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Updated: February 20, 2023

Moving to Maine for retirement: A few pointers

Photo / Jim Neuger Noël Bonam, director of AARP Maine, suggests that retirees consider one of Maine’s designated Age-Friendly Communities.

For people mulling a move to Maine for retirement, what are some financial considerations?

“There are many states where you don’t have to get your car inspected, so that’s an added expense,” says Mackenzie Arsenault, principal at Cornerstone Financial Planning in Portland. People coming from warmer climates should also be prepared for heating and snow-plow bills — “all those fun things you have to do in Maine,” she says.

As far as taxes are concerned, Jill Hibyan of F.L.Putnam Investment Management Co. suggests the following to avoid being taxed in two states after relocating: Assert residency by changing your driver’s license, updating your car registration, registering to vote and canceling your voter registration in your former state once you’re in Maine.

“High tax states including California, Connecticut and New York can be aggressive with resident audits and may challenge changes to an individual’s legal and tax home (also known as a domicile) if they believe the individual still has ties to their former state,” she warns.

Rebecca Burchill, managing director of financial planning at Lebel & Harriman in Falmouth, notes that nursing care can be pricier in Maine, “which can increase the potential benefit of long-term care insurance.”

For financial planning, Burchill suggests working with a Maine-based estate attorney familiar with the state’s laws and tax codes since requirements vary widely by state.

Michelle Romano, Lebel & Harriman managing director of investments, adds, “Higher taxes and a more expensive cost of living could be potential minuses but with proper financial planning this could be addressed. The changes people make today could help to overcome these hurdles to realize the dream of moving to Maine.”

As far as choosing a city or town, AARP Maine State Director Noël Bonam suggests that people consider one of Maine’s designated Age-Friendly Communities, “where there is an existing local effort to help people age and thrive in place.”

“Additionally, look for communities that provide opportunities for civic engagement, which does add much value to one’s quality of life,” he says.

The AARP lists 733 age-friendly states and communities nationwide, including Maine, and more than 80 cities and towns across the state.

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