Top Reasons to Consider Retiring in Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, VA served as a hotbed of independence during colonial times and is now the 4th most populous city in Virginia.
Why Retire in Richmond?
It's a historic, yet modern, vibrant city!
Richmond ranks near the top for quality healthcare and the cost of living in Virginia. The city features a favorable political climate, easy-to-access history, art, natural sites, lively concerts, and entertainment venues.
Between the lively neighborhoods and gorgeous surrounding scenery, there's something here for everyone.
Now, let’s take a deeper look at the top reasons to retire in Richmond, Virginia.
1. Low and No-Tax Benefits
Residents of Richmond earning less than $20,000 annually qualify for full exemption from their tax bills.
Based on income levels, those who earn less than $60,000 are also eligible for a partial tax exemption of up to 70%. The exact percentage is based on combined personal income from wages, retirement funds, and Social Security.
The property tax rate is in Richmond City is 1.2% ($1.20 per $100 of assessed value), but seniors earning less than $30,000 annually can apply for a full exemption.
If you choose to live on the outskirts of metropolitan Richmond, property taxes can be lower. Partial exemptions are also offered on a descending scale for those with a net worth under $350,000.
- up to 75% - $30,001 to $40,000
- up to 50% - $40,001 to $50,000
- up to 25% - $50,001 to $60,000
Retirees above 65 can also claim a tax deduction for medical expenses. This includes co-payments for prescription drugs, doctor visits, and Medicare premiums.
2. Easy Access to Quality Healthcare
The National Health Index ranks Richmond 18th overall and is calculated based on factors relating to quality healthcare and a healthy lifestyle.
In terms of hospital quality, they are ranked 12th overall, and 4th in the USA for larger metropolitan areas. In regards to access to care and local specialists they are ranked 26th/27th for large cities and 59th/53rd overall.
On the Quality of Life Index (Blue Cross Blue Shield), the city scores 92.1 (out of 100); nearly one full percentage point above the national average of 91.2.
3. A Low Cost of Living
The cost of living in Richmond is 7% lower than the national average, and housing expenses are 11% lower. The median housing price of $214,400 also makes it quite affordable to own rather than rent.
At $2.47 per gallon, gasoline prices are 8% lower than the national average. Based on the livability index, residents spend less on everyday expenses like groceries, housing, healthcare, utilities, transportation, and goods/services.
4. Favorable Weather Throughout the Year
Richmond offers a moderate climate with temperatures rarely dipping below 24°F or rising above 95°F. This is above the national average and a couple of degrees warmer than coastal Virginia.
Spring starts in April with daily temps ranging from 46-70°F, which is on par with the annual average.
Summer begins in earnest in June (65-87°F) and gets a bit balmy in July/August (67-90°F) with 10-15 days above 90°F.
Fall can still be quite warm at night in September (65-80°F), with the daily averages dropping roughly 10°F per month afterward.
By December, it's wintertime (31-51°F). With January comes the coldest month of the year (28-47°F), and the most likely to get snow (2 days with 4 inches total ).
The annual precipitation in Richmond is 44 inches spread over 116 days which is average for inland Virginia. The wettest months are in July/August with roughly 4.5 inches of precipitation per. The rain levels decline in mid-fall through early spring with just 3 inches per month.
Rains usually come in the morning, leaving afternoon sunshine that's perfect for outdoor activities. The periods from May through June and from September to early October offer moderate temperatures combined with lower precipitation levels.
5. A Reliable and Extensive Transport System
With over 40 different bus routes on the Ridge GRTC systems, residents of the entire Metropolitan Region of Richmond can easily get around. The GTRC mobile app allows for easy trip planning and live access to estimated stop arrival times.
The GTRC Pulse is a high-frequency transit line with buses running every 10 minutes on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and every 15 minutes from 7:00-11:30 p.m. On the weekend the Pulse runs 15 minutes all day long.
The Pulse express buses run in both directions from Willow Lawn in the West End, through the Virginia Commonwealth University into downtown Richmond, and on to Rocketts Landing in the East End.
Interstate access is also easily accessible via I-64 (East/West) and I-95 (North/South). The I-295 runs on the outskirts of downtown Richmond. It connects to the I-64 in the northwest and to the I-95 in the south via the Pocahontas Parkway toll road.
The Downtown Expressway (195) and Powhite Parkway (76) are also toll routes used for short and long commutes to avoid traffic congestion.
6. You Can Walk Through Colonial History
If you’re a history buff, you'll love the fact that every neighborhood in Richmond has its own story to tell. The preserved character and heritage of each are showcased throughout in homes, churches, and battlefields.
The 6.2 miles along the Richmond Liberty Trail is a self-guided, continuous loop marked by sidewalk logos. It not only connects the historic sites, attractions and neighborhoods together, but also exhibits 15 national landmarks along the way.
Along the Riverfront Canal Walk you'll find 1.15 miles of paved promenades with statutes that further document Richmond's history dating back to the 4th century.
7. Enjoy a Vibrant Culture and Art Scenes
Richmond is also known for its arts scene and it's most famous institution is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Inside you'll find more than 390,000 square ft. of exhibitions of Art Nouveau and Art Deco collections. The cultural exhibits at the Virginia Holocaust Museum are worth a visit.
Throughout the year, tourists and residents alike crowd the downtown to take photos of the well-preserved architecture.
A few blocks away, you can catch a live performance or check out the butterflies at the Lewis Botanical Garden. The neighborhood in the museum district has restaurants, 200-plus shops, and one of the oldest farmer’s market in the region.
8. Stay Green and Connected with Nature
The greater Richmond area makes it easy to connect with nature, and greenery can be found in abundance in over 100 local parks.
The James River Park System alone has 550 acres of beautiful Islands and shorelines to explore. Included within, is Pony Rapids Park, which features wildlife blinds, walking trails, sandy beaches and plenty of opportunities for bird watching.
The panoramic (and free) view of Richmond’s skyline at City Hall Observation Deck is also a great place to get your geographical bearings or enjoy the sunset.
9. It's a Music Lover's Delight
Built-in 1923, The National is a historically famous theater turned modern performing arts venue that features the latest musical acts.
In August, the Richmond Jazz and Music Festival attracts thousands of fans while the Richmond Folk Festival celebrates the richness of American culture. Both festivals have free admission and offer a wide range of performance artists.
For those who like to rock or have kids or grandkids coming to visit in May, the outdoor sports and music festival, Dominion Energy RiverRock, is a local favorite.