Delaware is one of the smallest states, but retirees love living there because of its beautiful Atlantic Ocean coastline, friendly tax laws, and health-focused services. The United States Census found that about 21% of its people, or about 1 million people in 2022, were 65 or older. According to Bankrate, the First State is now the second-best place to retire, after Iowa. This is because it “combines high-quality healthcare and a light tax burden.” People who live in Delaware can enjoy a long past, lots of charming small towns and communities with lots of character, beautiful nature, and being close to busy cities like Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and New York City.
It’s no surprise that retirees are most interested in Delaware’s 25-mile shore. “The most popular beach spots in Delaware are Lewes and Rehoboth. “There are several new or planned communities to the west of these two towns that have all the amenities and are only a few miles from the beach,” Bill Cullin, a broker at Long & Foster Real Estate/Luxury Portfolio International, told Travel + Leisure.
Historic Lewes, also known as “the first town in the first state,” is located where Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It has beautiful, quiet beaches with golden sand, and many small businesses line the water. There are 54% of people here who are 65 or older, making the median age 66.
Rehoboth Beach is about eight miles south. In the summer, thousands of people from Washington, DC come to visit. Everybody in the White House has a summer home here, and you can often see them enjoying the town’s beautiful beaches.
“People come to Rehoboth Beach for its cosmopolitan vibe, its many great restaurants, its shops, and its boardwalk.” “Rehoboth is also close to stores and movie theaters,” Cullin said. The town has a big retirement community with a busy social life. The median age of the people who live there is 64 years old.
There are only a few thousand people living in Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, but Cullin says that most of them live here all year. The only bad thing about both towns is that homes are pretty expensive. The typical home value in Lewes is $573,676, and in Rehoboth Beach it is $757,586. Of course, if you want to live on the beach, that number could be in the millions.
If finding cheap housing is very important to you in retirement, Cullin advises that you check out Millsboro, where homes cost an average of $371,000. The town is on the Indian River and about 30 minutes from the Delaware coast.
Another choice is Selbyville or Milton, which are both popular with seniors. People who are retired are interested in communities with brand-new or nearly-new detached homes, lawn care, clubhouses, pools, pickleball/tennis courts, and planned community events. These are the kinds of places that Cullin mentioned.
Every year, a lot of new neighborhoods are made in Delaware. But Cullin says you should also look at newer resale homes because the previous owners may have added things like window treatments, patios, and screened porches.