West Virginia tends to be a fairly underrated state. It’s overshadowed by much larger neighboring states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and (East) Virginia, and even the also-small but much-wealthier Maryland, but its relative obscurity just serves to make it a great dark horse retirement location. West Virginia is even cheaper than Missouri, and its climate is also a fairly temperate one — while you will get hot summers, cold winters, and the occasional rain or snowstorm, these are nothing too terrible compared to what you might experience in other parts of the country.
West Virginia is known as the Mountain State, and the Appalachians provide a breathtaking backdrop for its natural beauty. Not for nothing did John Denver dub it “almost heaven” in his 1971 hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (which you’ll surely remember if you’re already researching retirement options). Nor has its beauty declined significantly over the past half-century, perhaps due in part to the state’s slow population growth. In fact, West Virginia’s population has decreased slightly over the past decade, although the state is finally increasing in diversity. The not-so-booming population is good news for those looking to resettle in West Virginia, though, as the state’s housing is among the nation’s most affordable. An additional piece of good news for retirees is that, as the AARP reports, West Virginia is in the process of gradually eliminating its social security tax.