Reasons to Retire in Kentucky

After so many years of working to build a life and provide for yourself and your family, it’s time for a well-earned, long rest. However, deciding on your new living destination is difficult because many places tick most of the boxes, and you get to pick only one. In this piece, we will highly X reasons to retire in Kentucky.

Photo of a mature couple enjoying their retirement in Kentucky with two black labs
Photo by Greta Hoffman

Ideally, the retirement place should have easy access to outdoor recreation, cultural manifestations, tax benefits, affordable home, and health care resources. If those are also your priorities, consider choosing the Bluegrass State as your future home. There are many reasons to retire in Kentucky, but here are the main ones that might help make up your mind.

1. Kentucky is Tax-friendly for Retirees

One of the main reasons to retire in Kentucky is that the Bluegrass State doesn’t tax retirement and disability income if you’re a veteran, federal, or state employee. The same refers if you previously worked as an academic.

Social Security income is also not included in taxation. Meaning that senior citizens can enjoy a deduction of $31,110 for IRA and pension income. If your retirement income exceeds the deduction, your tax will be 5%.

Photo of a Senior woman reading about reasons to retire in Kentucky on her iPad
Seniors over 65 who own a home are eligible for homestead exemption. The amount changes annually, but in the last two years, the sum was $40,500. | Photo by Anna Shvets

2. Opportunities for Many Outdoor Enjoyments

I’m sure you can think of many examples of the natural wonder of the world. However, Kentucky hides nature gems worthy of the adventurer’s bucket list. From Appalachian heights, and magnificent lakes on the western and southern borders, to the impressive cave and forest system predating the human presence, there is something to enjoy for any nature lover. But if you’re a fan of more subtle excitements, the state has many trials, fishing places, boating, and golfing opportunities.

3. Homes Are Very Affordable

Even though Kentucky’s house value rose 15% in the past year, homes are very affordable. The median house cost is $185,331, which is way below the national average. Louisville home prices are higher but that is typically the case in larger cities.

The housing market is not as competitive as it was this time last year. Meaning if you’re planning to buy a property and move here, you should seize the moment before the prices go up again. With the lack of housing demands in many cities in Kentucky, the market is switching from renters to buyers. But even with a low rent of about $850, you wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity and become a homeowner with property tax reliefs.

Bluegrass State offers architectural and structural diversity of homes, whether you prefer new build or historical type homes. All you need to do is pick a lovely home with preferable amenities and start preparing for the move. To avoid moving stress and all the hustle the relocation procedure brings, ask your family to help out with the process and hire reliable professionals to get you here in no time. Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in your new home surrounded by pristine nature, a friendly community, and you won’t have to worry about money ever again.

Photo of a Kentucky farm surrounded by lovely nature
Farm surrounded by fields and flowers in Lexington, Kentucky. | Photo credit marajade24

4. Kentucky has World-renewed Annual Events

Besides its scenic beauty, Kentucky is famous for bourbon, moonshine, unique culture, bluegrass music, and most importantly – the world-renowned Kentucky Derby. This event is held on the first Saturday of May annually, welcoming many tourists and horse racing fans. In addition, residents and visitors of the Derby can enjoy the unique Festival Balloon event.

5. Bluegrass State has a low cost of living

One of the crucial factors that makes some places a quality home choice is the cost of living. Regardless of how many amenities some city has, if you constantly need to worry about settling bills and not being able to afford the necessities, you’ll want to reconsider your current living situation.

Luckily, Kentucky’s cost of living is quite affordable, in fact, lower than the national average. For example, the monthly bill for utilities in a small apartment is not exceeding $150. In addition, you can get a meal in a decent, inexpensive restaurant for less than $10, depending on the city you’re living in.

If you’re opting for places with the lowest cost of living, explore Paducah, Frankfort, London, or Owensboro for your potential home choices. However, if you want the best mix of cultural amenities, transportation, access to health services, and a friendly community, bigger cities like Lexington-Fayette, Bowling Green, or Louisville might be better choices.

Finding the perfect retirement home is not easy, so carefully choose the optimal place for this big life step. What would you prioritize in your new moving destination? Do you want to live on the shore? Perhaps some rural home is more to your liking? Or do you want to finally spend time visiting art exhibitions, museums, galleries, and theatres? Whatever you prefer, make sure to research all the other options that go with such a life-changing decision.

6. Kentucky Is Easily Accessible

Photo of a family gathering
With several Kentucky airports at your disposal, you will not miss any family gatherings, | Photo by RODNAE Productions

If traveling across the US is part of your retirement plans, Kentucky offers five primary airports and dozens of general aviation airports. You can travel the world and see family and friends whenever they are with easy access to transportation. 

Add that to the central location of the state that borders so many others, you’ll likely be close to relatives. That will make driving a great option as well.


These were just a few reasons to retire in Kentucky. But without a doubt, moving to Kentucky will transform your life and enrich it with many amenities, unique cuisine, outdoor activities, and historical places. In addition, cities and small-town communities are warm and hospitable to retirees, so you’ll feel at home in no time. There is no better way to spend your senior years than in a tax-friendly country, with affordable housing, magnificent nature, and many other opportunities that make a good life.

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.