Baton Rouge is the second largest city in Louisiana, after New Orleans, which is a mere 81 miles away. The Baton Rouge area attracts many retirees due to a confluence of factors, including easy transportation, warm climate, low taxes, abundant medical care and many home health care providers. In 2018, the economy saw the end of a local recession and a return to strong growth, which will likely continue through 2020 at least. If you are considering where to retire, here are some of the reasons why folks choose to enjoy their Golden Years in Baton Rouge.
(If you do decide to make Baton Rouge your home in retirement, remember, retirement planning Baton Rouge is different than in other areas. Working with a financial advisor who is well established in the area can help ensure you take advantage of programs that the city and state have to offer that you might not be aware of, especially if you’re relocating from another state.)
A strong economy tends to make a location more vibrant and interesting. That’s surely the case for Baton Rouge, which saw unemployment fall from mid-2018 to mid-2019. As the state capital, Baton Rouge government workers make up the largest percentage of non-farm workers, followed by trade, transportation, utilities, education, health services and construction. Baton Rouge is a major center for technology, medicine, industrial production, petrochemicals, motion pictures and research. A growing economy translates into strong retail, entertainment and dining sectors. It also means that tax collections are sufficient to fund infrastructure growth and social programs.
Baton Rouge is a city that accommodates a wide range of household incomes, which means that there is much affordable housing available in each income category. Of course, like any medium to big city, Baton Rouge has affluent districts that cater to well-heeled retirees. But there is also plenty of housing available for middle- and low-income retirees. The eight parishes that make up the majority of Greater Baton Rouge have almost 900,000 residents, which is big enough to be interesting while small enough to support a friendly, relaxed environment.
The East Baton Rouge Parish, of which Baton Rouge is the seat, has no sales tax. This parish is the most populous one in Louisiana, encompassing the areas of Baker, Commerce Park, Greenwell Springs, Pride, Scotlandville, Zachary and Zion City. The remaining portion of Baton Rouge has a sales tax rate of 5.5 percent, and Louisiana imposes a 4.45 percent sales tax.
If your retirement plans include Baton Rouge, contact Align Wealth Partners to schedule a free consultation.
Plentiful Cultural Attractions
Baton Rouge is blessed with plenty of educational and cultural attractions.
Retirees will find no shortage of adult education opportunities in the area, anchored by Louisiana State University and Southern University. Baton Rouge hosts the State Library of Louisiana, home to millions of collected items and electronic resources. The library system in the East Baton Rouge Parish boasts one main library and 13 community branches. The Louisiana State Archives also reside in Baton Rouge. These facilities help nourish the unique cultural diversity of the area, composed of a mix of African-Americans, Creoles, Cajuns, Baptists and international populations, including Hispanic, Vietnamese and Latino.
The downtown hosts an exciting cultural scene populated with venues like the Shaw Center for the Arts, Louisiana Art and Science Museum and many art galleries such as the Baton Rouge Gallery. Baton Rouge has designated several arts and cultural districts, including Perkin Road Arts District and the Mid-City Cultural District, which do not charge sales tax on purchases.
If you are a fan of live performance, there is LSU’s Swine Palace, Opera Louisiana, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, Of Moving Colors Dance Productions and Theatre Baton Rouge. You can visit the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, the Manship Theatre and the Reilly Theater for live performances year-round.
Baton Rouge has a rich history that provides a plethora of architectural points of interest.
For example, the Old Louisiana State Capitol is a neo-gothic structure built around 1850. Eventually, it was replaced by the Louisiana State Capitol, a tall art deco building that stands 450 feet high. If you are drawn to pre-Civil War architecture, you may enjoy visiting the Nottoway, Myrtles and Magnolia Mound Plantations.
Not to be outdone, fans of buildings in the Italian Renaissance style will find more than 250 properties to enjoy. There are dozens of important structures designed by a favorite son of the city, John Desmond. Naturally, a vibrant museum presence is part and parcel to the area’s rich history, and it includes the Louisiana State Capitol Museum, LSU Museum of Natural Science, the USS Kidd and Odell Williams African-American Museum.
For amusement and shopping, you can check out the Mall of Louisiana, Dixie Landin’/Blue Bayou and Perkins Rowe. If you like sports, you can root for the LSU Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars NCAA football teams. You’ll also find sports and activities that include rugby, baseball, gymnastics, basketball, soccer and roller derby.
One of its best-known features, Baton Rouge restaurants boast fine regional cuisine that draws from eclectic sources to form a unique array of dining experiences.
Medical and Assisted Living Facilities
If you’re retiring in the near future, you may be interested to learn that Baton Rouge has an extensive network of more than 32 medical centers, hospitals and clinics, including Baton Rouge General and the Ochsner Medical Center. There are also more than 55 assisted living facilities, home-health-care agencies and nursing homes in Baton Rouge.
The climate in Baton Rouge is humid subtropical, which makes for mild winters and humid, hot summers with plenty of rainfall. The average temperature year-round is 68.4 degrees, perfect for checking out the extensive parkland in Baton Rouge. City Park is the city’s largest, while the Baton Rouge Zoo is home to more than 1,800 species. If you like to explore national protected areas, Greater Baton Rouge hosts seven of them, including the Independence Park Botanic Garden, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, three cemeteries and two arboretums.
You can also find many hubs for activities, such as golf, tennis, biking, fishing, swimming, hiking and running. The local swampland makes for fascinating exploring.
The ninth largest in the country, the Port of Baton Rouge is the northern Mississippi River terminus for Panamax ships. Ships bring in goods that then get transferred to barges, pipelines, airplanes, railways and trucks for further distribution. The city boasts a comprehensive bus system for those who prefer not to drive. If you do like to drive, Baton Rouge hosts three interstate highways (I-10, I-12 and I-110) and two U.S. highways (US 61 and US 190). A relatively short drive on I-10 brings you to charming New Orleans. Walking by foot is facilitated by well-cared-for trails, sidewalks and pathways. The average commute time in Baton Rouge is 22 minutes, well below the U.S. average.
If you’d like more information about retirement planning Baton Rouge, contact the retirement planning specialists at Align Wealth Partners. We know a lot about the Baton Rouge area and will be happy to answer your questions.