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Maryland, My Maryland: Spending Your Golden Years in the Old Line State May be Today’s Best Bet

Oct 25, 2017 02:00PM ● By James Houck
By James Houck

If you’re reading this publication, there’s a strong chance that you’ve settled in Maryland and enjoy the Land of Pleasant Living. Whether your roots run deep in this state or are freshly sprouted, extending your settlement to retirement in Maryland is likely to cross your mind, if it hasn’t already. And while there are reasons to look elsewhere when considering where to spend the “4th Quarter” of life, Maryland is stacked with selling points to make it your ultimate choice (Forbes included Ocean Pines, Maryland, in its national list of “25 Best Places to Retire in 2017”).

From world-class hospitals to unlimited recreation, and housing options to fit any want or need, Maryland has an attractive infrastructure and lifestyle accessibility. And though the general perception is that Maryland has not been friendly to the retiree in terms of taxation and estate planning, the truth holds optimism. According to Kiplinger’s 2016 “State by State Guide to Taxes on Retirees,” Maryland ranks in the middle of pack as a “Mixed Tax Picture;” meaning, yes, there are considerable taxes but, no, they won’t break the bank and, in fact, there are legal adjustments on the horizon that retirees will likely…like.

All Boom, No Bust

Maryland is a state in which the Baby Boomer population is growing at a rapid pace. The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that, as of 2015, the 65-plus population has been growing at a faster rate than the 20–64 population. In Maryland, 25 percent of the population will be over 55 years of age by 2020. But that doesn’t necessarily add up to more retirees in the traditional sense. According to The American Association of Retired People, 79 percent of Boomers plan to work in some capacity during their retirement years. Upon hitting age 65, many will not leave the workforce and will continue to work full-time. Others will opt to work part-time or seek a second, entirely different career. Enter education options. Through the state university system, local community colleges (Anne Arundel Community College and Chesapeake College, among others), and county-run Senior Activity Centers, there are many professional programs (credit and non) suited for students of all ages and that includes Boomers. Want to study the culinary arts and launch a catering business? Check. Become a paramedic? Check. Learn guitar and start a band? The stage is yours.

Many of the Boomers who choose a traditional retirement will plan to remain active in volunteer work and community service. Fortunately, Maryland is a state ripe with service and philanthropic opportunities. In a recent report, WalletHub ranked all 50 states from most charitable to least using 13 metrics, including “volunteer rate” and “percentage of income donated;” Maryland came in 4th nationally (Utah ranked first).

But there’s a particularly sticky wicket for many of the most successful of this generation, which may be a telltale sign of why they are also so giving…taxes. Dreaded taxes; from property to estate and inheritance, the list seems never ending. And how to offset one’s reported income? Donate to charity, of course. Philanthropy pinpoints the services and programs you want your dollars to fund.

And while the State of Maryland is keen on taxing your income, estate, and inheritance pots, there’s fairly good news, especially for end-of-life considerations. Maryland collects an inheritance tax, but property passing to a spouse, child, spouse of a child, or other lineal descendant, parent, grandparent, or sibling is exempt from taxation. Property passing to other individuals is subject to a 10 percent tax.

Maryland estate tax is imposed on estates exceeding $2 million, which will be increased to $3 million in 2017 and $4 million in 2018. In 2019 and beyond, Maryland will adopt the Federal threshold. The maximum tax rate is 16 percent.

If you’re sold on staying in state and comfortable with how your estate will parlay beyond the grave (talk about peace of mind!), then your physical comfort and living situation is probably front-and-center. If you own your home outright, congratulations…your housing options are plentiful: sell/move, contract a reverse mortgage to supplement retirement income, or simply sit and stay. For the movers, there’s a wealth of plus-55 communities to currently choose from and new developments on the rise locally. Additionally, and depending upon your medical needs, there are many assisted living and nursing home programs. A compiled list of options appears within this article.


Gen X, Millennials, and Beyond

Although retirement may be 10 years, 20, 30, or many more into the future of each generation following the Baby Boomers—or much sooner depending on their entrepreneurial savvy—developing an investment portfolio and shaping one’s life goals, which could include where you see yourself actually living out the years ahead, should be on one’s list of priorities. And there’s good news regarding that…or, take it for what it’s worth news.

Today, online, we’re swimming in a sea of listicles, so it’s no surprise that one of the more popular pop-news sites,, would take a stab at ranking all 50 United States from worst to first, “based on everything. More specifically, their contributions to America, so think inventions, food/drink, somewhat productive famous people, unique physical beauty, etc.” Though it’s tongue in cheek and written in the spirit of Internet debate, it offers an opinionated snapshot of each state. Maryland ranked 20th, a pleasant accolade in the eyes of the two Gen X editors that compiled the piece (for the record, Michigan ranked #1 and Florida dead last at #50).

If that nugget doesn’t thrill you, perhaps some real-world analysis and public incentives will; the overall economy of Maryland ranked 9th best of all 50 states in the most recent analysis published by Wallethub this past June (including 6th in “Innovation Potential”). In a similar comparison of state economies made by U.S. News & World Report, Maryland ranked #21 (and 14th in “Employment”). It’s confirmation that the Land of Pleasant Living is also the Land of Opportunity (after all, our state’s other famous moniker is “America in Miniature”). The top industries/job sectors in Maryland are rather diverse as well: Aerospace & Defense; Fishing & Aquaculture; Life Sciences; Manufacturing; and Cybersecurity, for which Maryland is considered the nation’s hub.

Maryland is a state that understands the value of, not only, attracting a dynamic workforce, but also retaining it. And in the age of transient Millennials that tend to job hop before settling into a career, the state recently passed legislation that would help workers, particularly at small businesses, set up retirement accounts (such as 401(k)s) that follow them wherever they’re employed. Currently, this makes Maryland one of only five states in the country to have legislated this trending need. Known as the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program, it’s intended to relax some regulations (waiving certain fees) and will establish a state-appointed retirement plan administration.

Enjoyment for All

What can be written about Maryland in terms of recreation, entertainment, sports, the outdoors, and vacation options that hasn’t already? It turns out, quite a lot; (cue shameless plug #1) just read the pages of this magazine. Although the big picture includes the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland, the beaches along the Atlantic Coast, and cities steeped in history tied to our nation’s founding (remember Maryland is one of the 13 original colonies), every month and day holds engaging options to experience something new locally. Have you canoed the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, located just south of Cambridge? Gone camping at Assateague Island National Seashore? Taken in a play at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre or experienced a rock concert at Baltimore’s Pier Six Pavilion?

Scratch under the surface of Maryland’s lifestyle landscape and you’ll find dynamic options befitting any soul. In fact (cue shameless plug #2), visit for the most complete list of events, activities, and entertainment options…from Maryland’s Western Shore to Eastern, and all points in between.


Senior Housing Options


Asbury Solomons

11100 Asbury Circle, Solomons
Calvert County
The Patuxent River is your backdrop at this 55+ community. Asbury Solomons’ residents can choose from either apartment or cottage-style living. Asbury Solomons is a Continuing Care Retirement Community and features a HealthAbility program.

Bay Bridge Cove

917 Moorings Circle, Stevensville
Queen Anne’s County
The beautiful Chesapeake Bay is your closest neighbor at Bay Bridge Cove. Choose from multiple villa-style accommodations to call home. This Kent Island community has a marvelous central Maryland location, close to the state’s capital, the Eastern Shore, and of course the Bay Bridge.

Bay Forest Apartments (62+ community)

930 Bay Forest Court, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Pets are welcome at this 62+ community! Bay Forest residents can live in one or two bedroom apartments, and there is a picturesque gazebo on the campus.

Cameron Grove

Central Avenue (Rte. 214), Upper Marlboro
Prince George’s County
Cameron Grove makes the transition to a retirement community easy and relaxing by helping you sell your home with their Preferred Realtor Program. Your new residence will be a single family home, and you will be able to use the Cameron Grove Resort Center featuring various amenities.

Carroll’s Creek

Wigeon Way, Gambrills
Anne Arundel County
Carroll’s Creek is located near the Waugh Chapel Town Centre in Gambrills. It has a clubhouse with various rooms such as an exercise center.

Chesapeake by del Webb

29600 Lyons Drive, Easton
Talbot County
Enjoy the clubhouse and the convenient proximity to Easton and neighboring Eastern Shore towns at Chesapeake by del Webb. This 55+ retirement community is part of the Easton Club East Community Association.


10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville
Senior living community with diverse amenities; independent living can transition to assisted living as needed, with skilled nursing, memory support, and short-term rehab services available.

Four Seasons at Saint Margaret’s

Cape St. Claire Drive, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Four Seasons at Saint Margaret’s offers condominium-style living for those 55 and older. The community has a clubhouse with various activities, and there is a Friday evening community gathering every week to promote social interaction among the residents.

Glen Forest Apartments (62+ community)

7975 Crain Highway, Glen Burnie
Anne Arundel County
At Glen Forest Apartments, maintenance and safety are a priority. Residents can choose from either one or two bedroom apartments, and every apartment has a balcony.

Heritage Harbour

959 River Strand Loop, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Heritage Harbour is truly a place for everyone. With living options and price ranges varying to suit any individual’s needs, there is no reason not to make Heritage Harbour your new home. Heritage Harbour offers many activities such as tennis, a golf course, and clubs for virtually any interest.

Hyde Park

9618 Cordova Road, Easton
Talbot County
Hyde Park is in close proximity to Hog Neck Park, which is perfect for various activities such as golfing. There are individual homes for residents. As long as one resident is over 55 years old, additional residents can be 40 years or older.

Londonderry on the Tred Avon

700 Port Street Suite 148, Easton
Talbot County
Located on the scenic Tred Avon River, Londonderry residents can choose from cottage or apartment-style living. The community promotes various areas of healthy living, such as physical and mental health.

Shipley’s Crossing

576 Brightview Drive, Millersville
Anne Arundel County
Shipley’s Crossing is located in Millersville, a very close drive to Severna Park and Annapolis. Residents can choose from various styles of homes, and can use the community’s clubhouse for activities. Shipley’s Crossing provides landscaping services for all residents.


1130 Kestrel Way, Salisbury
Wicomico County
A largely customizable living experience in Salisbury, MD, Summersgate is a wonderful community for those 55 and older. Land maintenance is taken care of by the community, and plenty of amenities are available to bring entertainment and relaxation into everyday life. Choose from multiple styles of villas or condominiums to call home.

Symphony Village

Queen Anne’s County
Symphony Village is near River Plantation in Queen Anne’s County, a perfect location in Maryland being near both the Bay Bridge and the Eastern Shore. Symphony Village is a “resort community” with single family homes.

The Evergreens at Columbia Town Center

10101 Governor Warfield Parkway, Columbia
Howard County
Relaxation begins at The Evergreens in Columbia, where residents can choose from a one or two bedroom apartment. Various amenities such as an outdoor pool, fitness center, and outdoor fireplace/grill area make for an inviting post-retirement community.

The Gardens of Annapolis (62+ community)

931 Edgewood Road, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
The Gardens of Annapolis is a 62+ rental community. It is located near great shopping destinations and has bocce and shuffleboard courts on campus.

The Villages at Two Rivers

1425 Two Rivers Boulevard, Odenton
Anne Arundel County
There are not only multiple housing styles that you can choose from, but multiple home builders themselves! Create a truly customizable retirement living experience at The Villages at Two Rivers. Enjoy various active amenities and Anne Arundel County’s perfect location by the Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore, and DC, satisfying those with both nautical and metropolitan cravings.


Acts Retirement-Life Community

Heron Point of Chestertown
501 E. Campus Ave., Chestertown
Kent County
A 66-acre Chester River waterfront senior community whose setting and philosophy offer stimulating opportunities for physical, mental, cultural, and spiritual well being.

Arbor Terrace Senior Living

9885 Greenbelt Road, Lanham
Prince George’s County
Arbor Terrace Senior Living has multiple suite style rooms for residents to choose from, in addition to a dining room for community meals.

Arcadia Assisted Living

402 Castle Marina Road, Chester
Queen Anne’s County
Arcadia Assisted Living is located in a very intimate single family home. With 15 beds in private or semi-private rooms, Arcadia offers a personalized experience for your loved one. The home provides 24/7 care and hand-prepared meals.

Atria Assisted Living-Manresa

85 Manresa Road, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Living on the Severn River, I have always found the Manresa Assisted Living home one of the most beautiful properties in the region. It is located directly on the river, and residents have direct interaction with local Annapolitans as many people flock to the expansive front lawn to watch the Blue Angels each May. The home offers apartment-style living and 24/7 care is available.

Autumn Meadows Assisted Living

1260 & 1262 Defense Highway, Gambrills
Anne Arundel County
Located in Gambrills, this is a perfect Central Maryland location. Autumn Meadows is an intimate home environment with private rooms for the residents. There is a common room for socialization and activities.

Baywoods of Annapolis

7101 Bay Front Drive, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Enjoy apartment-style living on the beautiful waterways of Annapolis at Baywoods. Baywoods of Annapolis offers an assisted living program that provides additional services to its residents. This community is unique in that it is a co-op, meaning that each resident owns a piece of his or her community.

BrightView South River Assisted Living

8 Lee Airpark Drive, Edgewater
Anne Arundel County
BrightView offers apartment-style living. Constant nursing care is available, and it is maintenance-free for the residents.

Candle Light Cove

106 W. Earle Avenue, Easton
Talbot County
Candle Light Cove prides itself on its intimate community size, making personalized care for its residents that much better. Members of the Candle Light Cove community live in their own apartments, which come with an emergency communication system. Residents will stay entertained with multiple entertainment options planned by the activities coordinator.


10450 Lottsford Road, Mitchellville
Senior living community with diverse amenities; independent living can transition to assisted living as needed, with skilled nursing, memory support, and short-term rehab services available.

Chesapeake Caregivers

29160 Krismor Court, Trappe
Talbot County
This family business on the Eastern Shore features assisted living homes.

HeartFields Assisted Living at Easton

700 Port Street, Easton
Talbot County
These assisted living apartments are in an ideal location near downtown Easton. Nurses help residents with everyday tasks, and HeartFields features a LifeStyle 360 health program.

HeartHomes at Bay Ridge

3023 Arundel on the Bay Road #A, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
There are four additional locations of HeartHomes. Each location holds 16 residents each. The home has no stairs and the rooms are fully furnished to contribute to the resident’s ease. The staff will adapt to residents’ changing health conditions as needed.

HeartLands Assisted Living at Severna Park

715 Benfield Road, Severna Park
Anne Arundel County
On their website, the HeartLands makes a point of saying that they are an assisted living community, understanding that residents do not want to lose all of their independence. That is why the HeartLands is an excellent option for those who are new to the assisted living lifestyle, as the staff will be on constant call if needed but will respect the resident’s independence. Located in the town of Severna Park outside of Annapolis, residents have close proximity to both city and water life.

Household of Angels Assisted Living

118 Arundel Beach Road, Severna Park
Anne Arundel County
Household of Angels is a close-knit community where residents are served home-cooked meals. There are private rooms. Household of Angels is a Christian community.

Integrace Bayleigh Chase

501 Dutchman’s Lane, Easton
Talbot County
Having been to the Integrace community multiple times for both my grandmother and grandfather, I can say that this is a community that promotes independence and safety. While my grandparents were temporary residents for rehabilitation services, we took tours of the homes offered at Integrace. These homes allowed residents to continue living a semi-independent lifestyle, as they lived in their own residence, but the safety call systems installed in the homes gives family members peace of mind. The beautiful campus, friendly neighbors and gorgeous interiors make Integrace a great community to transition to the assisted living experience.

PearTree House Assisted Living

8001 Middlebury Drive, Pasadena
8004 Shadow Oak Lane, Pasadena
Anne Arundel County
PearTree House is a small community of only 15 residents. Each resident has a “Personal Service Plan”, and his or her room comes entirely furnished. PearTree promotes a social environment.

Rutherford Manor

745 Governor Bridge Road, Davidsonville
Anne Arundel County
The Rutherford Manor is located in rural Davidsonville, Maryland. It was founded in 2008, and all residents receive constant care as needed.

Spring Arbor of Severna Park

345 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park
Anne Arundel County
Spring Arbor of Severna Park brings a taste of Southern Hospitality to Maryland. They offer “Validation Therapy Virtual Training” for their employees, which helps caretakers assist residents to their best ability by having them spend a day learning themselves what it is like to need assistance with daily tasks.

Sunrise of Annapolis

800 Bestgate Road, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
Sunrise of Annapolis is a community in which family members can trust that their loved ones will be taken care of, as Sunrise staff is available around the clock and AAMC is literally across the road. Multiple in-house amenities as well as nearby attractions such as the Annapolis Mall, historic Downtown, and the Parole and Harbour Shopping Centers makes Sunrise a wonderful choice for your loved one.

The Annapolitan

84 Old Mill Bottom Road North, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
The Annapolitan guarantees the safety of its residents through the use of the CarePoint Safety System with AutoAlert. This technology both prevents falls and alerts staff if a resident has fallen, and the Annapolitan is the only Anne Arundel County community to implement the use of this system. Residents can choose from one or two bedroom studio apartments, and can choose to customize it with their own furniture or to relax in an already-furnished space.

The Dixon House

108 N. Higgins Street, Easton
Talbot County
Each resident lives in their own private room, and a small and close-knit community is guaranteed since there are only 18 rooms available at the Dixon House. Each resident receives constant nursing assistance if needed. The quaint town of Easton is a perfect backdrop to this secure and accommodating residency.

Whitewood Assisted Living

112 Collier Road, Grasonville
Queen Anne’s County
Whitewood Assisted Living offers personalized care for each resident. It was also recently redone and looks beautiful.


Autumn Lake HealthCare at Chestertown

415 Morgnec Road, Chestertown
Kent County
Autumn Lake offers various specialty clinical services for its residents. Residents can choose from private or semi-private rooms.

Crofton Care & Rehabilitation Center

2131 Davidsonville Road, Crofton
Anne Arundel County
Crofton Care & Rehabilitation Center wants to encourage its residents’ independence while also providing them with all of the nursing care that they need. They encourage families to become involved in care-related decisions. Residents participate in relaxing and engaging activities.

FutureCare Chesapeake

305 College Parkway, Arnold
Anne Arundel County
FutureCare Chesapeake offers constant nursing care for its residents. It also provides a wide variety of medical services for those needing specific types of care.

Heron Point of Chestertown

501 E. Campus Avenue, Chestertown
Kent County
Looking at the pictures on their website, Heron Point of Chestertown is a beautiful home with a modern interior and a wonderful view of the Chester River. There is a Nurse Practitioner Program.

Integrace Bayleigh Chase

501 Dutchman’s Lane, Easton
Talbot County
At Bayleigh Chase, they also offer 24/7 nursing care in addition to their assisted living program. There are private and semi-private rooms for residents. The community is very friendly and the outdoor landscaping and interior décor is beautiful.

Marley Neck Health and Rehabilitation Center

7575 East Howard Road, Glen Burnie
Anne Arundel County
Marley Neck Health and Rehabilitation Center offers a program called “Lifestyles” that is 24/7 nursing care. They not only provide nursing services but also activities for their patients and they put emphasis on involving the patient’s family in as much of the experience as possible.

Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay

520 Glenburn Avenue, Cambridge
Dorchester County
Signature HealthCARE at Mallard Bay is unique in that the experience emphasizes spirituality. There are 134 beds at this community. They also feature “serenity innovations”.

South River Health and Rehabilitation Center

144 Washington Road, Edgewater
Anne Arundel County
South River Health and Rehabilitation Center offers a program called “Lifestyles” that is 24/7 nursing care. They not only provide nursing services but also activities for their patients and they put emphasis on involving the patient’s family as much as possible.

Spa Creek Center

35 Milkshake Lane, Annapolis
Anne Arundel County
At Spa Creek Center, there are private and semi-private rooms for both long and short term stays. Various types of medical care is offered to residents.

University of Maryland Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center at Chestertown

200 Morgnec Road, Chestertown
Kent County
There are 98 beds and a bistro-style room for community meals at UM Shore Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. This is for long term stays and rehabilitation.