The five best and worst states for retirees


Best & worst states to retire in

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Retirees might want to pick up a pair of hiking boots instead of board shorts., a financial rate information website, released a report in which the mountain region overtook coastal spots in its list of best states for retirement. The study ranks states by how well retirees do in that state. Bankrate examined cost of living, taxes, health care, weather, crime and residents' overall well-being to determine its ranking.

Claes Bell, a senior analyst at, said that because retirees tend to live on a fixed income, financial conditions were more heavily weighted than weather.

"The important thing when picking a place to settle down when retiring is not thinking about it as a permanent vacation, but having to live there. You want to go to places where you can maximize what you've been able to save. The last thing you want to do is run out of money and go back to work," Bell said.

Did your state top the best or worst list? Click ahead to find out.

—By CNBC's Christine Wang
Posted 1 March 2016

Best states: No. 5. Virginia

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Virginia did well across Bankrate's various measures with its low cost of living and high quality of health care. The state has the fifth-lowest violent crime rate in the country, according to the FBI's 2014 survey.

Best states: No. 4. Utah

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Utah made the top 10 in both the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index and states with the lowest crime rates, according to FBI data.

The Beehive State was also helped by its nice weather, better-than-average cost of living situation and high well-being, according to Bankrate.

Best states: No. 3. Colorado

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With the fourth-highest score, Colorado joins Hawaii and Montana as the only states to have made the top 10 of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index every year since 2012.

The Centennial State's pleasant weather and high-quality health care helped it keep its spot in this year's top five.

Best states: No. 2. South Dakota

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South Dakota made the top 10 in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's state ranking of quality of care. The state beat or met benchmarks on more than half of its measures.

The state also boasts the second lowest tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation's most recent ranking.

Best states: No. 1. Wyoming

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Wyoming did well on virtually every measure Bankrate used. It had the fifth highest score on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The Equality State also has the third-lowest tax burden in the country, according to the Tax Foundation, as well as the third-lowest violent crime rate.

Worst states: No. 5. Louisiana

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Louisiana was the second-worst state overall when it came to quality of health care. The state's care coordination and efficacy of treatment were rated as "very weak."

The Bayou State wasn't helped by its high crime rate, averaging 514.7 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, according to the FBI's 2014 survey.

Worst states: No. 4. Arkansas

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Arkansas also has a fairly high crime rate, but its health care pushed it into the bottom five. It ranked among the worst states in terms of access to and quality of health care. A measure that Bankrate weighted fairly heavily in its survey.

"Elderly people need to go to the doctor and need access to health care more than young people," explained Bell, senior analyst at Bankrate.

Worst states: No. 3. Oregon

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Not only does Oregon have a higher-than-average tax burden, but it also has a high cost of living. Bell said that Bankrate adjusted its weighting of this factor based on an opinion survey it conducted last year.

"This was the major factor for Oregon. ... With so many people behind on retirement savings, cost of living could potentially hurt people's ability to not outlive their savings," the analyst said.

Worst states: No. 2. West Virginia

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With the lowest score on Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for the seventh straight year, comes in second place in Bankrate's list of worst states for retirees. It also ranked among the worst 10 states in terms of quality of health care.

Worst states: No. 1. New York

Senior couple in New York City. New York is the second-worst state for retirement.
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New Yorkers have the highest tax burden in the U.S. in addition to the high cost of living in the Empire State. The state also ranked below average on resident well-being and quality of health care, according to Bankrate.