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South Dakota

Yes, South Dakota.

I'm thinking of moving there after I retire in 2-3 years.

It looks like a good base with reasonable cost of living. Sioux Falls is central to the US and apparently has a decent airport with connections to Chicago, Dallas, etc. I can then travel when the weather gets bad.

If anyone has any input, I would appreciate it.


Posted by
20599 posts

I would google for the various if not nearly endless reports from various magazines on the best places for retirement. It is a very mixed bag depending on the variables and criteria used and weight used. I don't remember Sioux Falls making any of those lists. Lincoln, NB, in that area has made some lists and is every more central and less prone to flooding. Lincoln mades the list generally for good health facilities, university town, and low housing costs. My first thought is that the connection between those little airport and major hubs can be very limited and expensive.

Having grown up in the sandhills of Nebraska and university in Iowa, Sioux Falls or that area would not be high on my list as a retirement community. Hot and humid in the summer and cold and windy in the winter. Not sure when the weather is good.

PS -- I would not retire to Lincoln either but it has been some lists.

Posted by
6148 posts

My initial thought was that this is a very rural state (among other things, that will have travel implications since it's a tiny market for flights..especially international). Would it have all (or most) of the resources you're looking for in retirement, or when the time comes (hopefully as far in the future as possible) when you won't be able to travel any longer? I guess what I'm asking is, would this be a stopping point or a final destination in terms of where you'd want to live?

Posted by
187 posts

I would suggest you go there for an EXTENDED stay and see how you like it. Rent a place for several months so that you get past the “tourist” phase and into the “living there” phase. Be sure to include part of the winter - maybe November or March. It would not surprise me if the cost of living is more reasonable than on the west coast, but there are many other factors that make a place attractive for long-term living. If your extended experience is good for you, then you can think about a more permanent move. If not, you have saved yourself from an expensive mistake.

Posted by
20599 posts

Not only is it rural, the whole area from Kansas to the Dakota is having problem with de-population. And with de-population comes diminished services. It is a problem. Some communities that I know in Nebraska are providing financial incentives to move there.

Posted by
6138 posts

If anyone has any input, I would appreciate it.

See a mental health professional-----

On a more serious note, be sure you are on high ground, or have a house boat like on Lake Union.---

Sioux Falls has a population near that of Spokane or the Tri-Cities. In your judgement how well connected air they for air transport?

Posted by
1038 posts

Omg, Frank, you are a U of I alum? That explains so much. I come from a mixed bag of Hawkeyes and Cyclones, so did the only sensible thing, got my education in Missouri and Boston (plus Tampa)
Anyway, back to Scott. I'm across the river in western Iowa. I hear the Sioux falls argument (being gone when weather is bad means winter, rt? ) as well as the Lincoln one. If Lincoln or anywhere in Nebraska you'd better be able to tolerate much football talk. And winters.
I returned today from visiting friends who fled Chicago to retire in Madison Wisconsin precisely for financial reasons. When they travel, they take a bus to o'hare. Madison is also a university town with a pretty interesting vibe and good health care

Posted by
8573 posts

I am a "legal" resident of Sioux Falls although I have never actually lived there. (Long story but legal). SF had made many lists of great places to live. Good healthcare, affordable housing, no state income tax, good services. However, the weather can be brutal and there is not a lot going on.

If you were really serious about South Dakota, I would suggest the other side of the state and the Rapid City area.

Posted by
308 posts

I live in the western part of South Dakota (Rapid City) so I am not exactly qualified to speak about living in Sioux Falls. However, I did spend ten years living in Texas before moving back to SD so I can tell you about moving to SD. When I moved back I had a little "culture shock", because of the lack of culture. I also missed good Thai food and the abundance of shopping. However, my husband and I both enjoy the outdoors, and the Black Hills are great for those who enjoy hiking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. Our state and national parks are not swarmed by people. If you enjoy hunting, South Dakota should be a great place for you to live as well. There is basically no traffic. My morning commute is stress-free except for a few days in the winter and during the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August.
I should add that when we need a little city time, Chicago is a non-stop flight away. You would be able to drive to Minneapolis in a few hours from Sioux Falls.

Posted by
1036 posts

I have only been to South Dakota once, but the people I met there were some of the friendliest people I have met. Unfortunately or fortunately, I think you will be traveling a lot if you move there.

Posted by
4962 posts

Is cost-of-living your main criterion? I can think of a lot of more interesting and convenient places in the midwest with a low cost of living.