When you think of retiring, do you have an idea of where it might be? Well, don’t look too far away as SmartAsset ranks Independence as the 5th best place to retire in the state of Kansas. SmartAsset stated they gathered data on three separate regional factors for retirees that affect quality of life, including tax-friendliness, medical care and social opportunities. The organization said they looked at state and local taxes first, considering income and sales tax.


They calculated “effective rates based on a retiree earning $35,000 annually,” from retirement savings, Social Security and part-time employment. They subtracted income taxes paid from the gross income to determine disposable income and sales taxes paid were calculated based on the disposable income spent on taxable goods, according to their press release. Then SmartAsset determined the number of doctor’s offices, recreation center and retirement centers per thousand residents in each location.


Lastly, they measured the number of seniors in each city as a percentage of the total population. For their final analysis, SmartAsset ranked each location on the three factors, then calculated an average ranking for each area and weighted the three factors equally. Independence ranks 5th in the state and is 1,938 on the national list. The tax burden was listed at 18.4%, with 1.6 doctor’s offices per 1,000 people. Recreation centers per 1,000 people were listed at 0.6, with 0.5 retirement centers. The percentage of seniors in Independence was listed at 19.7% of the city's population.


“What an honor and compliment to be listed again in the top 10 places to retire in Kansas,” said Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson. “Independence is a great place to start your professional career, a wonderful community to raise a family and a tranquil yet vibrant city to enjoy retirement. With an affordable quality of life, an abundance of amenities and quality health care, Independence has so much to offer those looking for a new place to call home during their retirement years.” Wilson added the Chamber is in the early stages of working with organizations and community members to expand senior services and activities in the Independence community. “We hope to roll out programming mid-2022. Our goal is to climb from number 5 to number 1 in the near future,” she concluded.


Independence City Manager Kelly Passauer said the city is honored to once again be named on the list of best places to retire in Kansas. “We are flattered to once again share the stage with other stellar Kansas communities recognized as one of the ‘Top 10 Places to Retire’ in the state,” she began. “Those of us who call Independence home know what a tremendous community this is for all stages of life but for retirees who have experienced other parts of the world, there is no place more special to spend your golden years.” Passauer said the city is “truly built” on volunteerism and community pride. “There are virtual- ly unlimited opportunities for retirees to engage and immerse themselves in local culture,” she said. “Our housing options are plentiful and affordable; arts and entertainment abound; recreation spaces are second to none; eclectic shopping and dining can be found around every corner; and there are opportunities for worshipping and friend-making for all walks of life.” Passauer concluded by saying, “We pride ourselves on offering a safe environment with a neighborly culture and a progressive vibe. Independence is the complete package and you don’t have to wait for retirement. You are welcome any time.”