Is Maine a Good Place to Live? (22 Pros and Cons)

Pinterest Hidden Image

Best And Worst Things About Living In Maine

Today, I’m diving into the question: Is Maine a good place to live? First, I will address the question head-on. Then, I will support the answer with my must-know pros and cons of living in Maine.

Is Maine A Good Place To Live?

Maine is an excellent place to live. The state’s scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and safe, laid-back small communities contribute to the attractive lifestyle.

According to Live + Work in Maine, each of the state’s six regions offers a different experience. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or moving to the state for the first time, you can find your people and get involved to grow and prosper in Maine.

Long-time resident and real estate professional Scott Thibeau says Maine is a great place to live for its laid-back, vacation-like feel. However, the winter snow, summer insects, and seasonal tourists can take a little getting used to. (source)

While these comments are helpful, it’s important to carefully consider all the pros and cons before you pack up your bags and move to Maine.

Pros And Cons Of Living In Maine: Head-To-Head Comparison

Living in Maine ProsLiving in Maine Cons
1. Scenic beauty13. Higher cost of living
2. Four-season weather14. Harsh winters
3. Outdoor activities15. Limited job market
4. Peaceful hospitality16. High income taxes
5. Small town charm17. Unfavorable demographics
6. Strong communities18. Resistance to change
7. Low crime19. Lack of diversity
8. No traffic jams20. Tough to fit in
9. Healthy residents21. Slow internet speeds
10. Tasty regional foods22. Not much to do
11. Low unemployment
12. Nearby Boston
Table 1: Pros and Cons of Living in Maine

Next, let’s dive deeper into each of these good things and not-so-good things about Maine living.

Lighthouse on the coast of MainePin

Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Pros Of Living In Maine

1. Amazing And Diverse Scenic Beauty

Maine is full of scenic beauty due to the state’s remarkable outdoor features.

First, 90% of Maine’s land consists of forests. It is the most forested state in the country.

Second, mountain lovers enjoy Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in the state and the centerpiece of Baxter State Park.

Finally, Maine’s ocean coastlines set this state apart.

Including the offshore islands, you will discover thousands of miles of coastline. The state’s coast stretches from the pretty beaches of New Hampshire to the Canadian border, rivaling the coastlines of Alaska.

Maines’s coastal features include:

  • Sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean
  • Picturesque fishing villages
  • Cozy towns
  • Majestic lighthouses
  • Relaxing seaside resorts
  • Scenic views from ocean cliffs
  • White sand beaches
  • Gentle surf
  • Historic harbors
  • Offshore islands
  • Acadia National Park

More reading: A beautiful state on the Atlantic coast

2. Nice Spring To Fall Weather Living In Maine

Maine has four distinct weather seasons.

The summers are best for enjoying the outdoors. Ocean breezes moderate the temperature and humidity. Thus, extreme summer heat here is unusual. Air conditioning is rarely required.

Maine’s crisp fall temperatures bring an amazing display of autumn colors amid the state’s forested lands. At the same time, the winter brings cold temperatures here. Christmas is often white, offering a fresh blanket of snow.

Finally, the spring season typically arrives a little later in the calendar year, bringing a welcome thaw.

3. Outdoor Activities

Living in Maine offers abundant opportunities to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Maine residents love these popular outdoor activities:

  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • River rafting
  • Skiing

For hikers, Mount Katahdin marks the endpoint of the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT spans over 2,000 miles along the east coast.

moving to Maine pros and consPin

More reading: Another New England state to consider

4. Peaceful Hospitality

Mainer’s lifestyles are very laid-back and relaxed.

The state is a quiet and serene place to live, suited for those looking for a slower pace. After moving to Maine, you will note a certain level of politeness and courtesy, unlike other New England states.

5. Small Town Charm

Maine has a unique charm reminiscent of simpler times. And as a whole, the state has a low population density.

You will find mostly smaller towns in this state. Even the largest cities like Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor have a small-town feel.

Neighbors look out for each other. Bookstores, movie theaters, quaint shops, and local restaurants dot the downtown streets of these cities.

6. A Great Sense Of Community When Living In Maine

Maine residents like to get together to pursue their interests, as only people in a tight-knit community will understand.

You will find plenty of ways to gather. For example, you may find:

  • Snowmobile groups
  • Dancing organizations
  • Community theater troupes
  • Singing groups
  • Cycling clubs
  • Hiking clubs

Furthermore, the state is full of cat lovers, having the highest percentage of households with a pet cat as part of the family. Maine Coon’s are a popular breed. They are large and sociable. I think of them as “dog-like” cats.

7. Low Crime Rates

Maine ranks highly for its low crime rates.

In many lovely Maine towns, everyone knows one another. People look out for their neighbors and their homes. Crime is an afterthought. Many residents feel it is unnecessary to lock their doors.

Furthermore, the entire northeast tri-state region of Maine, New Hampshire, and the neighborly state of Vermont are all known for low crime.

8. No Traffic Jams

As a Maine resident, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck in traffic jams.

Because of the low population density and small city populations, traffic flows freely even during the peak rush hours. Thus, you won’t find many delays getting to or from wherever you need to go.

9. Good Health For Those Who Live Here

Maine is known to be one of the healthiest states in the country.

Pine trees and ocean breezes make for some of the cleanest air. Mainers stay fit by participating in outdoor activities.

When health problems crop up, residents can conveniently access healthcare services throughout the state at a reasonable cost.

10. Tasty And Fresh Food

benefits of living in MainePin

Move to Maine for the good food in this state. Here are some of the local and regional options.

First, nearly 90% of lobster consumed in the US originates from fishing activities off the coast. The Maine Lobster Festival is held annually in Rockland.

Next, other fresh seafood options sourced out of the Atlantic are available, too. You can enjoy:

  • Scallops
  • Crab
  • Oysters
  • Mussels
  • Fresh clams

Clam bakes held on the beach are a local tradition.

Maine is known for its potatoes. The state can’t compete with the potato capital of the world. However, I’ve had some of the tastiest spuds ever in Maine.

Finally, Maine produces the highest volume of wild blueberries in the world. The blueberry pies and blueberry pancakes are amazing.

Okay now. So far, I hope you can see that Maine living has plenty of advantages for a healthy, relaxed lifestyle in a beautiful setting.

Next, let’s turn our sights on your pocketbook to see how the state stacks up.

11. Low Unemployment And High Minimum Wage

Maine has a low unemployment rate, well below the national average.

Healthcare and medical jobs are the most highly paid and widely available. Other large business sectors with jobs include paper, lumber, and wood production. Shipbuilding, construction, agriculture, and commercial fishing are popular occupations.

Maine has a high minimum wage, one of the top 10 highest of all states in the country.

12. The Best Of Both Worlds When Working And Living In Maine

Do you want the Maine lifestyle AND have access to big-city professional employment opportunities?

If yes, you can live in Maine and commute to Boston, especially if you can negotiate a work-from-home option. Move to a town in southern Maine to keep your commute manageable when you must travel to the office.

Or, stick to Maine’s urban areas, like Bangor, Portland, or Augusta, the state capital. Auburn and Lewiston are options, too. In these cities and towns, talented and assertive people are likelier to find higher-paying professional opportunities.

Otherwise, most Mainers are content with basic but steady and important work that affords a comfortable lifestyle.

Okay. It’s time to switch gears and cover the cons of Maine living. Here we go.

pros and cons of living in MainePin

Cons Of Living In Maine

13. Higher Cost Of Living

Maine’s cost of living, similar to its neighboring states in New England, is higher than many other places in the country.

Groceries, utilities, and transportation will typically cost you more in Maine. However, median home prices are about 6% less than the comparable national figure.

To balance your budget, here are two tips for making the most of your money no matter where you live.

First, get cashback on all your online purchases using the Rakuten cash rebate app.

Second, pull your spending, budget, and investments together in one place by using the FREE online tool from Personal Capital (now called Empower).

14. Harsh Winter Weather                  

Maine winters are long, lasting from November through March. Temperatures frequently fall towards zero, accompanied by lots of snow.

One of the dangers of living in Maine is getting caught out in the cold and snow unprepared. Necessities include winter coats, hats, gloves, snow boots, shovels, snowblowers, and ice scrapers.

Areas further away from the ocean endure harsher winters and more snowfall than towns closer to the coast. As a result, inland locations will get more than 100 inches of snow during a bad year.

At the same time, Maine residents say the winters aren’t as tough as their reputation. The massive winter storms you hear about on the news often sweep south of the state.

More reading: Another state with cold and snowy winters

Okay. Enough about the weather. Let’s move on to another one of the cons of living in Maine…

15. Limited Job Market

Maine’s job market has limitations. Outside of the medical field, many of the state’s jobs are in blue-collar, highly specialized, or minimum-wage work.

In Maine, there are fewer higher-paying professional occupations. The types of big companies in the state do not provide these opportunities. Thus, higher salaries and the potential for advancement are limited.

As a result, many younger, upwardly mobile people are forced to leave to improve their financial situation.

More reading: Choosing between the states

16. High Tax Burden

banner stating the word taxesPin

Maine has higher income taxes compared to other states in the country.

The state runs a progressive income tax system. That’s a fancy way of saying the more money you make, the higher your income tax rate. Thus, rates run up to more than 7% for higher earners.

Furthermore, Maine is not a tax-friendly place for seniors considering retiring in Maine pros and cons. Pensions and retirement plan withdrawals are included in your taxable income. However, on a positive note, social security income is not taxed, and there is a partial exemption for other retirement income.

So, before retiring in Maine, I recommend you consult with your tax advisor.

Speaking of retirement and retirees, here is another one of the disadvantages of living in Maine.

17. Unfavorable Demographic Trends Of An Aging Population

Maines population demographics are unfavorable.

First, the state ranks near the top for the oldest average age of residents (45). For retirees moving to Maine, it should be easier to fit in and make new friends rather than moving to a state with a very young population base.

At the same time, the aging population doesn’t bode well if you want to keep company with younger people.

18. People Living In Maine Are Resistant To Change

Maine’s current way of life is similar to what it has been in the past.

Without an influx of young people, the state lacks new ideas, youthful energy, and creativity that younger people offer. Thus, the state is set in its ways, resistant to change, and limited by the lack of innovation.

Don’t move to Maine expecting to change the culture.

19. Lack Of Diversity

Maine lacks racial and ethnic diversity. For example, more than 90% of residents are white.

Thus, you won’t find varying cultures and traditions. This further leads to the limited availability of ethnic foods. So, good luck finding Asian-inspired or other ethnic restaurants outside the state’s urban areas.

20. Fitting In May Be Hard To Do

Maine’s long-time locals are slow to warm up to newcomers. You will also find Maine residents prefer face-to-face interactions and like to chat. Thus, if you were not born in Maine, you may never completely fit in here.

After moving to Maine, treat residents with a healthy dose of respect for their ways of life. Choose to live in Maine for exactly what it is. Do not try to change it to something it’s not.

21. Slow Internet When Living In Rural Maine

Parts of Maine have limited high-speed internet services. Working remotely and running a home-based business is more difficult when this is the case.

I recommend sticking to the few major population centers if consistent access to high-speed internet is important to you.

Last but not least, another reason not to move to Maine.

22. Not Much To Do When Living In Maine

Maine has fewer commercial entertainment options compared to other parts of the country.

Professional sports, abundant nightlife, fancy dining, and luxury shopping are in short supply.

To compensate, move to Portland or take advantage of nearby cities in Massachusetts like Boston and New York City. Both of these major metros are reasonably close.

Okay. That’s a wrap on the moving to Maine pros and cons. Allow me to close with some parting thoughts.

worst things about moving to "The Pine Tree State"Pin

Is Maine A Good Place To Live – Wrapping Up The Pros And Cons

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of exactly what it is like living in Maine to address these important questions:

  1. Why move to Maine?
  2. Is Maine a good place to live?
  3. Why is Maine a good place to retire?

More Reading About Living In Maine And Far Beyond

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your decision.

Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

Pinterest image: moving to MainePin

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Maine Explained