Picking the optimal place to live later in life can be a lot more involved than scanning your typical "10 Best" lists. For starters, it's really about personal preferences. What's important to you, let's say, like nice weather, may not matter to someone else. While looking at a general list may be useful to narrow potential locations, ultimately there's no single place that works best for everyone.
To get a better idea of some of the top possibilities for retirees, CNBC worked with Bankrate.com to delve a little deeper, looking at individual criteria such as health care, taxes, cost of living, crime and weather. Breaking down the lists by these groupings could be a more effective way to get a sense of how well you might do in a given state and what kind of lifestyle you can expect.