Lifestyle

10 Best Cities to Retire in Delaware in 2024

If you’re thinking about retiring in the Northeast, Delaware can be a great destination. Retiring in Delaware can mean cold, snowy winters, but you’ll also get a beautiful fall and spring and a milder summer than in more southern states or out west. There are also plenty of coastal towns for those who love boating or outdoor recreation.

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Adam Cecil

Published October 25th, 2021

Updated January 19th, 2024

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

Delaware is stocked full of small, charming towns that will give you plenty to do in retirement.

The cost of living is higher than average overall, but you’ll find some cities are more affordable than others.

Delaware offers long, chilly winters, but you’ll also get milder summers.

If you’re thinking about retiring in the Northeast, Delaware can be a great destination. Retiring in Delaware can mean cold, snowy winters, but you’ll also get a beautiful fall and spring and a milder summer than in more southern states or out west. There are also plenty of coastal towns for those who love boating or outdoor recreation.

Is Delaware tax-friendly for seniors?

Delaware is tax-friendly for retirees, with no state tax on Social Security income or sales tax. Pension and 401k income is partially taxed.

Do seniors in Delaware pay property taxes over 65?

Seniors in Delaware can apply for some property tax relief, depending on their income and the value of their property. Additionally, you may qualify for a tax credit against school property taxes, which will reduce your state tax bill at the end of the year.

What benefits do seniors get in Delaware?

Delaware’s Health and Social Services department runs a number of programs for seniors, including meal programs, legal assistance, financial coaching, and nursing home transition services.

Where is the best place to retire in Delaware?

When you’re looking at the best places to retire in Delaware, it’s important to consider all of the factors, from cost of living to the 65-plus population to the restaurants and shopping and other amenities.

Take a look at the top 10 places to retire in Delaware for an affordable town that gives you all the amenities you need.

Salisbury

salisbury

CITY POPULATION: 33,050

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 13.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 22.2% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $241,318

MEDIAN RENT: $1,625

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Those looking for affordable beach towns in Delaware should start their search in the Salisbury area. The city is filled with some of the best beachfront towns, as well as other small, charming areas like Delmar and Blades. It’s also a great choice if you’re trying to decide whether to retire in Delaware or Maryland since it’s right on the border.

Dover

dover

CITY POPULATION: 39,403

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 17.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 11.1% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $309,376

MEDIAN RENT: $1,620

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Dover is one of the best retirement communities in Delaware, with multiple 55-plus communities and some of the best neighborhoods in Delaware overall. Costs are a bit higher than the national average, but in return, you’ll get plenty of dining options and attractions, including sporting and cultural events.

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Newark

newark

CITY POPULATION: 30,601

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 12.7%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 12.3% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $340,495

MEDIAN RENT: $2,000

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Best known as the home to the University of Delaware, Newark has also been awarded one of the best places to retire in Delaware in 2018, 2019, and beyond. The city has plenty of outdoor and indoor recreation, as well as access to shopping and dining, and the cultural and intellectual benefits of being a university town.

Wilmington

wilmington

CITY POPULATION: 70,898

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 16.5%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 12.4% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $301,985

MEDIAN RENT: $1,700

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

One of the best known cities in north Delaware is Wilmington, just southwest of Philadelphia. It’s a large city with pretty much everything you could need, plus great access to the rest of the Eastern Seaboard. Beautiful gardens and cultural attractions such as museums and boat tours will give you plenty to do, and you’ll have access to top-notch healthcare locations.

Milford

milford

CITY POPULATION: 11,190

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 24.1%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 10.6% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $324,325

MEDIAN RENT: $1,900

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Milford is a charming town in central Delaware that’s one of the best places to retire in the state. Built along the Mispillion River, you’ll have access to a lovely river walk and park that gives you plenty of space to enjoy the outdoors, as well as a large selection of boutiques, restaurants, and attractions downtown. Cost of living is high, but home values here are a bit cheaper than the national average.

Middletown

middletown

CITY POPULATION: 23,192

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 18%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 11.7% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $501,062

MEDIAN RENT: $2,450

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Living in Middletown isn’t cheap—it has some of the more expensive homes on this list—but its rapid growth and abundant 55-plus communities make it one of the best cities in Delaware for enjoying retirement. If you’re a more affluent retiree, Middletown offers some unique cultural events, such as the annual Olde Tyme Peach Festival and the Labor Day baseball marathon.

New Castle

new castle

CITY POPULATION: 5,551

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 21%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 12.4% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $261,897

MEDIAN RENT: $1,507

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Located just 10 miles south of Wilmington, New Castle is a small city that’s part of the broader Philadelphia metropolitan area. Originally settled by the Dutch in the 1600s, New Castle has a ton of historic buildings and museums for those interested in early American history. You’ll also have easy access to boating and water sports, as well as the broader Delaware Valley cities and towns in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Seaford

seaford

CITY POPULATION: 7,957

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 20.8%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 11% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $287,125

MEDIAN RENT: $1,750

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Seaford has been named one of the best small towns in America, so naturally, our list of the best places to retire in Delaware has to include it. Located along the Nanticoke River, there are numerous opportunities for water sports and other outdoor activities. It’s also packed with arts and culture, as well as fantastic dining and shopping in its recently renovated downtown area.

Hockessin

hockessin

CITY POPULATION: 13,478

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 23.3%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 12.4% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $562,085

MEDIAN RENT: $2,600

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

A small bedroom community on the outskirts of Wilmington, Hockessin is a lovely place to experience the Delaware Valley and greater Philadelphia metropolitan area. You’ll get a diversity of housing options—albeit pricey—and great access to all the amenities that a major city offers without the downsides of living in an urban neighborhood. Another added bonus: just a twenty-minute drive to nearby Wilmington Airport.

Georgetown

georgetown

CITY POPULATION: 7,134

SHARE OF POPULATION 65+: 15%

COST OF LIVING FOR RETIREES: 10.6% above the national average

MEDIAN HOME VALUE: $325,678

MEDIAN RENT: $2,495

TAX RATING FOR RETIREES: Tax Friendly

Instead of a town square, Georgetown is built around a distinctive town circle. That circle continues to draw people to Georgetown, a lovely small town that has grown by 40% over the past several years. It’s just a short drive to the beach, but there’s plenty to do without ever leaving town, with regular festivals and concerts in the circle that help contribute to a small-town feel. fdd

Bottom Line

Is Delaware a good state to retire to? If you enjoy history, arts and culture, and waterfront views and water activities, Delaware might be the ideal location to retire. The financial element may make it more complicated for some retirees—while the tax-friendliness for seniors is a plus, the high cost of living should be an important factor in your decision.

Wherever you decide to retire, Retirable can help by working with you to craft a plan that will ensure you can enjoy your dream retirement without worrying about your finances.

The ideal Delaware Retirement starts with a plan.

Let's build your ideal retirement.
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Adam Cecil
Adam Cecil

Adam Cecil is a freelance writer who has produced financial content for Retirable, Policygenius, and Donational, In his free time, he writes the weekly pop culture newsletter Night Water and produces independent fiction podcasts.

Best Places To Retire

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Northeastern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Southern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Midwestern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Western U.S. Best Cities To Retire

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Best Places To Retire

Getting Started


Northeastern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Southern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Midwestern U.S. Best Places To Retire


Western U.S. Best Cities To Retire


Share this advice


Adam Cecil
Adam Cecil

Adam Cecil is a freelance writer who has produced financial content for Retirable, Policygenius, and Donational, In his free time, he writes the weekly pop culture newsletter Night Water and produces independent fiction podcasts.

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Legal

Retirable, Inc. ('Retirable') is an SEC registered investment advisor. By using this website, you accept our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Retirable provides holistic retirement planning services, which are available only to residents of the United States. You must be at least 18 years of age to become a Retirable Premium user. Nothing on this website should be considered an offer, solicitation of an offer, or advice to buy or sell securities.

Investing involves risk and past performance is not indicative of future results. Increased spending increases the risk of depleting your savings and performance is not guaranteed. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any decisions based on your own personal circumstances.

For more information, see our Form ADV Part II and other disclosures.

Retirable is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Blue Ridge Bank N.A., Member FDIC. FDIC insurance is available for funds on deposit up to $250,000 through Blue Ridge Bank N.A., Member FDIC. The Retirable Visa® Debit Card is issued by Blue Ridge Bank N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 5.12% is effective as of Aug 1, 2023. This is a variable rate and may change after the account is opened. Fees could affect earnings on the account.

** Refer to the fee schedule in your Consumer Deposit Account Agreement

© 2024 Retirable Inc. All rights reserved.

We're accredited and certified by