The northernmost state in New England, Maine is sparsely populated, with just under 1.3 million inhabitants as of 2005. It offers a stunning natural environment, with 3,500 miles of shoreline dotted with tiny fishing villages and island communities. In the interior of the state, you’ll find thick forests, pristine lakes, and mountains.
Most of Maine’s communities are small towns, but it does have a few cities—such as Augusta, the capitol, and Portland, which has 20% of the state’s total population. The seniors who choose to retire in Maine tend to be adventurous and love the outdoors and the change of seasons. There are four distinct seasons in Maine, including mild summers and cold, snowy winters.
Maine’s median home prices and cost of living are a little above the national average in more populated areas such as Portland; homes and prices are significantly less expensive in more rural areas. Taxes in Maine are fairly high; in Portland, the total tax burden falls at about 10.8%, quite a bit higher than the national average.
Taxes for retirees get a few credits. The “elderly” credit gives a small amount of credit back for those age 65 or older, with amounts dependent on income. Seniors can deduct up to $6,000 (or $12,000 for married couples) of eligible pension income, reduced by Social Security and Railroad Retirement income.
Property taxes tend to be high in the state of Maine, but they vary considerably depending on your area and are generally assessed at the local level. There is a homestead exemption program that lets you exempt up to $13,000 from the assessed value of your home if you’ve lived in Maine for at least 12 months. There is also a veteran exemption of $6,000 for those who are 62 years of age or older or who were disabled during service.
There is also a senior citizen property tax credit in Maine for seniors who perform community service; individual communities in Maine can choose to adopt the ordinance allowing resident homeowners aged 60 or over to earn up to $750 in benefits through volunteer work that makes a contribution to their municipality.
With all its taxes and high property values, Portland senior living is probably among the most expensive in the state. However, there’s a reason it’s expensive—it’s a wonderful place to live. Portland is a beautiful seaside town with plenty of opportunities to go outdoors, stunning beaches, and an excellent quality of life—it was rated as one of the greenest cities in the country. Built before the automobile, Portland is highly walkable—and ideal for active seniors.
Senior living in Bangor, Maine, is also more expensive than in rural areas. But it offers a combination of small-town charm and big-city sophistication, with rich cultural and artistic entertainment, several large yearly festivals, and plenty of outdoor activities. The city is home to the University of Maine, and is located next to the Penobscot River—close to opportunities for fishing, boating, biking, and hiking in the summer as well as skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing in the winter. Like Portland, it’s a thriving community with a high quality of life for active seniors.
No matter what part of the state you live in, Maine senior housing has a lot to offer. You’ll find a wide variety of assisted living communities in Maine that cater to a wide range of retiree needs, from activities and light assistance to full medical care. Check out our listings of senior living communities in Maine, and see what’s out there. There just may be a Maine senior living community calling your name.