When it comes to having a happy retirement, the state you live in may affect more than you realized. While some retirees choose to stay in the same state, others may want to move somewhere with nicer weather or better affordability.
The experts at Bankrate performed a study to analyze the best and worst US states to retire in. They considered multiple factors including affordability, wellness, weather, culture, and crime. These categories were weighted according to importance in the life of retirees — affordability (40%), crime (5%), culture (15%), weather (15%) and wellness (25%).
The study found that Nebraska was the best state to retire in. Nebraska ranked in the top 15 for qualities like wellness (No. 8) and affordability (No. 14). Nebraska also scored in the top 25 for its low crime rates (it tied for No. 9) and culture (No. 21). Nebraska ranked in the bottom half for weather, landing at No. 30. Other states that were placed as the best US states to retire in were Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, and Florida.
The worst states to retire in are Maryland, New York, Alaska, Illinois, and Washington. According to Bankrate’s metrics, Maryland ranked in the bottom 15 for affordability (4th worst), culture (9th worst) and wellness (tied for 13th worst). The state ranked highly for its weather, landing at No. 18.
Affordability was determined according to the 2019 Cost of Living Index from the Council for Community and Economic Research, while culture was calculated by analyzing the number of arts and recreation establishments per capita. To determine the rankings for weather and crime, Bankrate analyzed average temperatures and crime rates. Wellness was calculated by determining the average number of businesses offering services to older or elderly people per capita.
To see how your state ranks in affordability, wellness, weather, culture, and crime, check out Bankrate’s interactive tool.