Senior Living
The Best Place To Retire in Montana – Isn’t Where You Would Expect!

The Best Place To Retire in Montana – Isn’t Where You Would Expect!

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best place to retire in Montana

To all retirees and would-be retirees, it’s time to think about where you want to kick back and enjoy your golden years.

Ever considered Montana? Living in Montana is like stepping into the heart of the Wild West: charming towns, rugged landscapes, and more wide-open space than you can imagine. Seriously, there’s more national forest here than people!

So, whether you’re aiming for a quiet life or itching to explore the great outdoors, Montana has you covered! 

What is it like living in Montana?

Montana’s natural beauty is legendary. With snow-capped mountains, abundant lakes and rivers, ancient canyons, and wide-open meadows, these landscapes offer endless opportunities for outdoor fun, whether you’re into hiking, fishing, or just enjoying the scenery while cruising.

Montana might have a small population, but it’s booming in popularity, especially for retirees. People are moving here just for the breathtaking scenery and a laid-back lifestyle.

The Treasure State has a strong job market and low property taxes, indicating economic stability. Montana’s history adds an extra layer of charm to everyday living. It’s like stepping back in time while enjoying the modern comforts of today.

What does the state offer to the seniors?

For retirees, Montana is somewhere you can immerse yourself in nature and experience all four seasons to the fullest. It’s a place where the beauty of the outdoors is matched only by the warmth of its communities.

Yet, it’s not only about the outdoors.

You have to consider what matters most while retiring: the cost of living, tax benefits, healthcare, safety, and overall lifestyle.  

Access to healthcare

Regardless of retirement status, eligibility for Medicare facilities begins at age 65. However, if you decide to retire before age 65, you must find alternative healthcare insurance.

There are 60 hospitals and medical centers across Montana. 

Among them, there are 8 State/local government-owned hospitals, 46 designated as Non-profit hospitals, and 6 for-profit hospitals.

Here’s a list of the top 5 hospitals in Montana.





St. Patrick Hospital



Billings Clinic Hospital



St. Vincent Healthcare



Bitterroot Health



Holy Rosary Healthcare

Miles City

Average cost of retirement communities

Montana has a relatively large retirement population, with over 17% of the population over the age of 65. 

Due to the low cost of living, retirement is fairly affordable in Montana. An estimated $998,983 is needed to retire comfortably in Montana, about $121,400 less than the national average.

To keep retirees independent for as long as possible, a wide range of long-term living facilities, like assisted living or independent living , have been provided. These services range from helping with ADLs and IADLs to intensive health services for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, like hospice care, or memory care, to nursing homes

Taxes for seniors

Montana is moderately tax-friendly for seniors who want to retire here.

  • Withdrawals from retirement accounts are taxed fully.
  • Income from pension and retirement incomes like a 401(k), savings account or IRA are fully taxed.
  • Full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67.
  • The earliest age is 62 of receiving Social Security benefits, but delaying will increase your monthly payments.
  • Limitation of taxes on pension payments and Social Security.
  • No sales tax.
  • Rate for property taxes is lower (0.83% across the state) than national average.

Anything else that you should know?

It is considered illegal for employers to differentiate among employees or job applicants based on age. So, no one can stop you even if you want to work after retirement. However, part-time work opportunities are limited for retirees in Montana.

Regardless of retirement age and after-retirement income source, it is important for individuals to start financial planning and save for retirement as early as possible. In Montana, it is suggested that at least 15% of income be saved for a laid-back retirement.

To make an informed decision about whether the state is the right choice for you, it’s important to seek financial advice to weigh up all the costs related to retiring in Montana, including property taxes, insurance, and living expenses.

The best city in Montana to retire

According to our analysis, Hamilton is the best city to retire to in Montana due to its medical facilities, access to services, and overall infrastructure. 

  1. Hamilton is a small city in Bitterroot County with a population of only 4,827; over 31% of the population is 65 and older (nearly one-third of the city’s residents). It’s the largest community of retirees in the far western part of the state.
  2. Affordability is the main reason why Hamilton stood out among all the cities. Seniors won’t have to break the bank to retire here. It has healthcare costs and an overall cost of living a bit lower than the state’s average, which is 4% lower and 2% lower, respectively. With Missoula being the closest city and rising housing costs, more people are moving to Hamilton. So, the city is also experiencing growth and increased housing prices.
  3. The city is perfect for senior citizens craving the quiet and peace of slower living. It has the Swan Mountains to the east and the Bitterroot Mountains to the west. Thanks to its hiking trails, golf courses, and other outdoor recreations, it hosts thousands of tourists each year.
  4. Hamilton is nestled into a gorgeous mountain range and surrounded by cozy small farms and orchards, contributing to its “small-town feel.” The city also has a strong history with the Daly Mansion, home to the founder of Hamilton, Marcus Daly.               

10 Best places to retire in Montana

With so many beautiful places in Montana, narrowing down which suits you best can be difficult. Several factors come into play, including cost of living, climate, healthcare, safety, and overall quality of life.  

7 Best places to live in Montana for retirees

We compiled up seven of the best places (cities and towns) to live in Montana for you.

  1. Bozeman
  2. Missoula
  3. Helena(state capital)
  4. Billings
  5. Whitefish
  6. Glendive
  7. Conard

3 Best places to retire in Montana on a budget

Here are the three best places for seniors on a fixed income to retire in Montana. 

  1. Hamilton
  2. Dillon
  3. Deer Lodge

Are cities better than towns for retiring in Montana?

While the state’s average housing cost is more than the national average of the country, many of Montana’s small towns are considerably cheaper to retire. Even though Montana has some large cities, it’s filled with small towns having large senior populations. Towns like Ennis, Dillion, Hamilton, Red Lodge and others are quite in demand for retirement among the senior community.

Small towns in Montana have tight-knit communities where retirees enjoy a relaxed lifestyle while still having access to quality amenities such as small farming communities, ski resorts, hospitals, restaurants, and everything in between. As a result, seniors have an easy time building a strong, friendly community there. 

Comparison of lifestyle with the surrounding states

Montana has Idaho to its west, South Dakota to its southeast, North Dakota to its east, Wyoming to its south, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan to its north.

 Let’s take a look at how North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho compare:

  • South Dakota: South Dakota is a top retirement destination due to:
    • mild temperature and abundance of sunshine
    • low cost of living
    • diverse arts scene
    • affordable healthcare
  • North Dakota: North Dakota is ranked as the fourth-best state for retirement:
    • average healthcare costs are lower
    • cost of living is only 1% higher than the national average
    • not the best option for healthcare quality and access
    • beautiful summers and moderate winters
  • Wyoming: Wyoming ranks second overall in terms of retirement:
    • natural beauty
    • outdoor recreational possibilities
    • low population density
  • Idaho: Idaho has long been a popular retirement destination due to:
    • abundance of outdoor activities
    • beautiful scenery
    • reduced cost of living
    • high quality of life

Consider your priorities, preferences, and individual circumstances. Take the time to explore each state in the following articles and find the one that aligns with your retirement goals.

Final thoughts

As we can see, Montana has something for everyone; whether you want cozy mountain towns or lively cities, there’s never a dull moment. Plus, being easier on your wallet compared to some other states, Montana might just be the place to start your next adventure!

But remember that choosing where to retire is all about what fits you best. What’s perfect for one person might not be the ideal match for you.


Is Montana a good place to retire?

Depending on your financial situation, you may find Montana very friendly or unfriendly. For starters, it has no sales tax, which means lower living costs for everyone. It also has fairly low property taxes. While the state has an extraordinary cultural and natural scene, it has very limited job opportunities for people in retirement who seek out part-time work.

Where is the best place in Montana to live?

The largest city of Montana, Billings, has a population of over 120,000. The city offers:

• a fairly low cost of living,
• a strong healthcare system,
• easy access to national parks and outdoor recreation areas
• a range of amenities and services in their retirement communities

What are the pros and cons of Montana?

Pros and cons of living in Montana:


  • Experiences four distinct seasons
  • Vibrant cultural scene with numerous museums and arts venues
  • Friendly and tight-knit community
  • No sales tax


  • Housing and healthcare costs may be higher
  • Limited job opportunities
  • Harsh snowy winters
  • Sparse public transportation

What’s the retirement age in Montana?

Montana, like many other states, has no specific retirement age by law. Meaning you can retire whenever you choose as long as you can financially support yourself.

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