The best and worst states to retire

Key Points
  • With more retirees responsible for their own financial security, choosing the right retirement destination can make all the difference.
  • WalletHub compared the retirement-friendliness of all 50 states. Here are the spots that ranked the highest.
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In retirement, just like in real estate, it's "location, location, location."

With more and more retirees responsible for their own financial security, choosing the right retirement destination can make or break any lazy-day fantasies.

To that end, WalletHub compared the retirement-friendliness of all 50 states using criteria such as cost of living, crime rate, tax-friendliness on pensions and Social Security income, number of health-care facilities, access to public transportation as well as the weather and proximity to golf courses and museums. This is retirement after all.

Some of the states that ranked the highest were no surprise — Florida snagged the top spot. Others, like South Dakota and Iowa, were less expected. Among the least desirable were high-tax states like New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Here are the 10 best and worst places to retire, according to WalletHub. (And if you are thinking more outside the box, here are the world's top 5 retirement destinations.)

Best states to retire in Dickler 180116

Overall Rank (1=Best) State Total Score Affordability' Rank Quality of Life' Rank Health Care' Rank
1Florida66.79,15,20
2Colorado66.17,23,82
3South Dakota65.89,232,6
4Iowa62.46,26,11,9
5Virginia62.02,18,921
6Wyoming61.66,430,29
7New Hampshire61.51,29,14,4
8Idaho61.39,11,20,25
9Utah61.14,22,24,12
10Arizona60.67,21,21,17

Worst States to Retire Dickler 180116

Overall Rank (50=Worst) State Total Score Affordability' Rank Quality of Life' Rank Health Care' Rank
41Alabama50.55,348,48
42Hawaii50.31,49,36,3
43New Mexico49.76,39,42,35
44Louisiana49.15,17,41,46
45West Virginia48.29,16,43,49
46Arkansas46.89,20,50,45
47Mississippi46.28,10,49,50
48Rhode Island45.14,48,46,22
49New Jersey44.94,50,28,33
50Kentucky43.06,38,47,47