When you close your eyes and dream of retirement, what pops into your head? Is it finding yourself on a pristine, sandy beach? How about the joy of more time on your hands, spending it with family, overlooking serene bay views from your porch? Maybe your idea of retirement is focusing on a new and exciting skill you always wanted to try, or how about that golf swing you never had the chance to practice? However you may day dream of it, the opportunity to have financial freedom in retirement is an important piece in the overall picture.

I interviewed residents at Bayside, an intimate, yet thriving, coastal village of thoughtfully designed homes located in Fenwick Island, Delaware. Aside from the proximity and beauty of nearby beaches, along with award winning community amenities including a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, folks here all seemed to boast about one other major link to their care-free retirement – the economical benefit of living in one of the most tax-friendliest states on the East Coast!

Bayside homeowners, Eileen and Tony DeMichael, noted “Delaware has something for everyone, from the beautiful beaches and bays, pristine golf courses, and of course tax free shopping and low real estate taxes.”
Below are some facts that might surprise you regarding Delaware’s state tax benefits:

• Social Security benefits are not taxed
• No state or local sales tax
• No inheritance tax
• No personal property tax
• State income tax ranges from 2.2% to 6.6%
• Railroad Retirement benefits are exempt and taxpayers over 60 years may exclude $12,500 of investment and qualified pension income.
• Up to $12,500 of retirement income is tax exempt for those who are 60 and older.
• Sussex County is tied for 2nd among all US counties for the lowest ratio of median annual property tax to home value.
• Delaware Named Most Tax-Friendly State and Most Tax-Friendly State for Retirees by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine.

On why he decided to buy in Delaware, Ken Schroyer stated, “Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! Delaware is tax friendly on income, sales, property, retirement and inheritance. Not to mention, I get to enjoy its beautiful beaches and quaint towns, without being too far away from major U.S. cities.”

In speaking with Delaware retirees, it was clear that the lack of financial stress, allows them to thrive in new passions – whether it be attending a Bayside Institute class or learning the rising sport of pickleball. After all, isn’t that what the “golden years” are for?


Questions about retiring in Delaware? Give us a call at 302-436-9998 or email me at [email protected]. Look forward to hearing from you!

About the contributor:

Erika Cook is a beach girl at heart. After permanently moving to the eastern shore three years ago, she fell in love with the surrounding community and relaxing landscape. She can be found at the Bayside Welcome Center enjoying conversation with residents and visitors, and also on the tennis courts teaching her favorite game. Erika lives with her husband, son and loyal dog.