The Best States To Retire

LAST REVIEWED Jun 08 2020 8 MIN READ

By The Human Interest Team

If you’re looking for the perfect place to retire, it’s helpful to do some research so you can pick a place that fits your long-term desires and needs. Luckily, there is no shortage of information about the advantages and challenges for retirement folks in each state. Keep reading to find out the criteria used by Wallet Hub, Bankrate, and Money Rates to determine their retirement-friendly rankings for all 50 states.

Best States To Retire: Wallet Hub’s Ranking

When it’s time to decide your ideal place to retire, it’s important that you take certain things into consideration, like access to health care, your quality of life, and the area’s affordability. Wallet Hub ranks the best states for retirees based on a scoring system that takes into account these factors and 44 other key indicators that relate to these elements. The scoring has a total of 100 points: 40 points for affordability, 30 points for overall quality of life, and 30 points for health care. Here is Wallet Hub’s ranking, with brief descriptions of the top five states:

  1. Florida: Florida received the top ranking for retirement-friendly states with an overall score of 63.02. This great score is largely because of the state’s excellent affordability and quality of life, for both of which Florida ranked in the top five. The Sunshine State’s healthcare ranking rests in the middle of the list at number 26.

  2. Colorado: Not far behind Florida, Colorado earns the second spot with a score of 60.99. Though the state’s affordability and quality of life are ranked in the top 20, its health care ranking is among the best in the country.

  3. New Hampshire: New Hampshire’s great health care and quality of life rankings gave the state an overall score of 59.25.

  4. Utah: Utah placed in the top 20 states for every category, resulting in an excellent ranking and a total score of 58.33.

  5. Wyoming: The Equality State earned a score of 58.17, due to its affordability and overall quality of life.

  6. Delaware: 58.10

  7. Virginia: 57.93

  8. Wisconsin: 57.16

  9. Idaho: 56.80

  10. Iowa: 56.70

  11. South Dakota: 56.49

  12. Montana: 56.47

  13. Pennsylvania: 56.41

  14. Massachusetts: 56.28

  15. Ohio: 55.99

  16. Minnesota: 55.53

  17. Texas: 55.20

  18. South Carolina: 55.02

  19. North Dakota: 54.75

  20. Missouri: 54.61

  21. Michigan: 54.17

  22. Arizona: 52.97

  23. Illinois: 52.56

  24. Kansas: 52.37

  25. Nebraska: 52.19

  26. North Carolina: 52.14

  27. Washington: 51.53

  28. Maine: 51.18

  29. Hawaii: 51.14

  30. Georgia: 51.07

  31. Alaska: 51.00

  32. California: 50.98

  33. Connecticut: 50.72

  34. Indiana: 50.60

  35. Nevada: 50.45

  36. Vermont: 49.92

  37. Oklahoma: 49.66

  38. Oregon: 49.65

  39. Alabama: 48.74

  40. Maryland: 48.41

  41. Louisiana: 48.29

  42. New York: 47.57

  43. Mississippi: 47.25

  44. Arkansas: 47.21

  45. Tennessee: 45.83

  46. West Virginia: 45.38

  47. New Jersey: 45.06

  48. Rhode Island: 43.49

  49. New Mexico: 43.33

  50. Kentucky: 41.89

Best States To Retire: Bankrate’s Ranking

Bankrate created a ranking of the best retirement-friendly states in the country based on factors like wellness, weather, culture, crime, and affordability. Here’s a look at the rankings with brief explanations for the top five picks:

  1. Nebraska: Nebraska is likely a surprising choice for the number one spot, especially when you consider that it has an average temperature of 49 degrees, but the state ranked well in all of the other measures, specifically for wellness and affordability.

  2. Iowa: As far as affordability goes, Iowa is close to the top of the list. Additionally, the Hawkeye State scored surprisingly high for its culture, but there were other areas where it was outperformed.

  3. Missouri: Despite its affordability and moderate climate when compared to other states, Missouri places at number three on the list because of its lower scores in overall safety, wellness, and culture.

  4. South Dakota: Aside from the weather, which has an alarming average temperature of 46 degrees all year round, South Dakota ranks better than almost every other state. Most notably, the state ranks surprisingly high for its culture. This is undoubtedly largely due to the fact that it boasts the second-highest number of recreation, entertainment, and art businesses per capita.

  5. Florida: Retirees have flocked to the Sunshine State for a long time, and for good reason. Aside from boasting a wonderful warm climate, Florida has a great deal of culture, including theme parks and the arts. Additionally, there is a large population of fellow retirement-age folks, giving you a great community to surround yourself with.

  6. Kentucky

  7. Kansas

  8. North Carolina

  9. Montana

  10. Hawaii

  11. Arkansas

  12. Wisconsin

  13. North Dakota

  14. Vermont

  15. New Hampshire

  16. Alabama

  17. Texas

  18. Idaho

  19. Mississippi

  20. Wyoming

  21. Oklahoma

  22. Tennessee

  23. Massachusetts

  24. Michigan

  25. West Virginia

  26. Ohio

  27. Rhode Island

  28. Georgia

  29. Indiana

  30. Connecticut

  31. Maine

  32. Delaware

  33. Colorado

  34. Pennsylvania

  35. Utah

  36. Louisiana

  37. New Mexico

  38. Arizona

  39. Virginia

  40. Minnesota

  41. South Carolina

  42. New Jersey

  43. California

  44. Oregon

  45. Nevada

  46. Washington

  47. Illinois

  48. Alaska

  49. New York

  50. Maryland

Best States To Retire: Money Rates’ Ranking

For Money Rates’ ranking of the best states to retire, they used categories like the state’s general popularity with older residents, weather conditions, local economy, personal security, and health care conditions. They based the rankings for each category on data gathered from the Centers for Disease Control, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Here is a look at how each state ranked with a brief description of the top five states:

  1. Florida: Florida’s ranking should come as no surprise because of its high score for popularity, weather conditions, and health care. It is important to note, however, that the Sunshine State did have a violent crime rate that was a bit higher than most other states.

  2. Iowa: Despite its frigid average temperatures, Iowa continues to do surprisingly well on retirement rankings, especially in the health care category.

  3. Arkansas: Though violent crime rates are a concern here, Arkansas boasts incredible affordability because of its low property taxes and cost of living.

  4. Oklahoma: One of the contributing factors for Oklahoma’s impressive ranking is the state’s high percentage of nursing home capacity.

  5. Idaho: Idaho continues to do well in categories like the local economy, personal security, and healthcare despite being one of the coldest states in the country.

  6. Missouri

  7. West Virginia

  8. Arizona

  9. Indiana

  10. Hawaii

  11. Vermont

  12. Kansas

  13. Virginia

  14. Alabama

  15. Utah

  16. Montana

  17. Texas

  18. Maine: Tie

  19. Ohio: Tie

  20. South Carolina (Tie)

  21. Delaware (Tie)

  22. Kentucky (Tie)

  23. Tennessee (Tie)

  24. Michigan (Tie)

  25. Nebraska (Tie)

  26. Oregon

  27. Wisconsin

  28. Pennsylvania

  29. Wyoming

  30. Mississippi

  31. New Jersey

  32. Illinois

  33. New Mexico

  34. Georgia

  35. Louisiana

  36. South Dakota

  37. New Hampshire

  38. North Carolina

  39. Colorado

  40. Connecticut

  41. California

  42. Minnesota

  43. Massachusetts

  44. Rhode Island

  45. Maryland

  46. North Dakota

  47. New York

  48. Washington

  49. Nevada

  50. Alaska

Though there is plenty of information out there to help you decide the ideal state for retirement, the decision is ultimately yours. Just make sure that you choose a location that aligns with your unique needs, desires, and goals. Contact us today to talk about your options and find out if you’re saving enough for retirement.

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Disclosures

The content in this blog post has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Human Interest's investment advisory services are provided by Human Interest Advisors, LLC, an SEC-Registered Investment Adviser. Investing involves risk and may result in loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, and expected returns may not reflect actual future performance.