Illinois is a state that is located in the heart of Midwestern United States, and it is bordered by Indiana, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa and Michigan. Route 66 cuts straight through the state starting in downtown Chicago and continues all the way through Illinois. Illinois is a state with much to offer in terms of culture and history. The state is characterized by its open farmlands and huge agricultural sector, along with its industrial terminals. The Port of Chicago makes it easy to import and export goods, and the ever-busy O'Hare Airport make Illinois extremely accessible. llinois is definitely somewhere that you should consider when choosing a retirement destination.
A Quick Look at Illinois
Illinois was one of the hardest hit states by the economic crunch in the early 2000's and its unemployment rate rose to 11.5% in 2010, however the state is starting to recover and in 2011 the unemployment rate had dropped to 9.9%, and even further to 6.6% in 2014. The economy is sustained by a number of different sectors, which include agriculture, manufacturing, services and energy. Agriculture is one of Illinois' biggest outputs and every year it ranks either first or second in soybean, and second for corn production in the US, but the state also produces dairy products, cattle, wheat and hogs. The next biggest contributor to the economy is manufacturing. It is ranked behind California, Texas and Ohio as the 4th most successful manufacturing state in the US.
From a cost of living point of view, Illinois really is a mishmash of differing advantages and disadvantages. Cost of living prices are about average for the United States, and the average house cost at $154,000 is all about equal with the national median. Illinois has a flat income tax of around 5%, but while this is equal to that of most other states, their average income tax is much higher than the national median at 6.25%. At this stage, social security and pension incomes are not taxed for some people over the age of 65.
Senior Communities in Illinois
There are many different senior living communities to be found within Illinois, and where you choose to settle down depends entirely on your interests and personalities. Cities like Chicago, Peoria and Joliet that offer a wealth of active options for the more physically fit, as well as thousands of choices of cultural and historic significance. People who settle here should generally have a love of the big city life, and a passion for the culture and arts. Other places to settle are smaller towns such as Galena, which was once a prosperous mining town, but now is home to just over 3,000 people. The average cost of living is 7% below the national average, and about 85% of the town is an appointed National Historic District. The communities found in Galena are perfect for retirees looking for a quiet friendly town, with lots of outdoor options. Alton is a town found where the Mississippi, Illinoi and Missouri river all come together. It has a population of 27,000 people and the living costs are much lower than the national average. It is well suited for those people wanting a fairly quiet retirement, but also hope to be close to the bigger cities such as St. Louis.
Illinois is a huge state and there are is a vast array of different activities that attract all kinds of retirees to settle here. If it is arts and culture that you are seeking, then Illinois will spoil you. The golden agers that love to dabble in the arts, or are interested in history will be overindulged in options such as the Field Museum of Natural History, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. That isn't to say that there is a lack of options for the more active members of the senior community. There are a host of protected areas that retirees can take advantage of as there are over 123 state parks, wildlife refuges, nature reserves, recreation parks and state forests. So in Illinois there is something for every golden ager to enjoy.
Illinois offers a special mix of cultural spoils, art, outdoor activities and everything in between. This definitely makes it a state to consider when you are looking for retirement options.