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Illinois: Head for the heartland

When you live in the middle of the country, you’re at the center of everything. Illinois gives you the advantage of a great location, with close proximity to cities and towns, mountains and lakes, and every type of diversion you might want. As you consider the state for your retirement, here are some reasons to include Illinois on your list.

#1. Lakes are everywhere. You don’t need to move to the coast to enjoy living on the shore. Illinois is dotted with waterways, from 30 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan in the north to a winding network of rivers and other major lakes throughout the state.In addition to Lake Michigan, Illinois residents flock to Lake Carlyle, Rend Lake, Lake Shelbyville, and Horseshoe Lake for boating, fishing, and other water sports, as well as relaxing on the lovely beaches.

#2. Your education can continue. Today’s retirees don’t want to sit in a rocking chair. They are active adults who have earned the freedom of spending their time their way. Illinois is home to a wide variety of colleges and universities. Whether you want the advantages of having the sports, cultural, and recreational benefits of living near a campus or have plans to continue your education—a few classes or a degree program—retiring in Illinois presents ample choices. The University of Illinois has three campuses around the state. Top-rated higher education is also available at such well-known institutions as Loyola University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Wheaton College, and DePaul University, to name just a few of your options.

#3. The Windy City is a great destination. Whether you move to Chicago or just want to visit, the city provides an endless variety of experiences. From cheering on the Chicago Cubs at historic Wrigley Field or browsing the exhibits of the Art Institute of Chicago to driving along Lakeshore Drive to spending a day in Millennium Park, you will never be bored in Chicago.

Chicago suburbs provide a less urban landscape, while also presenting all of the conveniences you want. Communities like LaGrange, Glenview, Hinsdale, Northbrook, Wilmette, and Burr Ridge are on the outskirts of the city, so you can easily get in and out as you wish.

#4. St. Louis is a great day trip. Head east to the Gateway to the West and explore St. Louis, on the banks of the Mississippi River that separates Illinois and Missouri. The city offers a staggering array of attractions—arts, architecture, culture, sports, recreation, history, and more. Take a drive and spend a day, a weekend, or a weekend in this thriving city.

#5. Illinois is tax-friendly for retirees. When you retire in Illinois, you can collect all of your Social Security benefits, pension income, and retirement account withdrawals because there is no tax on them.

Illinois will provide you with a retirement that’s filled with variety. You’ll experience four distinctive seasons, with a breathtaking fall among the most beautiful in the country. You can settle into your retirement lifestyle and have all the diversions you had hoped for, as well as the ability to travel to and from your home in the middle of the United States and easily get anywhere you’d like, including a northern excursion to Canada. If you plan an active retirement, Illinois will serve you well!