Your Money, Your Future

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

Overall Rank (1=Best) State Total Score Affordability' Rank Quality of Life' Rank Health Care' Rank
1Florida66.791520
2Colorado66.172382
3South Dakota65.892326
4Iowa62.4626119
5Virginia62.0218921
6Wyoming61.6643029
7New Hampshire61.5129144
8Idaho61.39112025
9Utah61.14222412
10Arizona60.67212117

Worst States to Retire

Overall Rank (50=Worst) State Total Score Affordability' Rank Quality of Life' Rank Health Care' Rank
41Alabama50.5534848
42Hawaii50.3149363
43New Mexico49.76394235
44Louisiana49.15174146
45West Virginia48.29164349
46Arkansas46.89205045
47Mississippi46.28104950
48Rhode Island45.14484622
49New Jersey44.94502833
50Kentucky43.06384747