Is West Virginia A Good Place to Retire?

Is West Virginia A Good Place to Retire?

According to Transamerica Center, 4 out of 10 retirees changed their residence after retirement. So before going to change your place you should know what is best for you. If you are thinking the same, then you are not alone. There are many people that sell their houses after retirement and go to another place. When you decide to sell your house, the next step is determining where you should go.

Saying goodbye to your family, friends, job, selling your house, and moving to an unknown place is not easy, but if you go to the area with great characteristics, you will be glad of your decision. In this guide, our main concern will be on West Virginia. If you love to live in a mountain state, then West Virginia will be your first choice.

In this article, we will discuss is Virginia a good place to retire? And how much does it cost to move to West Virginia? You will also find the pros and cons of retiring in West Virginia and the disadvantages of living in West Virginia.

So Let’s Get Started!

Before discussing why West Virginia is best for retirees and why it is a famous spot for retired people, we will first discuss its history and briefly introduce it.

What Is West Virginia, And Where It Is Located?

West Virginia is a state in the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachian, and Southeastern regions of the United States. It is comparatively a small state and included in the 10th smallest state and the 12th least populated state. The population of West Virginia is 1,793,716, and the largest city in West Virginia is Charleston. in 2019, the population was 1.8 million, and the majority was older adults. Of this 1.8 million, over 34% population is over 65 years old. In 1863, West Virginia was admitted to the union as the 35th-grade state. During the war, West Virginia was a key border in 1863.

Maryland and Virginia border it to the east, Pennsylvania to the north, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. The other name of West Virginia is Mountain State.

This state is well known for its friendly people. Some people say that they are the folks in the US. Mostly in West Virginia, there are small cities including Huntington, Charleston, Morgantown, wheeling, Parkersburg, Weirton, small towns, and rural areas. West Virginia is also well known for its amazing outdoor recreation points in lakes, rivers, and mountains. West Virginia is also known as the spot of retirees.

The climate of West Virginia

West Virginia has four distinct seasons of equal length. The mean annual temperatures range from 56°F in the south to 52 °F in the north and 48 °F in the mountain regions. In Virginia, the coolest time is in January, and the temperature is 1°C to -4 °C. July is the hottest month and the temperature range from 19-24°C.

Which Are the Best Places to Live In West Virginia?

Here we will discuss well-known places for living purposes after retirement. This part of the article will help you decide which city of West Virginia is best to spend your days after retirement.

First, we will discuss the percentage of the population over, median house price, annual violent crimes, annual property crime, and hospitals available within one mile for every city.

So let’s go!


In Weirton, the percentage of the population is 22%, and the price of a median house is $94,800. When we talk about the safety of crimes in Weirton, the number of annual violent crimes is 14, and the number of yearly property crimes is 88. So property crimes are much higher than violent crimes. 

If you need medical assistance, you will find almost 9 hospitals within one mile. The most interesting thing about Weirton is that it is only 30 min drive away from Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. The Weirton Steel company has made it more intriguing for people.


The price of a median house is $98,200 here, and the percentage of the population over 65 is 15.4%. But you will be astonished after knowing the number of annual property crimes is 1,813, and the number of violent yearly crimes is 333. The number of hospitals that you will find within one mile is 9.

Huntington is the second-largest city in West Virginia, and it has everything in it. You will find unique cafes, tranquil parks, restaurants, a fascinating museum, great shopping malls, and many more.


The percentage of people over 65 is 19.09%, and the median house value is $91,100. The number of annual violent crimes is 206, and those of property crimes are 1235. But there are only limited hospitals within a mile, only 3.

This city has a great assortment of historical attractions—a good variety of restaurants, shopping centers, breweries, and parks. There are several options for recreational activities, and sometimes it is tough for you to choose one. These activities include hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and kayaking.


The percentage of citizens over 65 age is 20.2%. The price of a median house is $110,000. The number of annual property crimes is 930, and those of violent yearly crimes are 165. This city provides the facility of 5 hospitals within one mile.

This city is an ideal place to spend their golden years after retirement. This small town is present in the Appalachian Mountains, and the landscape of this town is breathtaking. There are many outdoor activities such as camping, picnicking, fishing, boating, hiking, and boating.


The percentage of citizens over 65 age is 18.2%. The number of annual violent cases is 70, and those of property crimes is 306. The price of the median house is around about $110,900. The number of hospitals available within a mile is 9.

The citizens of this city absorb the great rich history. The folks enjoy the outdoor activity and feed on the divine food. The fascinating past of Fairmont attracts people to live here.


Bridgeport is another best place to live in West Virginia. This city has an impressive history, and the population is 8,675. The price of a media house is very reasonable round about $84,295. 

The one amazing thing is that there are good-standard high schools, middle school, and John Elementary. These are all recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

South Charleston

People of age over 65 live here with a percentage of 24.1%. The price of the median house is 130,700, which is quite high compared to the prices in other cities of West Virginia. The number of annual violet crimes is 53, and the number of annual property crimes is 631. The number of hospitals within one mile is 7.

This city of West Virginia has an extensive history. Those who decide to spend their retirement days in South Charleston can enjoy creek Parks and many museums and learn about this beautiful city’s history.

Life Expectancy in West Virginia 

The life expectancy is lower in West Virginia than the average national life expectancy. According to an estimation in 2014, the life span of both sexes was 76.0 years in West Virginia, but the life expectancy in the United States as a whole was 79.1 years. But when we talked about both sexes separately in 2014, the males’ life expectancy was 73.6 years on average compared with the national life expectancy of 76.7 years in the United States as a whole.

In the United States, the life expectancy for females was 81.5 years on average, and the life expectancy for females in West Virginia was 77.5 years.

Colleges and Universities In West Virginia

If you are moving to West Virginia with your family, then it would be a great concern for you. You will think first about whether there are high-quality colleges or universities available or not. So don’t worry; West Virginia has 30 high-standard universities and colleges.

Following are the universities and colleges located in West Virginia

  • Alderson Broaddus University
  • Concord University
  • Future Generation Graduate School
  • Marshell University
  • Shepherd University
  • West Virginia State University
  • Wheeling University
  • West Virginia Wesleyan College
  • Salem International University
  • Bethany University
  • Blue Ridge Community and Technical College
  • Davis and Elkins College
  • Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College
  • West Liberty University

These are only a few universities that I have mentioned here.

Pros of Living in West Virginia

The interesting mountain state of West Virginia is located on the eastern seaboard of the US. This entire area exists in the Appalachian mountains, meaning mountains occupy about 75% of this area. So this is the reason why West Virginia is also called “Mountain State.”

So let’s discuss the benefits of living in West Virginia.

The Cost of Property in West Virginia Is Very Reasonable

If you have decided to live in West Virginia after your retirement, then you will get to know that the cost of living in Virginia is very competitive. So you can buy a property by investing a minimal amount of money.

According to an estimation in 2019, the median house prices were less than $100,000. So you can make a lot of property by living in this state. When you visit this state to buy a house for you, you will find that most homes are listed for sale for less than $150,000. 

So if you are assured that a good job is waiting for you, then it is very easy to make a good residency here after retirement. According to an estimation, it is 14% cheaper to live in West Virginia as compared to other states in the United States.

When we talk about sales and property taxes, they are much less than in other states, so this aspect also makes it a good option for retirees.

Cost-Effective Rent of Houses

It is also cost-effective if you want to live in a rented house. The rent is $600 to over $1200, depending on the region of West Virginia where you live. Charleston is the most expensive region of Virginia. The other areas where the rent of houses is reasonable to include Morgantown, Beckley, or Martinsburg.

The Biggest Cities of West Virginia Are comparatively Small

The biggest cities of West Virginia are small as compared to other cities in the US. If you want to go to your desired place, you don’t need to travel long, even if you live in Charleston, the biggest city in West Virginia. If you are profound in hiking, fishing, and hunting, then this state of the US will be a paradise for you.

Pleasant Environment

In these areas, there is less population and, as a result, fewer motor vehicles, resulting in less pollution. So the environment is clean, refreshing, and breathable. You don’t have to pay high taxes for services, and the costs of real estate are also lower, so you get a chance to save your money.

A Good Weather and Frequent Raining

You will be glad to live in West Virginia if you love the rain. When you leave your house in the early days of spring, there is raining all day. So you can enjoy the rain happily. Because of this pleasant weather, there is a lush growth of flowers and plants in your garden. The forest also presents the beautiful scenes of spring on these rainy days. But if you don’t like rainy days, then you can prefer to live in areas where there is sunshine and are lower in the mountains.

Variety of Preferences

If you reside in West Virginia, you may enjoy nature in mountain highlands, river valleys, deep caves, rugged peaks, big cities, small towns, and southern and northern culture. So West Virginia has the greatest variety of preferences to enjoy wherever you want.

Many Outdoor Activities

West Virginia is a place that offers something for everyone. If you love to walk in gardens and enjoy the beauty of flowers and plants, then West Virginia offers over 35 parks. The park system of West Virginia is one of the best-known systems. If you love camping, long bike rides, and hiking, you will find many mountains to do what you want.

Four Seasons 

If you love to experience the changes in seasons, then West Virginia will be the best place for you. If you love wintery winters, a sunny summer, crisp falls, and spring weather, then West Virginia will be a great place to live after retirement. So if you find a place where you can enjoy 4 seasons, it is a great blessing for anyone, so if you decide to live in West Virginia, it will make a great decision for you. 

Cons of Living in West Virginia 

Although there are a lot of benefits to living in West Virginia, when we see why people do not prefer living in West Virginia, then we come to know the behind it is the disadvantages of living in West Virginia.

Fewer Funds for Population Services

The one drawback is that this US region receives fewer public services funds. So the roads are not in good condition, and the people have to face such problems.

Increase in Crime Rate

Compared to other states of the United States, the crime rate was lower in West Virginia. But now, the crime rate is increasing in West Virginia because of several contributing factors. These factors include poor economy, increased drug abuse, and lack of resources. These factors encourage people to commit crimes. That is why people don’t prefer West Virginia to live after retirement or when they are ready to retire.

Lack of Cultural Activities 

In West Virginia, there is a lack of cultural activities. People come from different areas, and due to low economy and social issues, they have to work for a long time, and if you have raising kids, you will face this issue more frequently. As a result going to any show, learning a language, arranging a party, and learning a new skill is not an easy task for a West Virginian. 

Fewer Opportunities for Employment

West Virginia has endured tough economic situations in the last few decades. According to an estimation in March 2022, the unemployment rate was 3.7% which is quite high in comparison with the national average unemployment rate of 3.6%.

Some people want to retire earlier; a high employment rate is not a great issue. But for, those who even have to work after their retirement find this factor a barrier. Some people work to get a little bit of income for their expenditures, or some work for other social reasons. Some do the job because they don’t want to waste their time and want to keep themselves working.

But to find a job in West Virginia is not an easy task, contributing to the increased crime rate, as mentioned above.

Low Cost of Living is Not Good Always 

As we have mentioned, some regions demand high expenses, and some demand lower ones. The people move to areas where the cost of living is low. Everything is cheaper as compared to other regions of West Virginia. So this difference attracts more people and the population increase than the staying capacity of the specific area. As a result, job opportunities decline, and people have to do the job for low wages.

Long Way Away From Modern City

The disadvantage of living in West Virginia is that you cannot access medical facilities, a concert, or something special that only big cities facilitate. 

Charleston is one of the modern cities of West Virginia that demands high expenses, and it is one of the two smallest capital in the country. It serves about over 500,000 residents. But when you have to meet your need, you have to travel 5-6 hours to fulfill your requirement.

Ugly Stereotypes

If you decide to move toward West Virginia, you may hear some ugly stereotypes. When you ask about West Virginians, they will say they are uneducated, awful, ugly, backward, and rural workers who eat raw straw and pick banjos. Other people often use the word Hillbilly for the West Virginians residents. But that is not like that. Some of these are rumors because West Virginia has a rich immigration history.

In reality, the people who live here are lively, love nature, explore nature and have a unique perspective of the arts. They have a unique culture that you will like to explore. They are all ambitious because, despite the low employment opportunities, they work hard and love their place of residence.

Heroin Addiction

It has been estimated that heroin addiction is more common in families struggling with low-income problems. As we know, the economy of West Virginia is lagging behind the economy of the rest of the country. There is not a good improvement in the economy.

West Virginia is trying to manage this heroin addiction problem. The drug is the outcome in the states where people face employment, low income, and social issues. So if you have moved to West Virginia, you will have to face this social issue. Also, poverty is a major problem in these states.


In short, West Virginia is heaven for retirees. The low cost of residence and the clean environment attract people to live here. Many cities of West Virginia have mesmerizing qualities for the living for retirees. 

The four full seasons of West Virginia make it the most preferred place to live after retirement. If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature, the beautiful scenes of mountains, hiking, fishing, boating, divine foods, horseback riding, and a long drive in the hills, then West Virginia will be the best place for your family. 

The low healthcare cost, taxes, and affordability attract retirees to reside in West Virginia. We have explained all the aspects in detail that will help you decide whether living in West Virginia is worth it or not.


14 Pros and Cons of Living in West Virginia –

West Virginia | Capital, Population, Map, History, & Facts | Britannica

Best Places To Live In West Virginia [2022]: Based On Crime, Home Prices, and Quality of Life (

The 20 Best Places to Live in West Virginia (

*Is west Virginia a good place to retire?

Leave a Reply