Personal Finance

Here are the 10 best states for retirement

Key Points
  • A new ranking of the best states to retire puts South Dakota in first place.
  • But you've probably seen a few other lists lately.
  • That's why it's important to consider your own preferences.
John Greim | LightRocket | Getty Images

There's another list out of the best places to retire, this time by personal finance website

South Dakota came in first place.

Although a recent list in Business Insider called Florida the winner, and a ranking last year in Money Magazine crowned New Hampshire.

If you're overwhelmed by the many listicles of where you should spend your golden years, remember to consider how much a destination meets your personal needs and tastes.

For example, this new rating by prioritized warmer places over colder ones, assuming retirees want to eschew harsh winters. But some people like to wear a jacket, and not everyone wants endless sunshine. "There are some people who want to see the leaves change," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at

Also, your lifestyle could vary dramatically in, say, Buffalo, New York versus Manhattan. "It's a broad brush stroke when it comes to states," Hamrick said.

Having a conversation about the ability to achieve one's financial goals in a variety of locations can be a very productive exercise.
Mark Hamrick
senior economic analyst at

Meanwhile, packing up and settling into another state is not possible, or desirable, for many.

"There's a risk moving to a place you're not familiar with, or don't have well ensconced friends and business relationships," Hamrick said.

Before you leave behind your current home, Hamrick recommends that people ask themselves a few questions about a new place. Do you know anyone there? Are you familiar with the community? Will you be able to find a suitable home and live in an area that's comfortable for you?

"Make sure you won't have a sense of remorse about what you're leaving behind," Hamrick said.

All of that considered, he said these rankings can be a great place for people to start planning their retirement.

"Having a conversation about the ability to achieve one's financial goals in a variety of locations can be a very productive exercise," he said.

Bankrate's study picked it's best states considering cost of living (20 percent), taxes (20 percent), health care quality (15 percent), weather (15 percent), crime (10 percent), cultural vitality (10 percent) and well-being (10 percent).

1. South Dakota

Carol Polich Photo Workshops | Getty Images

2. Utah

MARK RALSTON | Getty Images

3. Idaho

DavidByronKeener | Getty Images

4. New Hampshire

Sean Pavone | Getty Images

5. Florida

Pensacola Beach, Florida
Ellen Creager | Detroit Free Press | Tribune News Service | Getty Images

6. Montana

Karen Desjardin | Getty Images

7. North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Anne Rippy | Getty Images

8. Wyoming

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
WitGorski | Getty Images

9. Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska
Getty Images |  IamVagabond

10. Mississippi

The Natchez Bridge, Mississippi
Michael Busselle | The Image Bank | Getty Images

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