Want to Retire in Tahoe?

Clients often ask me if Tahoe is a good place to retire, and the answer, honestly, depends on your health, your retirement income, and what you like to do for fun. Here are couple of reasons why Tahoe tops other popular retirement destinations:

  • It's so beautiful here, you won't have any trouble enticing the kids & their families to come visit
  • Taxes, on the Nevada side, are lower
  • Unlike some parts of country, we're not running out of water
  • It's safe here

Natural Beauty of Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world. We get on average 300 days of sunshine, with hot summer days, cool nights, and low humidity.  Here you will find terrific golf courses

Beyond boating and kayaking at the Big Lake, the Tahoe region is surrounded by smaller lakes offering everything from fishing to a true alpine wilderness experience.

Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

With some of the best skiing in U.S., Tahoe is a year-round mecca for fun. While winters here often get a LOT of snow, the pattern in this part of the High Sierra is a big dump followed by a Blue Bird Day, where the sun is shining and it feels like there is no place more perfect in the whole world. It's not uncommon to spend a day cross country or downhill skiing, and relax afterward on one of many outdoor decks for an aprés-ski lunch or beverage. (Click here for a Guide to Ski-In, Ski-Out Homes in Tahoe)

Do you enjoy Snow?

Believe it or not, some Tahoe Truckee residents don't like snow; they only come for the summer and Fall.  (Autumn in Tahoe is often graced with a perfect Indian Summer, when the tourists have gone, but the weather is warm enough to swim in our alpine lakes.)

Tahoe Indian Summer The Fall can be one of the most beautiful times to explore Tahoe

Many who choose to retire to Lake Tahoe also have homes elsewhere (usually someplace warm like Palm Desert or Florida).  If you aren't planning to spend the whole year here, but would like to cash flow your property, some Tahoe homes also rent well as a "ski lease." (Click here for information on how ski leases work, and how much you can earn with one.)

With all its natural beauty, Tahoe is a great match for those who love the outdoors, and prefer an outdoor workout to the gym. With so many opportunities for year-round recreation, Tahoe offers the perfect playground to stay physically fit and active throughout your retirement years.

That said, Tahoe has little in the way of Big Retail. The closest Neiman Marcus is almost 200 miles away (in San Francisco).  Reno, which is 25-45 minutes away, has a Dillard's, a Macy's, an Apple store (and all the companion retail you see paired with those stores). So despite the many fine locally-run boutiques you will find in Tahoe, if a day at Nordie's sounds more fun than a day in the mountains, you might not find your Nirvana in Tahoe.

if you enjoy opera and live theater, you will need to head down to San Francisco for the day (or spend a night and hit Neiman Marcus while you're there)

Retire to Nevada: Save on Taxes

Close to half of my clients who consider retiring at Lake Tahoe, look to the Nevada side of the lake for tax reasons. With no state income tax, no inheritance tax, and favorable treatment for some businesses, Nevada offers certain incentives for those with the financial means to take advantage of residency.

Check out the chart below from Ashley Quinn CPAs exploring what two hypothetical taxpayers could save in gross terms by becoming Nevada residents:

Nevada Tax savingsClick here for a link to the Ashley Quinn website, which has additional info on NV residency

Incline Village Homes for Sale

Cost of Living in Tahoe

Tahoe Truckee enjoys very low crime (neighbors mostly know one another).  The region also enjoys abundant water resources, from the Lake itself, to many reservoirs and natural lakes fed by snowmelt, and vast underground aquifers.

All that comes with a price.  The cost of living in Tahoe is high. Everything from gasoline to dinner at a nice restaurant is more than you would pay in many parts of the U.S.  (But, hey, there's a reason some states cost more than others). The same is true for housing. 

Everyone's dream is a lakefront home on Tahoe (Click to Browse Waterfront Lake Houses)

Waterfront Tahoe Lake HomesThat will run you anywhere from $5 million to upwards of $60 million for an Estate property.  Incline Village, coveted for its tony North Shore location and Nevada taxes, is one of the more expensive areas around the Lake, and home prices here for a single-family home start around $1 million, and run into the $10 - $20 million range for some of the better-appointed homes with views of the Lake.

Tahoe is such a large region that it's tough to know where to begin. Best 1st step would be to schedule a brief phone consult with me.  With an understanding of your goals & resources, I can offer information on niche neighborhoods that could be the perfect match for your retirement goals. 

~ Jackie@TahoeisHome.com c: 775-391-9443

Posted by Jackie Ginley on


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