To identify the best place to retire in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on 17 different health and economic factors. 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.
Health factors included the number of medical health professionals (dentists, PCP’s, mental health professionals, etc.) per capita, the presence of social institutions, and factors that promote healthier living (diabetes prevalence, access to exercise opportunities, etc.). All health measures came from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute joint program, and are for the most recent year available.
Economic factors included the median home value, the monthly cost of living for two people with no children, and the state-local tax burden as a share of state income. Tax burden data came from the Tax Foundation and are for 2012, the most recent year available. Median home value came from the 2017 ACS 5-Year estimates, and the monthly cost of living came from the Economic Policy Institute for 2017. All factors were given equal weight.