How affordable is retirement in the Madison area

How affordable is retirement in the Madison area

MADISON, Wis. - If you're looking for the best state to retire in, it turns out you don't have to go far. More and more people are choosing Wisconsin as our state comes in just outside of the top 10.

According to the latest survey by Bankrate, Wisconsin comes in as the 12th best state to retire in.

We caught up with Dennis and Leanne Eithun of Madison. They believe Wisconsin is the best. They’re retired, but you wouldn’t know it.

"We've not only lived in Madison for over 30 years, we've lived in the same house that long," Dennis said. "We enjoy our neighborhood as well. There's no reason to leave this city."

The Eithuns own What's Brew’n in Sun Prairie. It’s a coffee shop with food and also gifts. Their daughter manages it and their granddaughters also work there. It’s a family business within a community has become a family to them.

"Even though we kind of hate the cold weather once in a while, we love the season changes, the culture here, everything," Leanne added. "This was just out place."

Mark Farnan of Retirement Incoming Planning says Wisconsin has a lot of things going for its residents, including overall wellness and culture, and a low crime rate, especially in the Madison area.

"Affordability in Wisconsin is actually pretty good overall in comparison to a lot of different states," Farnan said.

There's really only one area Wisconsin doesn’t score well on.

"One of the things that retirement people look at is weather, and of course we can't do anything about the weather," Farnan said.

Farnan says the main reason many retired folks like the Eithuns stick around is family.

"Wisconsin residents are very tuned into their families and when I talk to my clients, for example, they're always talking about proximity to their children and friends," he said.

While Wisconsin came in as 12th best state for retirement, our neighbor to the west, Minnesota, came in as the 11th worst. That's because of higher taxes and housing costs and a worse weather score there. Wisconsin also ranks higher than most on the coast and to the south where many people tend to flock to. Nebraska came in at number one; Maryland came in at the bottom. 

"Now it may be a little more expensive in Madison than let's say Beaver Dam or Shawano or other cities in Wisconsin, but overall our housing costs are quite a bit less as are our food costs and our transportation costs, explained Farnan.

The Eithuns plan to stay busy at the shop while also managing some rental properties. These are both things Farnan says have been good for them.

"Make certain that you've done everything that you can as early as you can to save everything you can for retirement," Farnan added.

We hope to keep this conversation going about prices in Madison. News 3 Now wants to know what kind of affordability questions you have, or what you're experiencing. Let Josh Spreiter know by emailing him or reaching out to him on his Facebook page.


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