17 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Nevada

So the day has finally come: you’re retiring! First of all, congratulations. It takes a lifetime of hard work and effort to get to this season of your life, and it’s certainly something to celebrate. 

Many people have a set-in-stone plan for their retirement, while others like to make their decisions when the time comes. Right now, you may be contemplating where you’d like to enjoy your retirement. 

If you’re thinking about settling down in Nevada to live out the remainder of your days, you’ve come to the right place. Millions of people vacation to Nevada every year (hello, Vegas!), but is it a good place to live?

Below, we’ve listed 17 pros and cons of retiring in Nevada. This list gives you an honest look at the good and the bad so you can make the best decision for yourself and your family. 

Pro: Nevada Offers Plenty of Sunshine

A photo of Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. It shows a large rocky outcrop eroded by wind and rain, a sandy plain, and a blue sky. The sun is shining through a crack in the outcrop

It’s not uncommon for people to retire to warm climates that see a lot of sunshine. Nevada is one of those places, as it experiences tons of sun throughout the year. It ranks in the top 10% of states for days with sunshine. 

Major cities like Elko, Reno, and Winnemucca get over 200 days of sunshine each year on average, and the famous city of Las Vegas gets a whopping 292. That’s something to put in the pro column for your retirement. 

Con: Nevada Has High Crime Rates

The state of Nevada as a whole has significant violent crime rates. On a list of the United States and territories, Nevada sits in the rankings of top ten highest crime rates in the country at number ten. 

While the state has seen a drop in some violent crimes like rape and robbery, it has also seen an uptick in others, such as murder and aggravated assault. In fact, the number of willful murders rose by almost 30% from 2019 to 2020. 

These statistics do not necessarily mean that there are no nice places to live in Nevada, but it is something to consider. 

Pro: Nevada Is Home to Las Vegas 

Perhaps the most significant benefit to retiring to Nevada is that it is home to the famous and ever-popular city of Las Vegas. There are many reasons why vacationers choose to check out Nevada, but Las Vegas is one of the top considerations. 

Las Vegas is undoubtedly known for its partying; there are plenty of casinos, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. 

But this city also boasts beautiful weather with little rain and activities like skiing and camping. It’s also close to several national parks, including Yosemite. It really is full of endless entertainment that’s great for day trips and long weekends away alike. 

Plus, all of your friends and family members will love to come to visit knowing how close you are to this exciting attraction. 

Con: Nevada Has Insufficient Healthcare

If you live in one of the more populated portions of the state, such as Las Vegas or Reno, you shouldn’t have any trouble with your healthcare. However, there’s a large population of people who live in more rural settings, and they often encounter issues with their medical care. 

While Nevada has a state-based Office of Rural Health that works tediously to recruit doctors for the area, it’s difficult for them to find many. 

For this reason, residents of rural areas often have to drive as far as an hour away just to see their primary care physician. If you rely heavily on medical care, this could cause some grave problems. 

Pro: Nevada Has a Great Economy

An aerial photograph of Las Vegas at night with dozens of high rise hotels and casinos on display. It shows how successful the Nevada economy is

It’s always a great idea to retire someplace that has its economy all sorted out. Nevada just so happens to be one of those places. While it’s hard to predict precisely what will happen with the economy in any given area, Nevada has a few staples it can rely on to keep it ahead of the curve.

Nevada’s economy is based on three primary industries: entertainment and gambling (i.e., tourism), mining, and cattle ranching. Not only do cities like Las Vegas and Paradise City draw crowds in the millions every year, but the state itself was founded on silver and gold mining. 

These industries, coupled with cattle ranching and agriculture, allow Nevada to thrive financially with plenty of money coming in. 

Con: Nevada Is Very Hot

In many cases, folks like to retire to warmer areas. It’s tough on retirees to withstand long, cold, and brutal winters, so the warmth is usually an attractive feature. However, Nevada gets more than just warm; it gets hot. 

Nevada sees temperatures that far exceed 100 degrees during the summer, with record highs reaching above 110 in the late summer months. Not only do these temperatures make it challenging to get outside, but it’s the cause of some pretty high electricity costs due to blasting air conditioners. 

Winter doesn’t offer much relief, either. Even though the state is often sweltering, it can still reach below freezing temperatures in the winter. Some areas may see an average in the 50s for the colder months, but others offer the extreme at the other end of the thermometer. 

Pro: Nevada Offers Tons of Natural Beauty

If you love the great outdoors, you’re guaranteed to love Nevada. Though most people think of bustling cities like Las Vegas when they think of Nevada, there’s a ton of natural beauty, magnificent scenery, and gorgeous landscapes.

Nevada is home to several large mountains, many of which surpass 10,000 feet. Some of the tallest peaks include Mount Charleston, Wheeler Peak, Mount Rose, and Boundary Peak. These mountains make for some fantastic hiking, breathtaking views, and exciting ski adventures. 

Nevada also features some pretty cool desert regions along with several lakes and rivers. Despite the vast desert terrain, there are plenty of areas with vibrant green grass and beautiful vegetation. 

Con: Nevada Can Be Tempting for Recovering Addicts

Nevada is a state that seems to be overflowing with vices. From drugs and alcohol to women and gambling, there’s a little bit of everything that can lead to some serious issues in an individual’s life. 

If you struggle with any kind of vice or addiction, the state of Nevada may offer up too much temptation. A recovering gambling addict, for example, probably shouldn’t put themselves smack in the middle of the gambling capital of the country. Other things like smoking, alcohol, and other drugs can pose a temptation.

While these things are prevalent throughout the state, there are plenty of places you can live to get away from these activities. Be sure to do your research and choose a location based on your preferences and interests.

Pro: Nevada Has Low Taxes

A photograph of a man sitting at a desk on the phone and reading a print out of his taxation bill

As we mentioned earlier, Nevada has a good economy with plenty of revenue sources, including casinos, national parks, and entertainment. Because of these assets, the state can offer some of the lowest overall taxations compared to the rest of the United States.

For instance, the sales tax rate in some Nevadan cities is as low as 6.8 percent. This rate is competitive with the national average, which falls to about 5.09 percent, and certainly outranks states with much higher taxes.

Other taxes are a little more complex, given that they’re different for various people. Still, it’s good to know that the Nevada state government relies more heavily on the aforementioned contributions rather than over-taxation. 

Con: Nevada Has Inconvenient Transportation & Traveling

Anywhere that there’s a city, there is bound to be plenty of traffic to deal with. However, Nevada comes with its own unique set of problems in this area. The first problem you’ll run into is that stretches of the main highway continue for more than 70 miles before you hit the next town. 

Of course, once you hit the main cities like Vegas or Reno, you will run into a wave of cars that will likely stop you dead in your tracks. If you want to get anywhere on time, you simply must leave super early. 

As if dealing with a melting pot of angry drivers isn’t stressful enough, the lax drinking laws in these major cities make things even more interesting. You should always keep your eyes open for intoxicated people walking, but you also never know who’s drunk driving. 

Pro: Nevada Has More Flexible Laws

We’re not saying that you should move to Nevada so that you can do things that might be illegal in your current state of residence, but some folks may find the state’s laws to be a bit lax compared to others.

For one, recreational marijuana is legal in Nevada. While many states are hopping on board with medical marijuana legalization, not as many accept recreational use. If that’s a hobby that interests you, you may be happy to hear you’re free to participate in Nevada. 

Many people look forward to retiring in Nevada because gambling is legal throughout the whole state. It’s not uncommon to see casinos in almost any town you roll into. And finally, open container laws are not nearly as restrictive as they are in other states, making it perfectly legal for you to walk down the road with a beer in your hand.  

Con: Nevada’s Education Is Poor 

As someone retiring, you’re likely not bringing any school-aged children along with you to your new state of residence. However, if you’re the caretaker for a grandchild, still have kids in school, or plan on bringing family along for the move, you may need to consider private schooling. 

The education system in Nevada ranks very low on the national charts. In 2017, Nevada ranked 49th out of 50 states for education. The score for the country’s entire education system gets a C from Education Week, and even this organization gave Nevada a solid D. 

Various factors play into the state’s scores, such as school financing and opportunities for success. But if you plan on taking children with you wherever you retire, you may need to reconsider based on this fact. 

Pro: Everything in Nevada Is 24/7

They say New York City is the city that never sleeps, but they really should have saved that title for the state of Nevada.

In this state, many businesses are open 24/7. Almost every neighborhood, town, and city has at least one store that stays open all night. And even better, many bars stay open all night as well since the law allows it.

Whether you’re looking for an all-night party or you’re simply a night owl who likes to run errands by the moonlight, Nevada is the place for you. You’ll always find a store to meet your late-night cravings or midnight emergencies. 

Con: Nevada Has Strict Smoking Laws

Depending on your views, the smoking laws in Nevada could be either a pro or a con. If you’re a smoker, you would certainly see the state’s strict smoking laws as a con. 

Through the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, the laws on smoking dictate that individuals cannot smoke in the workplace or most public places.

Considering the relaxed laws surrounding sex work, marijuana, alcohol, and gambling, it’s pretty surprising to see the authorities crack down on cigarettes. People who spend a lot of time in bars, casinos, and other entertainment facilities may not love the restrictions on their smoking. 

Pro: Nevada Has Plenty of Property

A photo of a residential suburb in Nevada, showing dozens of modern houses along a wide street

Housing is readily available in Nevada in many towns and cities. Many areas were initially overbuilt, so there’s always someone on the market for newcomers to buy. You can even find starter homes at surprisingly affordable prices.

Plus, due to Nevada’s government structure and tax laws, you don’t have to worry about state, city, or county taxes when you purchase a home. You can find a stellar deal on a house and finance it seamlessly. 

Oftentimes, there are even homes available right in Las Vegas if you’re looking to retire in the city. The average price for a decent piece of property is around $270,000, while many areas will rent for about $1,200 per month. 

Con: Nevada Has a High Cost of Living

While housing in Nevada is reasonably affordable and available, the overall cost of living there is about 10% more expensive than the national average. So, if you plan to move to this state, you must either have a really excellent retirement fund or a plan to lower your standard of living.

Many people make it affordable to live in Nevada by living in rural areas and looking for higher-paying jobs. However, as someone looking to retire, you probably don’t want to have to work anymore. 

Things like gas, groceries, and household goods will likely cost you more in Nevada than your current state, depending on where you live now. 

Pro: Nevada Offers Great Food

Nevada – especially Las Vegas – has some truly high-quality food options. Not many people know this, but the city has excellent pizza that is usually available all night long (and for delivery). 

Las Vegas has also been home to world-famous chefs Gordon Ramsey and Wolfgang Puck, so you know you’re going to run into some tasty options. 

While there are tons of world-class restaurants in Las Vegas and beyond, don’t discount the little guys. Even the tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurants offer excellent, authentic, and cultural food that will knock your socks off. 

Conclusion

Deciding to retire is a significant moment in your life, and choosing where you want to enjoy your retirement is the most critical next step in that decision.

As you’ve seen from our list, there are many reasons for and against living in Nevada after your retirement. The final decision is up to you! 

Did you think of anything that we missed? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!