Americans spend decades preparing for retirement, which is seen by many as a well-earned break following nearly a lifetime of work.
Baby Boomers — people born from 1946 to 1964 — started turning 65 in 2011 and are today entering retirement in unprecedented numbers. According to the National Institute on Aging, this generation is retiring at a rate of 10,000 people per day. By 2030, 20% of the U.S. pop will be comprised of elderly Americans, climbing from 15% in 2015.
The most common reason for retiring is the desire to spend more time with family, followed by the desire to do something different, health issues, and dissatisfaction with work. Other reasons have less to do with personal preference, and more to do with factors related to aging and location.
Because of the medical, social, and financial consequences of entering old age, life can change dramatically in retirement. While retirees are among the least likely group of Americans to be poor, they typically rely on fixed and reduced incomes, and the cost burdens of housing and medical care, in particular, tend to go up substantially.
To identify the best place to retire in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of 17 health and economic factors in U.S. counties and areas considered equivalent to counties by the U.S. Census Bureau, including parishes and boroughs. Only counties where the 65-and-over population grew at least as fast as the nation and was larger than the national average were considered.