The 10 Best States for Retirement

The 10 Best States for Retirement

By Doug Whiteman of www.bankrate.com

You’re really going to do it. You worked your last day, you ate the cake and you decided to move to the best retirement spot in America. Next question: Where is that?

We looked at costs, weather, health care, crime, taxes, cultural amenities and a few other things important to seniors and have determined the best 10 places to retire.
Before you start packing, find out if you’ll need snowsuits or swimming suits.

  1. Idaho

The state best known for its spuds offers retirees safety and affordability — and those factors aren’t small potatoes. They more than outweigh Idaho’s so-so weather and relative lack of arts and cultural resources.

Scores highest for:

  • Cost of living
  • Relatively low crime rates
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  1. Wisconsin

Wisconsin winters can be brutal — have you seen the frozen fans at mid-winter Green Bay Packers games? Still, it’s a great state for hardy seniors seeking good medical care and a place where their retirement dollars will go far.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • Cost of living
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  1. South Dakota

The lack of a state income tax helps make the Mount Rushmore State monumentally inexpensive. And it’s perfect if you like a variety of weather: Summer temperatures can soar above 110 degrees, while winters often go into negative double digits.

Scores highest for:

  • Low tax burden
  • Cost of living
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  1. Massachusetts

The Bay State isn’t cheap, and the winters can be cold and snowy. But Massachusetts offers retirees a good quality of life, along with lots of history and culture.

If you live in a high-cost area, a cash-back credit card can help you get more for your money.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  • Relatively low crime rates
  1. Virginia

Virginia is for lovers of affordable prices, communities where you can feel safe and relatively pleasant weather year-round. The fall foliage in the Shenandoah Valley is an annual treat, spring brings cherry blossoms, and in summer you can hit the state’s Atlantic beaches.

Scores highest for:

  • Cost of living
  • Relatively low crime rates
  • Weather
  1. Minnesota

No surprise that the state that’s home to Mayo Clinic ranks near the top for health care. Minnesota also provides retirees with low costs, safe cities and an all-around comfortable way of life. Just be sure to bundle up during the often harsh winters.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • Cost of living
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  1. Iowa

So what if the Hawkeye State doesn’t have mountains or beaches? Your retirement savings will go a long way in Iowa; the median listing price for a home is $131,000 — way below the national average of $250,000.

Scores highest for:

  • Cost of living
  • Health care quality
  • Relatively low crime rates
  1. Maine

America’s easternmost state is near the top of our retirement ranking thanks in part to its health care system that’s graded the best in the nation. And Maine is No. 2 behind Florida in the percentage of residents over 65, meaning it’s easier for seniors to find friends their age.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • The presence of other seniors
  • Relatively low crime rates
  1. Colorado

Though resort towns like Aspen are notoriously expensive, Colorado is generally more affordable than most state’s. Its sparkling rivers and crisp mountain air contribute to the Centennial State’s consistently strong showing in an annual index of well-being.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • Cost of living
  • Seniors’ overall well-being
  1. New Hampshire

The Granite State is a solid choice for retirees — a place where seniors find safety, satisfaction, friendships and excellent medical care. The fall leaf peeping is spectacular and more than makes up for the cold winters.

Scores highest for:

  • Health care quality
  • Relatively low crime rates
  • Seniors’ overall well-being

Think you know the state where you want to retire? Be careful to avoid the worst cities for retirement in America.

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