It's no wonder so many Americans retire down south.
"Florida is a tax haven for everyone, but especially for the elderly, so when it comes to affordable living, all of these cities are going to be hard to beat," said Jill Gonzelez, an analyst at WalletHub.
The state has no income tax, inheritance tax or estate tax. That may be appealing for those looking to cut back on expenses when they stop working. In fact, only 27% of Americans said they were "very confident" about having enough money to retire comfortably, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2020 Retirement Confidence Survey.
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Yet affordability was just one factor the financial website took into consideration.
It also looked at activities available, such as fishing and golfing; quality of life, including weather and the share of the population age 65 and up; and health care. In all, WalletHub examined 46 different metrics to come up with its rankings.
With the coronavirus pandemic, health care was of particular concern this year.
The website looked at how each locale was equipped to handle the virus, the share of the population that is uninsured and the number of hospital beds per capita. It then gave the coronavirus triple weight against other health-care issues, such as dentists and dermatologists, mental health and life expectancy.
Here are the top five places for retirees, according to WalletHub:
- Orlando, Florida
- Tampa, Florida
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
If you want a lively retirement and a lot of options for restaurants and nightlife, Miami and Fort Lauderdale will be better than Tampa and Orlando, Gonzelez said.
Tampa and Orlando are good destinations for those who like an active lifestyle, such as fishing and golfing.
Charleston is also affordable, but has a slower lifestyle and is near some of the greatest golf courses in the country, Gonzelez said.
For those looking solely for the lowest adjusted cost of living, Brownsville, Texas, tops that list, followed by Laredo, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee.
Scottsdale, Arizona, has the highest share of the population aged 65 and over, at 23.4%, and Bismark, North Dakota, has the lowest annual cost of in-home services, averaging $32,032.
Here are the five worst places to retire, according to WalletHub:
- Newark, New Jersey
- Stockton, California
- Bridgeport, Connecticut
- Warwick, Rhode Island
- San Bernardino, California
In the end, the decision will come down to exactly what you are looking for in retirement, what you can afford, whether you want to stay where you live now and how far you want to be from family.
"So many retirees think of this as an end: the end of their career but also an end to what they need to be thinking about financially," Gonzelez said. "This is the beginning of a new life that you still need to be able to pay for."
For the full WalletHub report, including the methodology used, go to wallethub.com/edu/best-places-to-retire/6165/.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.