Jeff R. Clow

Wyoming is a smart move for millennials looking to save money and enjoy the outdoors

Dakota Kim  – February 6, 2020 | Updated February 19, 2020

We all know that California is bleeding residents because of its high costs and natural disasters—as many as 200,000 a year, and they’re heading to Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, and Montana.

But there’s one state Californians have been overlooking: Wyoming.

There’s probably a reason for that. Many Californians might only associate the state with its famed national parks, and might not be familiar with its two largest cities (Cheyenne and Casper). Moves usually require the spark of an idea—career, friends or family in the area, for instance.

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But how’s this for a spark? Retirees have been moving to Wyoming in greater numbers lately, for myriad worthwhile reasons. The Equality State has no income tax, no estate or inheritance tax, a low sales tax, and a low property tax. The average state and local sales tax is 5.32%, and the average property tax is $635 per $100,000 in home value.

When it comes to healthcare options, there are doctors aplenty. Instead of waiting three months to see your hotshot practitioner, you’ll be seen within a day or two, with a physician pool that has been steadily growing since 2014, according to a study by the University of Washington. There are also 10 more primary care physicians per 100,000 people than the national average.

Wyoming is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. National parks abound, including the iconic Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and Jackson Hole boasts a bevy of activities, whether during peak ski season in winter or come summer. Climbing, including alpine climbing, are popular at Grand Teton and the Wind River Range, and cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, and snowshoeing opportunities are plentiful.

All of that translates to what personal finance site Kiplinger has named the cheapest, most tax-friendly state for retirees. But we can think of another generation that is struggling to conserve savings, pay low taxes, access great doctors easily, and visit national parks in droves: millennials.

With its median house listing of $298k and its mere 50-minute commute (without traffic) from known clean energy and biotech hub Fort Collins, Colorado, Cheyenne is a top choice for new Wyoming settlers. Denver is almost two hours away from Cheyenne, allowing for easy weekend trips. On the other side of the state near Yellowstone, Jackson benefits from the park’s tourism and plays host to visitors from around the world.

If the book “Our Towns” is on the money, small and medium-sized towns are ideal for better, easier, more connected living. Despite less cultural programming than a metropolis, Wyoming offers laptop-rocking millennials a chance to get ahead financially and enjoy the outdoors when they’re not at the computer. Perhaps millennials should give Wyoming a first look.

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