Others live modestly during their working years but desire a more luxurious lifestyle after they stop punching the clock—which requires a more aggressive savings and investment strategy during their peak earning years.
And still others seek warmer weather or lower taxes, but many of the most popular states with coveted zero-income-tax status—such as Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming—aren't as retiree-friendly as they first appear.
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"It's worth unwrapping that piece a little more and taking a more granular look," said Neil Krishnaswamy, a certified financial planner with Exencial Wealth Advisors. "Some states that don't have an income tax may make up for it with higher sales or property taxes, so you want to look at the whole picture to determine true cost of living."
Remember, too, that if you live half the year or less in an income tax–free state—like many 'snowbirds,' who flee to warmer climes during the winter months—you may still owe tax on retirement income earned in your home state.