Here Are the Best and Worst States to Retire This Year

Choosing the perfect retirement destination is a critical life decision that varies from person to person. Whether you’re drawn to beachfront serenity, mountainous tranquility, or proximity to family, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the array of options.

Retirees have historically flocked to states with warmer climates and lower living expenses, such as Florida and Arizona. However, the results of Bankrate’s latest study suggest other options worth considering than conventional retirement hotspots.

Bankrate’s study includes a variety of statistics, including living expenses, public health data, and more, to produce an all-encompassing ranking of the most and least desirable states for retirement in the United States. The analysis spans five core categories: cost of living, overall well-being, healthcare affordability and quality, climate, and crime rates.

Affordability was the most important factor due to Americans’ current economic hurdles. In an environment marked by surging inflation and a challenging housing market, many prospective retirees are keen to make their savings last.

Here’s a look at the best and worst states.

Top 5 Best States for Retirement:

  1. Iowa
  2. Delaware
  3. West Virginia
  4. Missouri
  5. Mississippi

Top 5 Worst States for Retirement:

  1. Alaska
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Washington
  5. Massachusetts

Why Iowa 

You might wonder why Iowa tops the list. Known for its expansive farmlands and tight-knit communities, Iowa provides a serene and cost-effective retirement setting. Among its advantages are its rank as the sixth most affordable state in the U.S. and its below-average home prices and homeowners insurance. However, if you prioritize ethnic diversity or warm climates, Iowa may not be the best fit for you.

Other Top-Ranked States:

  • Delaware: Renowned for excellent healthcare and low taxes, Delaware stands out in cultural diversity and well-being.
  • West Virginia: Boasting the country’s best affordability, West Virginia ranks average in wellness metrics.
  • Missouri: Missouri excels in cost-effectiveness but falls short in healthcare and crime statistics.
  • Mississippi: Surprisingly affordable, with good weather and a low crime rate, Mississippi lags in healthcare and overall well-being.

Staying Put or Making the Move

While many consider relocating for retirement, U.S. Census data indicates that a majority of seniors prefer to age in place. Family connections and local weather keep some retirees in place despite rising costs. 

Financial Considerations for Retirement

The sobering fact is that a large portion of Americans are underprepared for retirement, with a Bankrate survey revealing that 55% of workers feel their savings fall short. If you’re among those concerned about the adequacy of your retirement funds, consider states in the Midwest and South, which tend to be more budget-friendly.

Consider capitalizing on the home equity from your current residence to purchase a new home in a less costly region, thus potentially eliminating mortgage payments. Healthcare costs are another key variable to consider in your calculations.

Before making a move, first evaluate your retirement savings to get a sense of your financial landscape. Retirement calculators can help you determine if you’re saving enough for retirement. 

Remember, moving in retirement involves intricate financial and personal considerations. Whether you’re contemplating a move or planning to stay put, thorough planning is key to making the most out of this exciting new chapter in your life.

For more retirement news:

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