Special Report

Best and Worst States To Retire, According to Bankrate

You’ve saved and saved during your working years, and now it’s time to retire. Among the many decisions you have to make as you enter retirement is where to spend your golden years. While you may want to stay close to your family and friends, you might also want a place with affordable housing, a reasonable cost of living, and a low tax base so your retirement income goes further. Safety and access to health care are also big factors.

To help you make the decision, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the best and worst states for retirement 2022 from financial services company and personal finance website Bankrate. Bankrate analyzed multiple data points and assigned a weight to each category: Affordability (40%), well-being (20%), culture and diversity (15%), weather (15%) and crime (10%.

States are ranked worst to best using Bankrate’s overall score. For context, we included the 65 and over population and total population for each state, using five-year data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

Each state has pluses and minuses. The state with the most allure for retirees is, not surprisingly, Florida. The Sunshine State scored highest for its year-round sunshine, diversity, and concentration of other older adults. However, that’s tempered somewhat by the state’s propensity to be hit by hurricanes. Housing prices in the state, as Bankrate notes, have risen, but that cost is offset a bit by lower taxes. No. 2 Georgia boasts similar advantages for retirees. (Are these states indeed where retirees are moving?)

A bit of surprise is how well several Midwest states did in the comparison. No. 3, Michigan, ranked first in affordability and scored high marks in low taxes and cost of living as well as health care. Affordability pushed Ohio to fourth place. Also affordable is No. 5 Missouri, where you can enjoy a moderate climate. However, The Show Me State received a low score for crime.

The worst place to retire? According to Bankrate, Alaska received low grades for affordability and, of course, its cold weather. But if you move to Alaska, you’ll pay the nation’s lowest taxes. (Before you retire, consider these eight things about your 401(k).)

Click here for the best and worst states to retire, according to Bankrate.

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