More to Arkansas than the Razorbacks and Bill Clinton

Many of you have formed your impression of Arkansas through the presidency and/or travails of former President Bill Clinton, the success of Sam Walton and WalMart Stores or the University of Arkansas Razorback sports successes. Whatever your impression, Arkansas is a state that offers much to retirees.

First, retirees can find some of the intriguing landscapes you would find anywhere. Hunting, fishing, mountain climbing and canoeing are all big activities in Arkansas. Care for something tamer? Then take a day trip to any number of small towns, parks, festivals or golf destinations that will capture your imagination.

Also, the people are friendly. A professor at the University of South Carolina once remarked that he never knew how friendly a place could be until he had had a flat on the interstate in Arkansas. Arkansans - as in the case of several people stopping to help the professor - are concerned about your welfare and there is a sense of community (that in some towns is reminenscent of Mayberry.

Taxes are lower in Arkansas than most places; Arkansas ranked 48th of the 50 states in the amount of state and local taxes its citizens pay (69 percent of the national average). As evidence of its popularity among retirees, Arkansas ranked ninth in the country in the number of “net” migration of retirees in a 1990 study. This is the net of those retirees leaving versus those entering the state.

Visitors to Arkansas are amazed by how large the state is and the many towns with a population of under 10,000 population. Many of these towns still have quaint downtown business districts with large courthouses. In many of these small towns, crime is very low and retirees can feel safer than in huge metropolitan areas.

The cost of housing and your lifestyle may very well be lower than where you live now. For instance, if you make $30,000 a year in Boston, you would only need $14,972 for the same lifestyle in Little Rock, AR according to Money magazine. If you make $30,000 in Washington, D.C., you only need $18,092 in Little Rock.