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Best states in the United States for retirement

For people who wish to protect their nest egg (upon retiring), the best is the Sunshine State, Florida. Ranking the worst (according to WalletHub) is Kentucky.

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USA Retirement
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USA Retirement (Copy)

Green: Best states, Yellow: Worst states.
Score 1 = lowest, 50 = highest

A list of states was compiled by WalletHub from the best to the worst concerning appeal to retirees. The weighted metrics used were:

  • Affordability
  • Quality of life and
  • Health care

Florida has the highest percentage of retirees

The percentage of people in the population who are 65 years old or above is highest in Florida. The tax burden in that state is among the lowest (compared to other states), and personal income tax is at 0%. Additionally, residents in the state do not pay estate tax (or intangibles tax).

Ranking of states based on length of life span

In South Dakota, the number of employees (in the total workforce) who are aged 65 years or above is the second highest and that makes it the second-best state. Other states that secured the top five slots are New Hampshire, Virginia and Colorado.

According to the data collected by WalletHub, it is a surprise to see some states performing very highly including Wyoming and South Dakota. Wyoming managed to secure the 8th slot on the list despite it being among states whose cost of living is lowest.

While the two states (Wyoming and South Dakota) are among the colder ones in the country, the two states have a lot of things going for them. One of the things that work in favor of residents of South Dakota and Wyoming is the tax-friendliness nature especially because social security income and pensions are not taxed. Each of the two states lacks an inheritance or estate tax. The lifespan of the people living in those two states is the highest in the nation.

There are states that have made significant effort in relation to enhancing safety and the health of residents – including New Hampshire and Colorado. Currently, New Hampshire ranks fourth among the states with the lowest property crime rate.

While the two states are not preferred in relation to affordability, they are considered to be among the best in which to retire. The quality of healthcare in the two states is high as well as the physicians per capita. The factor that mostly contributes to this development is that risk of social isolation is low in those states (New Hampshire and Colorado). Further, the number of people in the general population (in those states) who are aged 65 years and above is very low.

States with lowest cost of living

The cost of living in states such as Alabama, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi is low (among the lowest actually). In contrast, Hawaii, New York, California, Connecticut and Alaska are the worst states for cost of living.

Worst state for retirees

As a retiree, the worst state to live in is Kentucky. Other states that fall in this category are New Mexico, West Virginia, New Jersey and Rhode Island. In West Virginia, the percentage of the workforce whose age is 65+ is the lowest even though the number of people in the state’s population who are in that age bracket is high. Additionally, the life expectancy in West Virginia is among the lowest compared to other states.

According to Wallethub, the list here provided shows that people have options upon retirement. While retirement symbolizes the demise of a person’s career, it does not necessarily mean that their financial security has similarly ended.

Additionally, it should not necessarily mean that the quality of life for the individual should decline. A person who has reached retirement age has a number of options across the nation. The options may vary depending on the motivations or interests of the retiree. Common factors that retirees focus on are high health care quality, affordability and a good retirement community.

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