Part of planning your retirement is looking for the best states to retire in. After all, it’s one of the biggest factors in how your later years will be like. Fortunately, you have various online sources that can help you choose, especially this one.
We will start with the list of the best and worst states to retire in. Then, we will go through the reasons why these locations were chosen. More importantly, we will talk about how you can pick the state that is likely to suit your retirement needs.
The United States is a huge place, but only a few are ideal for your senior years. It can be tricky to pick one though, because of the various factors you’ll have to consider. Thankfully, this guide could give some clues and guide you in choosing the best state to retire in.
Table of Contents
What are the 10 best states to retire in?
What are the 10 worst states to retire in?
How were these states chosen?
This list came from Bankrate’s latest findings. It based the choices on five factors. Here are the metrics it used as well as their sources:
- Affordability – 40%, Council for Community and Economic Research
- Wellness – 20%, Sharecare Community Well-being Index
- Culture – 15%, US Census Bureau
- Weather – 15%, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration
- Crime – 10%, 2019 FBI Crime Report
How do I pick the state I should retire in?
The criteria represent the usual factors for retirement locations. Check other sites, and you’ll find similar standards, and they may use other names for them, though.
You may have a location in mind already. Perhaps it is in a foreign country, and maybe it’s somewhere outside your current US state. Still, you need to follow solid criteria like these.
Everyone has limited resources and options. What’s more, so many outside factors may affect your retirement plans. Let’s say you want to retire in another country.
At the time of writing, the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, obstructing various aspects of daily life. Specifically, the crisis made it harder to go to other countries.
Only a few countries have reopened their borders. It’s great if your dream location is one of those right now. If not, you may have to find other retirement locations.
Make a list of the best states to retire in that is based on the earlier criteria. We’ll go through them again, but we’ll provide more details. You may think of viable locations while reading.
Retirees often rely on their retirement funds. That’s limited, so they must be careful when spending. A state with a low cost of living makes this easier to do.
See how much you’ll have to spend on necessities, such as groceries or utilities. Their prices change depending on the state taxes, and the best state to retire in has a light tax burden.
How much are the property and sales taxes? How about the state income tax and the estate tax? You will have to check how tax-friendly your chosen state is by yourself.
You might be thinking of retiring somewhere close to nature. Perhaps you want to stay at a lakeside cabin. What if you get a medical emergency? Will a crew be able to reach you in time?
You’ll be in your senior years as a retiree, which means you’re more likely to get serious illnesses without warning. Your best state to retire in should have quick access to health care.
In case something happens, a medical team could quickly respond. For minor conditions, though, telehealth services may help, and they may save you a costly trip to the hospital.
The culture category estimates the number of entertainment, recreation, and dining establishments nearby. It’s a big deal since you’ll probably want to have fun in your later years.
If you prefer being left alone, that’s fine. Still, you may get bored of just being indoors all the time. Unless you want to spend your retirement as if you’re still in quarantine!
This is more than about having fun, though. It’s healthy to do new things and go outside. This lets you maintain your mental health, and it may also reduce the chances of getting a physical condition.
The best state to retire in should have similar weather to your current one. Let’s take Alaska and Texas as examples. The former often has a colder climate.
On the other hand, it’s usually hot in Texas. If you’re from Alaska and you stay there, you may find it too hot to handle. You may also get sick more often if you don’t pick carefully.
Try checking out the NOAA’s Climate Maps. It may sound silly. Yet, these maps can easily tell you which states have similar weather to yours.
You may have a weaker body in your later years, which means you will likely struggle to respond if something bad happens. That’s why you should check the crime rate.
Use the FBI reports like the one earlier. This will give you a general idea of each state’s crime status. You may want to read local news reports in that area too.
It lets you get a closer look into what’s going on in the state. Read about the major events and the common ones too. If you know someone in the area, you may want to ask what life is like.
Once you find your best state to retire in, you should start saving. The best time to do it is now, and this will let you accumulate as much money before retirement comes.
Getting a traditional or Roth IRA can help. It lets you invest in certain assets that facilitate building that fund. Once you reach a certain age, you receive retirement income.
Note that you must meet certain requirements, such as household income. Also, a reverse mortgage may help you pay home expenses like property taxes.
This article is for informational purposes. Plan your retirement based on your goals, needs, and other factors. You may find better places to retire elsewhere we didn’t cover.
Learn more about the worst and best states to retire in
Which state has the best retirement?
According to Bankrate, Georgia is the best state to retire in. They used five factors as a basis for their recommendation: Affordability, Wellness, Culture, Weather, and Crime. They used info from different government sources for the rankings. Read the article above to learn more about these criteria.
What’s the worst state to retire in?
Bankrate’s 2021 study indicates that Maryland is the worst US state to retire in. The report explained that its ranking dropped due to the lack of affordability. What’s more, it got poor marks on weather and culture. For the other top 10 worst states to retire in, read the article above.
What state has the lowest cost of living for retirees?
According to Business Insider, Florida provides the most affordable cost of living for retirees. What’s more, it has a lot of other retirees to mingle with. However, you should check further before setting this as your retirement destination. Read more about it to get a better look at what the state offers for retirees.