Is Arkansas a Good Place to Retire? (My Dumb Opinion…)

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Arkansas, also known as the “Natural State,” has become an increasingly popular destination for retirees. With its mild climate, picturesque natural scenery, and affordable cost of living, it’s no surprise that the state is attracting more and more people looking to spend their golden years in comfort and relaxation. The state’s low cost of living and competitive property prices make it an attractive option for those seeking financial stability during their retirement years.

However, before settling in Arkansas, it’s essential to carefully consider both the advantages and drawbacks of retiring in the state. While the natural beauty and affordability are certainly appealing, retirees should also be mindful of factors such as the relatively high crime rates, limited healthcare facilities, and sparse job opportunities in some areas. By weighing these pros and cons, retirees can make an informed decision on whether the “Natural State” is the ideal destination for their retirement.

Why Arkansas Is an Attractive Retirement Destination

Arkansas, known as the Natural State, has become an increasingly popular option for retirees in the United States. Its reputation as an affordable retirement state with mild weather and beautiful natural attractions make it a compelling choice.

Affordable Cost of Living

One of the biggest draws to retiring in Arkansas is its low cost of living. In fact, the state is often ranked as one of the most affordable places to live. Housing, for example, is relatively inexpensive, and the overall cost of living is significantly lower than the national average. This means retirees can stretch their retirement savings and enjoy more financial freedom during their golden years.

Mild Weather

Arkansas boasts a mild climate that appeals to many retirees. With four distinct seasons, residents can experience a comfortable balance of weather throughout the year. Winters are typically mild, with occasional cold spells, while summers are warm without being oppressively hot. This climate allows retirees to enjoy outdoor activities year-round, making the most of their leisure time.

Natural Beauty

The state’s nickname, The Natural State, is well-deserved. Arkansas is home to an abundance of natural attractions and scenery that appeal to those who love the outdoors. With its stunning landscapes, including mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers, there are endless opportunities for hiking, fishing, boating, and bird-watching. The state’s natural beauty and accessible outdoor recreation contribute to a high quality of life for retirees who value the great outdoors.

In summary, Arkansas has several key factors that make it an attractive retirement destination. With its affordable cost of living, mild climate, and abundant natural beauty, it’s easy to see why more and more retirees are considering Arkansas as their place to enjoy retirement.

Top Places to Retire in Arkansas

Arkansas, also known as the “Natural State,” offers retirees a mix of beautiful natural scenery, mild climate, and an affordable cost of living. This section will cover some of the best places to retire in Arkansas, including Fayetteville, Bentonville, Little Rock, Hot Springs, Eureka Springs, Mountain Home, and Bella Vista.


Fayetteville is known for its vibrant cultural scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and top-tier healthcare facilities. It is also home to the University of Arkansas, providing retirees with access to lifelong learning. With a low cost of living and a variety of activities to keep retirees engaged, Fayetteville is an appealing option for retirement.


Bentonville offers a charming, small-town atmosphere with a variety of amenities, making it a popular choice for retirees. The city features an impressive museum scene including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Scott Family Amazeum. Additionally, the low cost of living and high safety ratings make Bentonville an attractive place to retire.

Little Rock

As the capital city of Arkansas, Little Rock provides retirees with access to a diverse range of cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities. Despite being a bustling urban center, Little Rock still maintains a low cost of living, particularly in the healthcare and transportation sectors.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs is famous for its natural hot springs and the historic Bathhouse Row. Retirees can benefit from a low cost of living and a wealth of outdoor activities available. The city is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, such as the Hot Springs National Park, which offers countless opportunities to enjoy nature and maintain an active lifestyle.

Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs is an enchanting, Victorian-era village that offers retirees a unique retirement experience. Known for its art galleries, boutiques, and world-class restaurants, this picturesque town also features historic architecture and a thriving cultural scene. The low crime rate and a strong sense of community make Eureka Springs a desirable place for retirees.

Mountain Home

Mountain Home offers retirees a peaceful, rural environment. Located in the Ozark Mountains, this idyllic town is surrounded by natural beauty and offers a range of recreational activities, including fishing and hiking. Mountain Home boasts a low cost of living, making it an affordable option for retirement.

Bella Vista

Nestled in the Ozark Mountains, Bella Vista is a picturesque planned community with a focus on outdoor pursuits. The city boasts seven beautiful lakes, numerous hiking and biking trails, and several well-maintained golf courses. Combined with a low cost of living, Bella Vista presents an excellent choice for retirees seeking an active, outdoor-oriented lifestyle.

Taking into consideration the various factors that make a location suitable for retirement, these Arkansas cities offer an array of options to suit the diverse needs and preferences of retirees.

Financial Considerations

When considering retiring in Arkansas, it’s important to take into account the various financial aspects. In this section, we will explore the property taxes, state income tax, and insurance in the state.

Property Taxes

Arkansas is known for its low cost of living, which includes relatively low property taxes. According to Retire Fearless, property taxes in Arkansas are among the lowest in the United States. This can be especially appealing to retirees, as lower property taxes can help stretch your retirement savings further.

State Income Tax

Another important aspect to consider when retiring in Arkansas is the state income tax. Arkansas has a progressive income tax system, which means that the tax rate increases as the taxpayer’s income increases. For retirees, this can be a significant factor as they may have different income sources such as retirement accounts, pensions, and Social Security. It’s essential to be aware of the state income tax and how it might impact your retirement budget.


Insurance is another crucial financial consideration when retiring in Arkansas. While property crime rates in the state may be higher compared to the national average, it should not be a deterrent if you’re considering retiring in the Natural State. It’s essential to secure appropriate insurance coverage to protect your property and belongings. Additionally, health insurance and long-term care insurance can be critical, especially due to the relatively few healthcare facilities available in the state.

In conclusion, while Arkansas has several financial advantages for retirees, such as low property taxes and cost of living, it does have its challenges as well. It’s essential to weigh these financial considerations to determine if Arkansas is the right place for your retirement.

Safety and Healthcare

Crime Rates

When considering Arkansas as a place for retirement, it’s essential to take into account the state’s crime rates. Arkansas has a relatively high crime rate compared to other states in the country. In particular, property crime is an area of concern, which may affect the overall safety and security of retirees.

Nevertheless, the situation varies depending on the specific location within the state, and some areas are much safer than others. Therefore, it’s crucial to research the crime statistics of each city or town before deciding on a place to retire in Arkansas.

Health Care Facilities

When it comes to healthcare, Arkansas has a mixed reputation. On one hand, the state has a somewhat uninspiring healthcare system, which affects the quality of care available to residents. This is particularly vital for retirees who may require specialized healthcare services as they age.

On the other hand, there are some excellent healthcare facilities in certain areas that provide top-notch care to residents. For example, in Hot Springs, a popular retirement destination, seniors can access quality services related to wellness and healthcare, thanks to the city’s natural hot springs and historic bathhouses.

Arkansas does not necessarily offer an extensive network of healthcare facilities compared to states such as Florida, which is known for its robust retirement and healthcare infrastructure. However, it’s still possible to find quality care depending on the location in Arkansas.

Ensuring access to quality healthcare facilities is crucial for retirees looking to spend their golden years in Arkansas. So, it is important to carefully consider various locations within the state and choose an area with suitable healthcare facilities to meet your needs during your retirement days in Arkansas.

Lifestyle and Activities

Arts and Culture

Arkansas is home to a variety of arts and cultural experiences. The state has numerous museums and performing arts venues, catering to residents’ interests in history, arts, and science. Fayetteville, home to the University of Arkansas, offers a lively cultural scene, including galleries, theaters, and a thriving downtown area. Educational opportunities are also available through the University and local schools, promoting a love for arts and culture among all age groups.

Outdoor Activities

For retirees seeking a more active lifestyle, Arkansas offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The state is known for its incredible natural beauty, with numerous parks and recreation areas to explore. Fishing is a popular hobby in Arkansas, thanks to its rivers and lakes, such as Lake Hamilton. Hiking is another great way for retirees to stay active, with scenic trails and beautiful landscapes found throughout the state.

Entertainment and Shopping

Arkansas doesn’t fall behind when it comes to entertainment and shopping options. The state features a variety of malls, boutique shops, and other shopping venues, meeting a broad range of tastes and budgets. Additionally, Arkansas offers various amenities for retirees, including golf courses, cinemas, and restaurants. Moreover, residents can enjoy a thriving local music scene and catch performances at numerous events throughout the year, adding to the region’s vibrant atmosphere.

Potential Concerns

Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

Arkansas, like many other regions, has its share of mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance and a potential health concern. The presence of mosquitoes in the state can be attributed to its warm climate and the fact that it has multiple water sources, such as rivers and lakes. Mosquitoes are known carriers of the West Nile Virus, and while the risk of contracting the virus is relatively low, retirees who plan on spending a lot of time outdoors should take necessary precautions.

It is important for residents and visitors to protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially during warmer months when these insects are more active. Using insect repellent, wearing long clothing, and using mosquito nets or window screens are some ways to minimize the risk of getting bitten.


Another concern for retirees considering Arkansas as their retirement destination is the potential for tornadoes. The state is located in the heart of Tornado Alley, a region prone to severe weather, including tornadoes and thunderstorms. These natural disasters can cause damages to property, infrastructure, and in some cases, can even be life-threatening.

Retirees should be aware of the tornado risks in Arkansas and be prepared with a plan of action during tornado seasons. Having a safe room in one’s home, monitoring weather alerts, and investing in property insurance to cover potential damages are some of the precautions that retirees can take.

However, it is important to remember that tornadoes are not constantly occurring in the state and should not deter retirees from considering Arkansas as a viable option. The state offers many other positive aspects such as a low cost of living, easy access to outdoor activities, and a relaxed, rural lifestyle.