Smart Money touts New Mexico for retirees

Smart Money touts New Mexico for retirees

Smart Money highlights New Mexico as the next hot — as in popular — place to retire.

Dubbing the state “the next Arizona,” the magazine notes that retirees are finding better deals with a median home price of $150,000 and a cost of living 5 percent below the national average. It highlights Santa Fe, Taos and Las Cruces, but notes that Santa Fe’s cost of living is 18 percent higher than the national average. However, that’s lower than Scottsdale, Ariz., which is 29 percent above the national average, and Sedona, 37 percent higher.

Smart Money also applauds New Mexico’s income tax rate of 4.9 percent and lower real estate taxes.

“New Mexico has more attractive weather and appears less expensive and more culturally diverse than Arizona,” says Doug Nelson in the article. He is the founder of TCI Wealth Advisors in Santa Fe.

The article also notes that the state has vast empty spaces and that 18.4 percent of residents live below the poverty line, compared to 13.8 percent in the U.S. as a whole. Also, the Land of Enchantment has far fewer doctors per resident (197 per 100,000 population compared to 221 nationwide).

Taos gets points for outdoor activities and cultural attractions, but the piece notes that it’s remote and far from the Santa Fe regional airport. Santa Fe’s pricier lifestyle offers art and culture that makes the median home price of $300,000 “worth every penny,” residents told the magazine. Santa Fe, and the state, are also seen as places to reinvent oneself, according to the article.

Las Cruces gets points for diverse cultures and a lower cost of living, 8 percent below the national average, although its nearest airport is 40 miles away, the article notes. It is also popular for golf and for New Mexico State University , with its cultural offerings.

Albuquerque gets nary a mention in the article, despite having the largest airport in the state, the biggest university, the most comprehensive health care facilities and a Del Webb retirement community, Alegria.