21 Pros and Cons of Retiring in Wyoming

Many people who are not from Wyoming would never consider moving to this state. However, as crime rates in big cities rise, people are looking for better places to retire. Wyoming is one of those places; it provides quiet areas to settle down without the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Some of the pros of retiring and living in this state include tons of outdoor activities to enjoy, a low crime rate, and a secluded lifestyle. Though Wyoming is the 10th biggest state, it is also the least populated state. The pitfalls to retiring here are things like the weather and how hazardous it can be, as well as ditching city life. 

This is a state that has well-funded healthcare programs for the seniors in this area. This makes it a beautiful state for many people to grow old and retire in.

We’ve created this guide on Wyoming because you should know all the pros and cons of living in this state as a retiree.

10 Pros of Retiring and Living In Wyoming

A photo of the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, USA. It shows a huge ice capped mountain range, which is reflected ina  large lake in the foreground. There are dozens of pine trees lining the lake

Wyoming is a great place to live and an even better place to retire. There isn’t much city life in this state, and a lot of the “big cities” are still relatively small compared to other cities across the country. This is the best place to live if you’re looking for a quiet retired life. Here are some of the advantages of retiring in Wyoming.

1. Four Distinct Seasons

You will notice that there are very distinct seasons in Wyoming, and they are known for different things. Spring can be full of rain and thunderstorms where you can sit out on your porch and watch the lightning. Summer tends to be very hot and humid. Fall stays warm for most of the season while the colors change. Lastly, winter can be harsh with bitter winds but can have striking snowfalls.

2. Less Taxes

For the average household, taxes are generally very low. The property tax is just 0.62% which is the 9th lowest in the nation, and the state does not assess taxes on retirement income that you earn. Many people find this very pleasing about the state and one of the reasons they choose to retire in Wyoming.

3. Western Food

You may be wondering what western food is. It’s cuisine that you really can’t find when you go to the east coast or to the west coast. You will find tons of chicken fried steak, trout, jerky, chicken chili, and bison burgers. Chicken fried steak is essentially an entire food group when you move to Wyoming and one of the first things you should try when going to a restaurant.

4. Effective Transportation

One of the first things you will notice about Wyoming is there are tons of trains that run through the state. Due to the wide-open spaces, the train tracks are well-maintained, and there is far less traffic. Also, speed limits in this state tend to be higher than in other areas because there is little to no traffic in most places, and the highways are well-maintained.

5. Nice Weather In The Summer

A photograph of an old barn in Grand Tetons in Wyoming USA. It shows a broken down fence, small stream, and arn in the middle of a paddock. To the left of the image is a mountain range

Summertime is one of the best seasons in Wyoming, especially if you are near a pool or lake! This season is bright and cheerful, you are sure to get a large amount of vitamin D. The air is warm, and it’s like stepping out into a sauna. It can be relaxing! If you are looking for a place to retire that gets exceptionally warm, this is the perfect place to pick!

6. Recreational Areas

Wyoming is an outdoor paradise. If you want to retire and check out the nearby mountains to take a ski trip in the winter or see Yellowstone in the summer, this is the best state to live in. The outdoor scene is incredible here. If you are an avid hunter, there are tons of opportunities to hunt game that are unique to Wyoming.

7. Low Crime Rate

Compared to the national average, Wyoming has a very low crime rate. In fact, the violent crime rate is 60% lower than the national average, and many places are way under that for property crime. Some of the safest cities in Wyoming include; Worland, Torrington, Green River, Sheridan, Douglas, and Laramie. You will find that the reviews for these cities praise the safety of the communities. 

8. Isolated and Left Alone

This may be considered a pitfall for the younger generation, but this can be a great thing for the older generation. This state is very spread out, and the neighbors in a community are spread out too. This means if you are looking for a life of solitude, this may be best state for you. Most people will leave you alone, and you can retire in peace with a few close friends. It is a very isolated place to live, and some people find this exceptionally attractive.

9. Professional Sports

A close-up photo of a flag with the Denver Broncos NFL American football team logo

If you love sports, you can hop in your car and drive to Denver from Cheyenne! You will be able to drive there in a few hours, and you can see all the major sports teams that are playing during the season. This is a good excuse for a weekend trip or a family get-away to a state with relaxed rules.

10.  Honesty Among The Community

One of the first impressions you may get about the people who live in Wyoming is that they are very blunt. Sometimes if you are a transplant, it can be off-putting. However, this is a huge advantage for some people because you will never have to question where you stand in a community. 

11 Cons of Retiring and Living In Wyoming

Though there are some amazing advantages to living and retiring in Wyoming, there are also a few pitfalls to be aware of. There are more downfalls of retiring in Wyoming than there are positives about living in the state.

1. Severe Storms

Though the weather can be absolutely gorgeous during all seasons, there is a chance for hazardous weather. In late spring and early summer, tornadoes can occur in these states. However, there are drills all year long to prepare the citizens on what to do if this happens and when you move here, you won’t be unprepared. Many homes come with bunkers or safe zones to wait out a nearby tornado. Checking the weather and checking on tornadoes is part of daily life here.

2. No Large Cities

Cheyenne is the capital and has a little over 64,000 people living in it. There are only four other cities with populations of over 20,000 people. Most cities are exceptionally small. When you compare Cheyenne to other capitals and cities, you will find that there are not many people in Wyoming. Big city life is not a lifestyle in Wyoming. It is mostly small, quaint, and charming.

3. Limited In-State Schooling

A photo of a female teacher standing in front of a blackboard featuring the Wyoming flag

There are only a select few in-state colleges for residents to choose from. If you are retired and thinking about taking more college classes, you may have a very hard time doing so. There are only a handful of schools to choose from. Many people who are looking to go back to school or take one class choose to do online school out of convenience.

4. Cost Of Living Is High

Ranked on the cost of living index, Wyoming has a pretty high cost of living. However, most things are still very close to the national average. Out of 100 being the national average overall, Wyoming ranks 98.1, just below. Housing is 99.1 out of 100, and health is way higher, ranking 131.3 out of 100. Food costs are a little higher as well.

5. It Is Not a Diverse State

Though Wyoming is all about treating everyone equally and fairly, there are not many different people. This area is simply not diverse. 1 in 4 people in the state comes from German ancestry, and there are not many other ethnicities. If you are looking for a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities to enjoy, this is not the state for you.

6. No Mega Size Events

Though there are smaller events and other things to do, the limited population in Wyoming (only 500,000!) makes crowds something you leave in the city. In general, there aren’t big concerts, theater shows or conventions here.

7. Limited Shopping Areas

If you are big on window shopping and you are hoping to shop a lot when retired, think again. Shopping can be incredibly limited because of the smaller cities. Specialty or niche items are far and few in between. You will have access to the big chain stores, but there will be fewer antique and specialty stores in Wyoming. This means if you are looking for something specific, you will have to order it online or go out of state to get it.

8. Few Restaurant Options

Due to this state being less diverse, there are not a lot of options to enjoy ethnic food. These restaurants are far and few in between. There are a few farm-to-table restaurants, but they are typically filled every night and require long wait times or reservations. You will find that there are not that many restaurants to choose from and you will spend more time cooking at home. This is not a huge problem for many retired folks, but it can be tiring to never go out.

9. Winter Can Last During Summer

Though Wyoming typically has four seasons, sometimes the weather gets funky! There are occasionally times when Wyoming will see snow in July and August, typical summer months. This causes a shorter growing season for crops and also limits the amount of fresh food that the state gets. If you love snow and winter sports this may not be a problem for you.

10. Younger Generations Leave Every Year

There are tons of disadvantages to living in Wyoming as a younger person and the lack of in-state schools is one of them. You will see younger kids leave in flocks every year to go out of state and somewhere with more opportunity and a better selection of schools. This makes the state a little quieter than other states, and you will see the population become older, not younger.

11. The Wind Can Be Hazardous

The wind can be totally brutal in Wyoming. The speed is fast coming from the mountains, and Casper has been labeled to be one of the top ten windiest cities in the US. Cheyenne has also made it in the top ten list, which makes two cities in Wyoming. If you are looking for a perfect hairdo, think again. Chances are you won’t be able to walk down the street without a heavy dose of wind.

Learning about Wyoming is interesting because it is a totally different culture from other areas in the United States. There are tons of pros and cons, and moving here for retirement just depends on what you like to do and what environmental factors you are prepared to deal with. 

The weather can be outstanding in Wyoming, but it also causes a lot of pitfalls when retiring. Overall, if you want an isolated place to retire that is quiet and has a lot of scenic views, you may want to think about moving to this state.

What to Know About Wyoming

There are many reasons people choose to move to Wyoming; they either want the quiet lifestyle or want to be near Yellowstone. Here are a few things to keep in mind when retiring in Wyoming. 

The median home value in Wyoming is $229,200, just above the national average of $217,500. One of the best places to buy a home in Wyoming is Rock Springs, with a median home value of $207,000 and an average yearly income of $70,000. The second best place to buy a home is Cheyanne, with a median home value of $197,000 and an average yearly income of $55,000. 

Many people choose to buy homes in Wyoming, but you will find that the average rent prices are around $1,015 per month. So this is the perfect state for someone who is retiring and looking for a home to buy and settle down in.

There is a lower amount of pollution in this state, and because of that, you will be surrounded by clean nature that is not tainted by pollutants. Stargazing in Wyoming is like nowhere else in the US, especially on a clear night. 

One more thing to keep in mind when choosing this state to retire in is that the cowboy culture is strong here. You will see everyone in cowboy boots and big trucks all over the state. It may remind you of Texas, but Wyoming is incredibly unique.

Conclusion

Wyoming is a beautiful state where you can retire and live an easy life. There are a few more disadvantages than advantages when considering retirement in Wyoming, but the truth is many of them are not dealbreakers. Many people choose small-town life over big city life because it is a simple way to live and retire. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, take a tour through Wyoming to see what awaits you!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about retiring in Wyoming. 

Where is the cheapest place to live in Wyoming?

If you are looking for a budget-friendly city to live in, check out these cities. Newcastle, Lyman, Worland, Kemmerer, and Thermopolis. These cities have a lower cost of living than the rest of the state. Chances are you will find a house there that fits in with your budget.

What part of Wyoming has the best weather?

If you are looking for a sunny and warm area, you should check out Thermopolis. It is constantly sunny and one of the warmest areas in Wyoming. This city still gets four seasons, but you may find it more comfortable throughout the year. The best news is this is also one of the most affordable cities to live in.

What city in Wyoming gets the least amount of snow?

If you are not a huge fan of snow but still want to see the scenic views Wyoming has to offer, you should retire in Laramie. This city only experiences around 39 days of snow which is much lower than the other cities. Cheyanne receives 45 days, and Casper gets between 48 and 49 days of snow.

Related: Pros and Cons of Retiring in Idaho