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If you’re looking for low taxes, you can’t go wrong with a South Dakota retirement. As of 2005, the state had the lowest total tax burden of any state in the US. There are no personal income taxes, inheritance taxes, or intangible personal property taxes. Individual communities level advelorem property taxes to fund schools and municipalities; as a result, property taxes are at about the midpoint compared to the national average.

Many companies move to South Dakota to take advantage of the state’s low taxes—so the economy tends to be healthy, and it may be easier for retirees to find part-time jobs here than in other states. Housing prices are lower than the national average throughout the state, as is cost of living. In South Dakota, retirement tends to be very affordable overall.

South Dakota has its downside, though. It’s known for its long, cold winters—but summers are warm and fairly mild. The state is cut in half by the Missouri River, dividing it into two distinct geographic areas—East River and West River. The eastern side of the state is more populated, with fertile soil and a strong agricultural economy. To the west, the climate is more arid—major industries include ranching, tourism, and defense.

To the southwest, the Black Hills are a major religious landmark for local Native American tribes—and also the site of Mount Rushmore. They offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, as do other state and national parks including the Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, Deadwood, and the Crazy Horse Memorial.

If you’re in the market for a South Dakota retirement community, check out these possible locations.

Sioux Falls

South Dakota’s largest city, Sioux Falls is a surprisingly green city—with over 50 parks and greenways throughout the city. Just north of downtown, the real Sioux Falls—a beautiful waterfall on the Sioux River—is located in Falls Park. The entire park network features a paved 16-mile path connecting the city’s green spaces, providing an ideal place for walking, jogging, and biking.  Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s major cultural center, home to several universities, a cathedral, several museums, and a vibrant artistic community.

Rapid City

The second largest city in South Dakota, Rapid City is situated on the eastern slope of the Black Hills. It’s divided by a mountain range that runs through the city, dividing it into eastern and western sections. If medical care is a concern, Rapid City is an excellent place for retirement. Five states rely on Rapid City Regional Hospital and the Indian Health Service’s Sioux San Hospital, as well as a myriad of smaller medical centers and specialized treatment facilities.


A small town of approximately 14,000, Yankton is named for the Yankton tribe of Nakota Native Americans. It’s surrounded by rivers, located directly on the Missouri River and just upstream of the James River confluence. The rivers have played an important role in Yankton’s history, and the city’s Riverboat Days event attracts over 135,000 people yearly, hosting over 150 artists and numerous food vendors in Riverside Park.

Assisted living in South Dakota has a lot to offer—including a very low cost of living and a retiree-friendly tax strategy. South Dakota senior communities are found in active, vibrant cities such as Sioux Falls and Rapid City, as well as smaller towns such as Yankton on the Missouri River. If you’re interested in a South Dakota retirement community, check out our site’s free listings of assisted living, independent living, and other facilities in South Dakota—and get started finding your ideal retirement community today.