Located in the heart of the Great Plains, Nebraska is perfect for those who are interested in the relaxed pace offered by rural living. A leading agricultural and ranching state, most of Nebraska’s inhabitants live in rural areas—and 89% of the state’s cities have fewer than 3,000 residents. If you’re looking for a small town in which to retire, you won’t have a hard time finding one in Nebraska.

Nebraska offers a landscape of gently rolling plains, crossed by three rivers—the Platte, the Niobrara, and the Republican. These rivers offer plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, and other water sports for those who love to spend time outdoors. There are also several other beautiful natural attractions in Nevada, including Scotts Bluff National Monument and Chimney Rock. Nebraska experiences fairly hot summers and cold winters; the state receives approximately 25-35 inches of snowfall per year.

Nebraska taxes social security income and other pension income at the same level as federal taxation—so it’s not exactly a tax haven for retirees. However, the cost of living and housing prices in Nebraska are significantly lower than those in the rest of the United States.

There are several communities that offer excellent senior living in Nebraska. These include:

Omaha

The state’s largest city, Omaha is located on the shore of the Missouri River and mostly in the Missouri River Valley. The area is close to several significant bodies of water, including Lake Manawa, Carter Lake, and the Platte River—perfect for those who love fishing, boating, and other water sports. Senior living in Omaha is also perfect for history buffs—it’s the site of over a dozen historic neighborhoods, with over 100 individual buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Major tourist attractions include the Old Market, the Henry Doorly Zoo, and the College World Series.

Lincoln

Nebraska’s second largest city, Lincoln, Nebraska offers plenty of senior living options. It’s the state capitol—and its downtown boasts a stunning capitol building with a golden dome. There’s plenty to do in Lincoln, including arboretums, historical and cultural museums, zoos, historic buildings, and public gardens. While Lincoln doesn’t host a professional sports team, its university football team, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, is a well-known Division I team. There are also several notable live music venues that host national touring acts.

Papillon

According to legend, the French settlers who founded Papillon in the 1800’s came upon a valley of beautiful butterflies—and chose to build their city there. Today, Papillon hosts the annual Papillon Days festival as well as regular summer concerts in the park. The city offers two major shopping districts, as well as the Halleck Nature Trail. If you love to hike and bike, you can also find trails at Walnut Creek Park—as well as opportunities for horseback riding, fishing, archery, and other sports.

Scottsbluff

Family life takes high priority in Scottsbluff, which offers plenty of activities for visiting grandkids as well as shopping, cultural and artistic events to keep the adults occupied. This small community offers a low cost of living, a low crime rate, and an active arts and entertainment culture—including three live theatre venues.

Senior living in Nebraska is characterized by small towns, close-knit communities, historical downtowns, and outdoor recreation. In addition, the state is affordable compared to the rest of the country—with low cost of living and housing costs. If you’re interested in a laid-back retirement in a small town that values family and community, Nebraska may be the best state for you. Check out our listing of assisted living facilities in Nebraska—and find the best retirement option for you.