to picking the right retirement community, then Arizona could be the right spot for you. Over 150 active adult communities exist in Arizona, with many around Sun City and Green Valley.

Diverse arts and culture

BGStock72/Adobe potter working on pottery wheel

Arizona is a place unlike any other with arts and culture that represents a range of people and groups throughout history. 

There are museums like the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum, which look at Arizona’s Native American populations. There’s the Desert Botanical Garden, Lowell Observatory, and even the Musical Instrument Museum.

Few allergies

djoronimo/Adobe woman sitting blowing nose

This may not have been at the top of your list when you were looking at retirement considerations, but Arizona’s climate doesn’t lend itself to growing the type of vegetation that causes allergies. That means you could go sniffle-free throughout your later years.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

So many sports

Khaligo/Adobe senior man playing tennis

If you love cheering on a hometown team, Arizona gives you more than a few to pick from. There’s the Arizona Cardinals NFL team, the Diamondbacks MLB team, the Phoenix Suns NBA team, and the Arizona Coyotes NHL team. And, with commitment-free days ahead, you have all the time to go to afternoon games.

No estate tax

alexskopje/Adobe estate tax form

If what happens to your wealth after you’re gone is a top concern, then you’ll be glad to know that Arizona does not have an estate tax or an inheritance tax. This means more of your money goes toward the people you love rather than the government.

Bottom line

Brocreative/Adobe hiking together in a canyon

While there’s no perfect place to retire, it’s important to go in with a clear vision. 

While Arizona’s heat may be oppressive to some, the abundance of sunshine and the low income tax could outweigh any negatives. Just think carefully about your priorities and how those stack up with your dream retirement location when you plan for retirement.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards

Benefits

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
4.1
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee

$0

+

Why we like it

Author Details

Heather Bien Heather Bien is a writer covering personal finance and budgeting and how those relate to life, travel, entertaining, and more. With bylines that include The Spruce, Apartment Therapy, and mindbodygreen, she's covered everything from tax tips for freelancers to budgeting hacks to how to get the highest ROI out of your home renovations.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt