Retirement may mark the end of a career, but it’s also the start of a new chapter of adulthood. Ideally, as retirees, people have fewer responsibilities and more opportunities for fulfilling activities.
Most people have an idea of when they will retire. Where to retire, however, may be a more complex decision to make.
Iowa ranks as the ninth best state for a physically and socially active retirement.
States that have relatively large 65 and older populations are likely to also have plenty of retirement homes and communities. In Iowa, 17.5% of the population is 65 or older, the 17th highest share in the U.S.
Plenty of hours of full sun during the day, nice weather year-round, and plenty of recreational sites such as national parks can help support an active lifestyle. There is an average of 4 hours 5 minutes of peak sunlight a day in Iowa, the 12th lowest in the country. The National Parks Service manages a total of 2 parks, historic sites, and monuments in the state.
Volunteering can have a major impact on well-being, especially for older individuals. About 36.9% of Iowa residents 65 and older volunteer several times a year. This is the sixth highest share in the U.S., and compares to 28.0% of older adults nationwide.
To rank the best and worst states for people who want to stay active, both physically and socially, in retirement, 24/7 Tempo used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We created an index of more than 20 measures of retirement-friendliness, representing four categories — environment, health-related factors, social support, and demographics. These are the best and worst states for retirees.
|Rank||State||Share of population 65+||NPS sites||Average peak sun time per day||Adults who volunteer|
|1||Florida||20.9%||11||5 hours 10 minutes||20.3%|
|2||Maine||21.3%||4||3 hours 46 minutes||33.7%|
|3||Delaware||19.5%||1||4 hours 23 minutes||32.0%|
|4||West Virginia||20.5%||6||4 hours 4 minutes||31.0%|
|5||South Carolina||18.2%||7||4 hours 49 minutes||31.9%|
|7||South Dakota||17.4%||6||4 hours 12 minutes||36.8%|
|8||Montana||19.5%||8||4 hours 6 minutes||35.1%|
|9||Iowa||17.5%||2||4 hours 5 minutes||36.9%|
|10||Vermont||20.1%||2||3 hours 45 minutes||33.6%|
|11||Alabama||17.4%||9||4 hours 43 minutes||25.4%|
|12||Wyoming||17.1%||7||4 hours 31 minutes||32.6%|
|13||Arkansas||17.4%||7||4 hours 35 minutes||28.9%|
|14||Mississippi||16.4%||8||4 hours 44 minutes||20.2%|
|15||Pennsylvania||18.7%||19||3 hours 56 minutes||32.8%|
|16||Arizona||18.0%||22||5 hours 27 minutes||25.0%|
|17||Kansas||16.4%||5||4 hours 37 minutes||36.0%|
|18||New Mexico||18.0%||15||5 hours 20 minutes||30.5%|
|19||North Carolina||16.7%||10||4 hours 35 minutes||32.7%|
|20||Rhode Island||17.7%||2||4 hours 11 minutes||28.4%|
|21||Nebraska||16.1%||5||4 hours 23 minutes||35.5%|
|22||New Jersey||16.6%||9||4 hours 14 minutes||21.9%|
|23||Oklahoma||16.1%||3||4 hours 45 minutes||33.0%|
|24||Missouri||17.2%||6||4 hours 20 minutes||26.7%|
|25||New Hampshire||18.6%||2||3 hours 53 minutes||32.3%|
|26||Kentucky||16.9%||5||4 hours 14 minutes||18.9%|
|27||Tennessee||16.7%||12||4 hours 23 minutes||27.6%|
|28||North Dakota||15.8%||3||4 hours 2 minutes||38.7%|
|29||Oregon||18.2%||5||4 hours 29 minutes||36.5%|
|30||Ohio||17.5%||8||4 hours 3 minutes||30.3%|
|31||Connecticut||17.6%||2||4 hours 8 minutes||30.7%|
|32||Virginia||15.9%||22||4 hours 24 minutes||33.5%|
|33||Wisconsin||17.5%||2||3 hours 56 minutes||37.1%|
|34||Louisiana||16.0%||5||4 hours 53 minutes||22.0%|
|35||Massachusetts||17.0%||15||4 hours 6 minutes||30.1%|
|36||Maryland||15.9%||18||4 hours 17 minutes||38.2%|
|37||Minnesota||16.3%||5||3 hours 54 minutes||43.3%|
|38||Indiana||16.1%||3||4 hours 7 minutes||35.2%|
|39||Michigan||17.7%||5||3 hours 58 minutes||26.1%|
|40||Illinois||16.1%||2||4 hours 10 minutes||27.8%|
|41||California||14.8%||28||5 hours 21 minutes||23.3%|
|42||Georgia||14.3%||11||4 hours 48 minutes||19.7%|
|43||Colorado||14.7%||13||4 hours 50 minutes||31.7%|
|44||Nevada||16.2%||4||5 hours 1 minutes||24.1%|
|45||Washington||15.9%||15||4 hours 4 minutes||36.8%|
|46||New York||16.9%||24||3 hours 52 minutes||22.2%|
|47||Idaho||16.2%||7||4 hours 26 minutes||30.5%|
|48||Texas||12.9%||14||5 hours 6 minutes||27.5%|
|50||Utah||11.4%||13||4 hours 52 minutes||44.6%|
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