Retirees around the United States rose in numbers due to the worldwide pandemic. This trend prompted the question—would New Mexico be a good destination to retire? Of course, there are numerous pros and cons to settling there.
The Pros of New Mexico Life
As retirement became an important issue in 2022, countless researchers created lists of the best states to settle down. Is New Mexico one of them? If you’re thinking about whether you should retire there or not, consider health, financial well-being, safety, and several other aspects of retired life. For example, retirees will likely love the abundance of social activities in the state. New Mexico has fishing, camping, skiing, hiking, kayaking, rafting, and horseback riding. Social events also include concerts, theater, indoor sports games, and so on.
Based on the Southwest border of the United States and Mexico, New Mexico boasts a wide variety of places to settle down. Retirees will love its low-cost living options, low taxes, and healthcare, just like long-time inhabitants. Some cities in the state have an immensely low cost of living, allowing for a comfortable lifestyle even when relying only on social security. These include Lovington, Truth or Consequences, Hobbs, Carlsbad, Roswell, Bloomfield, Alamogordo, Tucumcari, Gallup, and Grants.
Furthermore, people hoping to retire in the state can easily purchase or rent a home. The median listing price for housing is 5% below the national average—around $184,200. As for rental options, Albuquerque has many homes with reasonable rent prices around $735-$841. Santa Fe, on the other hand, has some of the highest rent prices.
Why You (Maybe) Shouldn’t Retire in New Mexico
There are downsides to settling down in New Mexico as well. When you retire in the state, you might have to face a relatively high crime rate, poor infrastructure and roads, and major traffic jams. In fact, New Mexico is one of the 10 worst for retirement, with many people lacking financial security. Residents ages 65 and older have a 13.5% poverty rate!
Sadly, the state has a lot of crime too. In 2020, 778 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 people in the state, compared to the national violent crime rate of 399 per 100,000. In addition, traffic jams and poor roads add to the downsides of New Mexico. It has the infamous U.S. 666 or “The Devil’s Highway,” and the rural roads don’t shine through, either.
Older residents may also not be able to tolerate the high altitude of the state, as it’s full of hills and mountains. They might suffer from altitude sickness, especially after residing in low-altitude areas for most of their lives. And, unfortunately, sickness is something that may be a real concern in New Mexico. Over 25% of adults report not having a personal doctor in New Mexico, which is higher than the 20% of adults in the overall U.S. Therefore, the state is not the best in terms of care for older Americans, who may need more treatment than younger populations.
So, should one consider New Mexico as their goal retirement location? There are pros and cons, so evaluate them both before planning a move.