department hMaryland: Not a Retirement Destination, But Maybe It Should Be

&13;In Carroll County, 12 percent of the population or 20,209 is 65 and older, an increase from 10.8 percent in 2000.

&13;The number of seniors choosing to reside in other parts of the state has increased as well.

Maryland is expensive, has high taxes, crime and bad weather but it can still be a great place to retire, state officials say.

&13;South Carolina, Alaska, Michigan and Nevada were the only states deemed worse than Maryland, according to the study.

&13;Additionally, people are afraid of crime but much more than they should be Smith noted.

&13;Maryland has the eighth highest cost of living nationally, according to a survey for the fourth quarter of 2010 by the Missouri Department of Economic Development that looked at the cost of groceries, utilities, housing and other indicators.

&13;Bill Jones lives and works in Ocean View, Del., but his mily is from Maryland. He said he would never retire in the Free State because taxes are so much lower in Delaware.

&13;Financial ctors obviously have a role, said Rosenthal. Retirees consider property taxes and general cost of living, she said.

&13;Its a nice state, said Passerelli, a Catonsville resident. There are a lot of things to see and do and an opportunity to practice my hobby.

&13;However, Florida has lost some of its glimmer, said Tom Wetzel, president of Retirement Living Information Center, Inc., a Connecticut-based online resource for people planning retirement.

&13;Rosenthal said some elders may be drawn to places like Florida because of the weather. And it has no income taxes.

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&13;Lundquist noted that fewer than 5 percent of people 55 and over move in any year.

&13;The Maryland Department of Planning projects the number of people in the state at age 60 and above will grow 36 percent between 2010 and 2020. Meanwhile, the projected percentage gain for the entire population is just under 9 percent.

&13;A recent study ranked Maryland as the fifth worst place in the nation to retire, based on data the website analyzed on cost of living, unemployment, climate, crime rates and life expectancy.

&13;In Howard County, the percentage of seniors has increased from 7.5 percent in 2000 to 9.3 percent in 2005-2009, according to the most recent census numbers. An average of 25,524 people above the age of 65 lived in Howard County between 2005 and 2009, according to census data.

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&13;They want to stay active and are looking for places that allow them to contribute and remain engaged, she said.

&13;State tourism officials cite the array of mountainous areas in the western part of the state and the beach destinations on the Eastern Shore all within about a three-hour drive from Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The capital region also offers a close proximity to D.C.s museums and attractions, tourism officials say.

Showers and thunderstorms in the morning…then partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may be severe in the morning. Highs in the mid 70s. South winds around 20 mph…becoming southwest in the afternoon. Chance of rain 90 percent.

&13;We have a 3,000-square-foot house on Cape Cod on a third of an acre, and our property tax is $630 a year, he said.  And, they cut that tax in half when you turn 65. In Maryland, you can expect department health eastern cape vacanciesproperty taxes for a similar property on the Eastern Shore to be three times what we pay.

&13;Bob Passerelli, 59, is among those who plan to retire in Maryland. He says hes attracted both by the proximity to his mily and the opportunities to nurture his photography hobby in settings like the Eastern Shore.

&13;The number of seniors in Montgomery County, the states largest, increased 130 percent from 1980 to 2010, the agency said. Their number is expected to increase an additional 65 percent from 2000 to 2020.

&13;Besides, they point out, Florida isnt perfect either.

&13;That means they are looking to be active in second careers, opportunities to volunteer and more, she said.

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department hMaryland: Not a Retirement Destination, But Maybe It Should Be,By some standards, Maryland is not the ideal place to retire. But state officials say you shouldnt overlook the good stuff.

&13;Maryland is the 9th most violent state in the country, according to the Governors Office of Crime Control and Prevention, which calculated crime rates per 1,000 people. A bulk of Marylands crime is concentrated in the urban areas of Baltimore city and Prince Georges County, state crime data shows.

&13;Officials acknowledged that cost of living might dissuade some people from coming to the state.

&13;In Montgomery County, seniors are the stest-growing age group, according to the countys Division of Aging and Disability Services.

&13;However, seniors are among the stest growing age department hMaryland: Not a Retirement Destination, But Maybe It Should Begroup in the state, said Ilene Rosenthal, deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Aging.

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&13;Maryland has some wonderful resources, and its really all about quality of life, Rosenthal said. She said Maryland officials focus on the idea of livable communities that offer services, access to health care, grocery stores, walkability, etc.

&13;But only a small subsection of older people have the resources and desire to move, Charles A. Smith, chief of planning and evaluation for the Montgomery Countys division on aging, said.

&13;We do know that the most important considerations when people retire is they want to be near friends and mily, she said. They want to stay in the communities where they put down roots, and if Maryland is where they built their life, then Maryland is a terrific place for them to retire.

&13;Baltimore Countys rate of senior citizens has remained steady at about 14 percent between 2000 and 2009, when census estimates show about 112,535 living in the county.

&13;Nationally, Maryland has the 12th highest state and local tax burden, which the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that tracks taxes, estimates is 10 percent of a persons income.

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&13;Also, older Marylanders and retirees prefer not to move, said Tifny Lundquist, spokeswoman for AARP Maryland. Theyre redefining retirement.

&13;In the past, retirees sought warmer climates, but he said that now  people are less inclined to be in a hot climate all the time. People are liking the four seasons.

&13;Despite higher taxes and some crime, there are people who choose Maryland because it offers everything from mountains to beaches and access to better health care, said Rosenthal.

&13;The yearly crime report released by the Maryland State Police does not classify the number of crimes that are committed against senior citizens.

&13;As the popularity of states have changed, Arizona, Texas, the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states like Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania are becoming more popular, Wetzel said.

&13;The percentage of older adults who are victims of crime is infinitesimal, he said.

&13;Maryland is also home to state-of-the-art medical cilities, such as Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

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